First Steps

Interested in volunteering but not sure where to start?  We have some ideas…

Creating your own definition of “Volunteer”

Fundamentally, volunteering is about giving your own time and skills freely.  It is about working alongside others to work towards a common goal. It is about acknowledging that in some way, large or small, you are capable of inciting change and making progress.

These are a few things to consider when deciding on the type of volunteer work that is right for you.

Find a passion

Is there a cause that excites you? Perhaps you love working with young people or are passionate about the environment. Or is there something happening in your local community or even overseas that upsets you?  Things like kids going to school without shoes or lunches, homelessness, diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s.

Find something that evokes an emotional response in you. Identify your goals and interests. Make sure you volunteer for something that is meaningful to you.

Consider your skills

Now think about what you are good at, what you love doing. Think about the specific skills or talents you bring to the table. Are you a strong communicator? Do you work well with your hands? Are you a builder or an accountant or a web designer or a great cook? Consider if you want to use the same skill set you use during the workday when you volunteer. Perhaps you want to use those skills directly to help others. Or maybe you want to go in a completely different direction.

Think about how much time you can give

What else have you got on at the moment?  For some people, a regular weekly or monthly commitment works well. For others, it is better to find multiple one-off opportunities.

Think about what you want to get out of volunteering

Do you want to build work relevant experience? Or meet new people? Or learn new skills? Or perhaps it’s important that you can volunteer remotely?

Connecting to opportunities

This is the part where Collaborate comes in.  Collaborate is a mobile app that connects people to volunteer opportunities that match their skill sets and interests.  Collaborate lets you swipe through projects in your area that match your skills, interests and what you are looking for – be it a one-off way to do some good with a free Sunday or something bigger.

In addition to more traditional opportunities, instant connection also enables micro-volunteering, allowing volunteers to share their skills across a number of organisations in a flexible way which works around their other commitments and maximises the amount of value they are able to give.

The Collaborate app is currently in development. To sign up to pilot the app or to keep up to date with Collaborate’s progress, click here.

BlogPoppy Norton