If you’ve never volunteered, it’s never too late to start. Volunteering has many benefits from boosting your confidence to meeting new people. More importantly, when you volunteer, you are strengthening your relationship with your community and gaining a better understanding of the world around you.
In the past, the best way to find out about volunteering opportunities consisted of checking out the classifieds, going to the place where you wanted to volunteer and ask, or relying on word of mouth. Today, finding volunteering opportunities have become easier to find, thanks to technology.
Here are some ways to use technology to start volunteering:
Start Browsing Your Community’s Websites
Whether you live in a small town or a busy, larger city, most cities and towns have their own website. On that site, there is often a community events calendar, which showcases events from fundraisers to baseball games.
Get in the habit of checking your community’s website on a regular basis or sign up for e-newsletters.
Check Out Social Media
Many people, when wanting to find out what’s happening in their community, head to their favorite social media site. Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, or another site, follow volunteer groups and inquire about opportunities.
Want to volunteer at your local animal shelter or help out at a holiday event at the food kitchen? By following the organization, you will stay up-to-date on events and they may even have volunteer registration on their page.
Not only does social media come in handy when searching for a volunteering opportunity, but it is a great platform to share your experiences. Whether you post a picture to your Instagram account or share a page on your Facebook feed, you are helping to recruit more volunteers.
Apps for Volunteers
If you have a smartphone or tablet, you rely on apps for pretty much everything from work to play. Now you can search for volunteering opportunities by trying out some of these apps:
When you create a profile on the app or heading straight to the website, you can connect to nonprofits in your area, based on your volunteering interests. You are also able to keep track of your volunteer hours or post pictures of your volunteering experiences. GiveGab can be described as a social network for volunteers.
Much like GiveGab, the Involver app allows users to select volunteering opportunities based on their interests, as well as causes or charities they support. An Involver volunteer can use the app to log in volunteering hours. While Involver focuses on local communities, it also showcases a lot of global volunteering opportunities.
Golden is similar to other social networking apps that focus on volunteering, but it is targeted to a younger demographic (but anyone can use it). When you sign up to use Golden you get credit towards community service requirements and makes it easy for anyone to run a secure and portable background check; depending on your volunteering opportunity, a background check may be required.