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How to Start Volunteering: GVI’s Step-by-Step Guide

Article by GVI


Posted: March 10, 2023

Volunteer work is an incredibly rewarding way to give back to our communities, and can have a huge impact on both the world and our personal lives. Starting your journey as a volunteer can bring up a lot of questions and uncertainty, but with a few steps, it can be a much easier process.

Identifying Your Goals and Interests

Before beginning your search for volunteer opportunities, it is important to think about what your goals and interests are. Are you looking for something physical or mental? Working with people, or working with animals or nature? What kinds of problems do you want to help solve? Having a clear goal or interests will help you identify what type of volunteer opportunity would be the most rewarding.

It is also important to consider the amount of time you are able to commit to volunteering. Some volunteer opportunities require a long-term commitment, while others may only require a few hours a week. Knowing how much time you can dedicate to volunteering will help you narrow down your search and find the right opportunity for you.

Researching Volunteer Opportunities

Once you know what type of work interests you, conduct a search for available volunteer opportunities in your local area. Many websites list volunteering opportunities, and also offer virtual options that can fit around your existing schedule. There are also more traditional routes such as your local church, newspaper, or by word-of-mouth. Most organizations have information about their type of volunteer work available online, so take the time to read up on the tasks that the opportunity requires.

When researching volunteer opportunities, it is important to consider the time commitment and the type of work that you are willing to do. Some volunteer opportunities require a long-term commitment, while others may only require a few hours a week. Additionally, some organizations may require a background check or other forms of verification before you can begin volunteering. Make sure to read the requirements carefully and ask questions if you are unsure about anything.

Making the Commitment to Start Volunteering

Once you’ve decided on which volunteer opportunity you’d like to pursue, the next step is to commit to it. Make a plan that divides your hours into manageable sections, and set aside dedicated time to volunteer each week or month. Dedication is key to success; make sure that your commitment is something you are able to realistically keep. You want to make sure that your volunteer experience is a positive one.

It is also important to remember that volunteering is a two-way street. You are not only giving your time and energy to a cause, but you are also receiving something in return. Volunteering can be a great way to gain new skills, meet new people, and make a difference in your community. Take the time to reflect on the impact you are making and the rewards you are receiving.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude and Dedication to Service

One of the most important things to remember while volunteering is to stay positive. Even if things don’t go as smoothly as anticipated, try to find a way to stay positive and remain helpful. Additionally, keep yourself motivated by reflecting on the reasons why you chose to volunteer. It is also important to remember that some tasks may require a bit more effort than others – don’t be afraid to put in the extra work if necessary.

Staying Motivated to Continue Volunteering

Make sure to set small goals for yourself and celebrate successes along the way. This can help boost your confidence and keep you motivated. Additionally, lean on friends and family who have similar values and interests when it comes to volunteering – they can act as trustworthy supporters who will encourage and celebrate achievements with you. Find meaningful ways to track progress and recognize accomplishments.

Becoming a volunteer with GVI

You’ve been thinking about how you can give your time to something bigger than yourself. You’re wondering what the best ways are to volunteer abroad, and how you can make sure that it ticks all the right boxes – ethics, sustainability, impact, sustainability and fun.

If you’re searching, dreaming and yearning to do something that is truly meaningful – to be part of a proven program that will have a long-lasting impact – welcome to GVI volunteering.

We’ve spent the last two decades running successful volunteer abroad programs in more than 20 different locations around the world. All the data, feedback, learnings and testimonials that we’ve gathered, continuously help us to refine and improve our programs. This enables us to achieve our shared goals and ensure a maximum, measurable social impact.

Find out more about all our volunteer programs here.

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