Volunteering: Think small

One of the biggest excuses people give for not volunteering is that they don’t have the time. That’s usually because people assume that committing to being a volunteer is going to be some huge, time consuming thing. It doesn’t have to be.

Many non-profit organizations – especially those with smaller staffs – tend to have a variety of small projects that need attention. Making yourself available to do something as simple as stuffing envelopes for a mass mailing could be one of the biggest things you could do to help an organization. There are even some projects that can be completed remotely.

Utilizing volunteers to complete small administrative projects often frees up staff members to focus on larger projects like programming and building relationships with board members, donors and those who receive services.

We sometimes get caught up in the notion that volunteering is only meaningful if we’re saving the whales or tutoring at-risk students. I know that I am the queen of thinking big, but sometimes, it’s okay to think small.

2 thoughts on “Volunteering: Think small

  1. I find this to be true in many cases. It also helps to be very specific regarding what you need volunteers to do so that they know what’s being asked and what they can volunteer for.

    • Most definitely. I think, sometimes, staffers don’t think small, either. I just remember when I was a staff member, two of the things I disliked the most was stuffing envelopes for mass mailings and making phone calls to remind youth workers about meetings, etc. I disliked it mostly because it took away time I could be using to tackle more pressing projects. So, when people offered to volunteer, those were the first tasks I’d hand off. Which is why, as a volunteer, I often offer to do administrative/mundane projects. It seems like a small thing, but staffers appreciate it so much! And my ultimate goal is to be of service to the organization, so it’s good to know that my “small” gestures are such a big help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *