Volunteering is in a decade-long decline in the United States (“BLS”). The population volunteering has decreased by four percent from 2005 to 2015 (“BLS”). Four percent would look like a few percentages that do not have a critical impact on the whole volunteerism in the United States. However, unfortunately, four percent is 13 million fewer people volunteering while adding on average eight people to every single nonprofit (“BLS”).
In other words, nonprofits cannot run as effectively as a decade ago, and we cannot realize the national ideal that everyone in the U.S. does not live under poor conditions but live with others helping out one another. To avoid these unfortunate results, the first thing to do is to change the motivation to volunteer. In volunteerism, when you are willing to help out others, you should have motivations to keep you volunteering regularly.
So an approach that you should be doing this because it is the right thing to do might not be the most effective approach. To take a more efficient approach to volunteer, you should take a new approach that you should participate in volunteering for yourself. It does not mean that you should be correctly self-serving. However, by using a more selfish approach to your volunteer experience, you could volunteer in a more effective way in which benefits you a lot.
When you put efforts into service that you get involved in, you can get health benefits out of volunteering. “A United Health/Volunteer Match (UHVM) study found that volunteering positively influences people’s perceptions of physical and emotional health” (Cruz). Volunteering helps neutralize “the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety because a meaningful relationship with another person can have a profound impact on your psychological well-being” (Cruz). Also, the regular contact aspect of helping and working with others can help you develop a stable support system, which combats depression.
In physical health, those who volunteer are less likely to develop high blood pressure, find it easier to deal with daily jobs, and have better-thinking skills (Cruz). Additionally, the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) determined that “those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not” (Cruz). Therefore, improving health would enhance the quality of life of individuals. These benefits ultimately make you happier.
These positive proofs that have something to do with health would be already well-known among people by social media. Nevertheless, more people are not still volunteering. Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters (BGCBigs), a national organization, conducted a survey targeting those who do not volunteer (“12 Reasons NOT to Volunteer”). They found the number one reason for not volunteering is lack of time (“12 Reasons NOT to Volunteer”), and another common reason is that the “volunteer schedules and commitments are too inflexible” (Yotopoulos). If we look at these reasons logically, then we would say that volunteers must have more time on their hands.
However, there is an interesting statistic in the US Department of Labor, which is contrary to our prejudice. In the statistic, retirees who presumably have enough time do not volunteer at the highest rate. On the other hand, most likely to volunteer are people ages from 35 to 54 (Patterson). More importantly, the statistic leans toward more women between gender at those ages. Most of the women are married, educated, employed and have children under the age of 18 (“BLS”). Now if we look at the average volunteers, we would say that a busy person can volunteer.
Volunteering is necessary for those who are ready to look for a job and acquire a job. However, in fact, according to a statistic of US volunteerism by age, “the lowest rates were seen among people ages from 16 to 24” (Patterson). Moreover, the percentage of people between 25 and 34 was right above (Patterson). The reason why they do not volunteer is that they do not know how volunteerism benefits workplace, their professional development, and their career experience.
First of all, volunteering teaches you valuable job skills. If you want to learn a new skill or add it to your current resume or you want to share knowledge or learn new knowledge, you can do it through community service work. It is helpful to people that want to advance their lives. If you have a desire to develop your career, there is a great networking opportunity when you work with nonprofits. You can meet a lot of new people that may be in occupations or potential clients or other ways that you can meet new people and network to advance your career.
Nonprofits can offer you the opportunity to practice essential skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, job management, project planning, and problem-solving. According to an article in The New York Times, many nonprofits assign volunteers short-term commitment that both help the nonprofit and give volunteers valuable training in new or more complex skills (Leland). The article suggests that “such a practice can even produce important endorsement or paid chances to apply the same skill” (Leland). Therefore, if you work with nonprofits, you can gain career experience and list to them as a reference, while further developing and improving your professionalism and skills so that once you are ready to get the job.
In addition to helping increase your skills, volunteering benefits you in employment. The CNCS’ research shows that employers prefer candidates who prove some devotion to community service work (Cruz). The research also shows that “those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better opportunity of gaining employment” (Cruz). Furthermore, “a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com found that 60% of hiring managers see volunteerism as a valuable asset, as it shows motivation, character, and integrity” (Cruz). These remarkable volunteer statistics demonstrate how volunteerism affects your personal and professional development. Consequently, what you can learn in volunteer work is worth a paid work even though you are unpaid in volunteering.
To volunteer in an efficient way in which benefits your career experience, you should find a cause that you feel passionate about and that you want to genuinely touch because volunteering requires passion and positivity. More importantly, you should keep in mind the efforts needed in volunteerism are an open mind, a positive attitude, an active attitude to do whatever is required, and compassion. After figuring out what you want, you should look for the opportunities that can fulfill your own needs. When you do that, you should be a little bit more selfish to volunteer in an efficient way in which benefits your career. No matter what your motivation, you can get involved. Volunteering with a purpose should be a great chance to achieve your own goals. Then, you can see yourself improving.
Volunteering is the very act of voluntary practice by free will. Specifically, it is the intentional and planned daily activities of actively participating in establishing a welfare society. In other words, it is a constant activity to build a better and brighter life for the community based on civic awareness. In volunteerism, to sustain the voluntary action, you need strong motivation that keeps you in regular participation in volunteering.
In general, when you volunteer, you usually use the approach that you should be doing this because it is the right thing. However, this is not the most effective approach to volunteer. Rather, you should volunteer with the purpose that mainly focuses on the betterment of yourself. For instance, if you want to recover your physical and psychological health, you could get the health benefits out of volunteering.
Also, if you have a desire to enhance your career, you could be offered the opportunity to practice the necessary skills for the workplace. Therefore, the approach to volunteer with a purpose assists have a positive impact on both nonprofits and the community you get involved. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to accomplish your own goals. Ultimately, it helps us to take a step toward the realization of the national ideal that no one lives in poor conditions.