Things to consider before volunteering

What should I consider before volunteering?

  • When are you available to do volunteer work?
  • You need to identify how much time you have available to volunteer.
  • When can you volunteer; evenings, weekdays or weekends.
  • What commitment can you make; short term, one off projects, once a week, long term etc.
  • What type of volunteer work you would like to do?
  • You need to consider what you would like to gain from volunteer work.
  • Think about what interests, hobbies or skills you have or would like to develop.
  • What locations are you willing to travel to the volunteer position?
  • You need to consider:
  • How you will travel; public transport or vehicle?
  • Time and distance it will take.
  • Financial costs involved in travelling; petrol or fares.

What should I consider when looking for a suitable volunteer position?

  • Is the organisation you wish to volunteer with a not for profit organisation or project (i.e. not a private company)?
  • Does the purpose of the organisation match your own values and beliefs?
  • Does the organisation offer the sort of work that interests you and can you maintain or develop you skills?
  • Will the organisation provide you with a written reference if you need one?
  • Does the organisation have a written volunteer policy explaining your rights and what you can expect from the organisation? Is it available for you to read?
  • Does the organisation have volunteer insurance to cover you for the volunteer work you will be doing?
  • Is there a written job description for the volunteer position you want and does it explain what you will be doing?
  • Is the organisation willing to provide you with written information about itself?
  • Does the organisation have a manager of volunteers or a contact person whose job is to support and supervise the volunteer program?
  • Will you receive adequate training and orientation for you to perform your job?
  • Will you be reimbursed for money spent on behalf of the organisation?