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volunteer in your communities
local community service organizations, or form your own.
Help your community in new ways that maybe people aren't dealing
with. Get political. Find an organization doing an important
job for your local community (or your state, or your country)
and volunteer time regularly for them. The world ain't just about
money...what can you offer your community?
- Your time
- Your skills
- Your compassion
- Your life experience
- Your special talents
If you can freely offer these things for the common good, what
a wonderful way to participate in your community! And many people
find it personally satisfying to
spend time each
month helping a worthwhile organization that supports the common
good as you see it.
Finding Good Organizations
How do you
find organizations for whom you'll want to volunteer your time?
Brainstorm issues that you care about. Try
sitting down for a few minutes with a pen and some paper and
write down a few things that are really important to you that
relate to the common good.
Search the Web for what interests
you. Do a Google search
for organizations and issues that you care about. If you
get too many hits, add "+volunteer" or "+political" to
your query to limit the results. Visit their Web sites and
call them on the phone and ask how you can help them.
free VolunteerMatch service.
VolunteerMatch is an excellent free service that can help you
find volunteer opportunities nearby to your home that you might
be interested in. Search for volunteering that is related to
health issues, women's issues, children's issues, the environment,
and many more categories! Also,
you can read their frequently
online tools such as Craigslist. These
organizations help match individuals with non-profit organizations.
For the San Francisco Bay Area, you can use this
for other metropolitan areas in the U.S., click here,
and then click on your city name, and click the text "volunteer" to
see volunteer opportunities in your area.
bold enough to get political. Promote your values
and priorities by volunteering.
And if you can't find an organization doing what you want, start
Tips for Volunteering
There were adapted from Network For Good's "10
Tips for Wise Volunteering" page.
- Research the causes or issues important to you.
- Consider the skills that you have to offer.
- Decide whether you would you like to learn something new.
- Combine your goals — for instance, working with kids
& improving education.
- Don't over-commit your schedule.
- Be patient with non-profits — they may have questions
or concerns too.
- Consider volunteering as a family.
- Consider virtual volunteering
— volunteer by phone, computer, etc.
- Be creative! Brainstorm organizations to
offer your time or other support.
- Give your heart a voice through giving
Read more detailed tips
for volunteering on the
For Good site.
OK, so donating money is not the same as volunteering.
But they are similar in that you are giving something freely
for the common good.
are really short on funds and even small donations are appreciated.
If you have more resources, great, they're happy to have larger
contributions. You can deduct donations
to many non-profits from your taxes, so it will cost you less
to donate than it may seem at first glance.
Many worthy causes are not tax-deductable but they still need
your help! For example, groups trying to affect public policy
may be politically active in ways that
you and I can't easily do on our own. These organizations
may actively meet with senators, political parties, promote
legislation or candidates, or coordinate large-scale public
relations efforts. If they promote issues and
policies that you care
about, donating money may be a good way to help them.
In some cases, you may not have the skills that an organization
needs most, such as legal assistance or another
specialty skill, but you can donate money to support their expenses.
all cases, ask organizations how you can volunteer time or
skills and you may be surprised to find that they
need something you can help with.