Doing charity work is good for the soul. People are usually happier when they have a purpose and volunteering or working for a nonprofit organization is a great way to increase fulfillment in your life. But choosing the right nonprofit organization to work with can be a bit tricky. Here are some things you should consider before committing.
Whether the Organization Has Basic Foundations in Place
It’s common for small nonprofits and charities to lack funding for basic operations. However, it’s really important for them to have all their ducks in a row because if they don’t, it could cause a lot of problems down the road — and you don’t want to be associated with a nonprofit organization that comes under fire for mismanagement.
The organization you choose to work with should have processes in place. They should have a working relationship with non profit lawyers who help them review the fine print of contracts, decide on what’s a reasonable amount of pay for employees, and help them put board and committee members in place who are trustworthy.
Basically, you need to make sure the charity you work with has processes in place designed to keep itself out of trouble.
Additionally, consider how professional their signup process is. Do they have a streamlined professional process that uses an app, such as SignUp, to recruit volunteers or was the process chaotic and unorganized? If signing up to volunteer isn’t easy, there’s a good chance the rest of the organization’s processes are a mess too.
The Type of Volunteer Work You Want to Do
Not all volunteer programs are the same. There are several different options from which to choose.
- Short-term volunteer programs typically last between one week and three months. They don’t normally require volunteers to have professional qualifications, and you can find several overseas options.
- Long-term volunteer programs are usually focused on empowering and assisting people in the local area. They often require you to have professional skills or degrees and may offer you a small wage in exchange for the work you do.
- Conservation volunteer programs are ideal for people who are passionate about conservation or environmental work. The positions are typically very hands-on and give you the chance to work with endangered animals or threatened environments. Sustainable farming projects and clean-up efforts are also common.
- Relief or emergency volunteer programs recruit people to work in disaster areas, directly with people who need it the most. Typically, they work in areas affected by natural disasters to help local people get necessities and rebuild their lives.
Whether the Organization Is a Good Fit for You
When deciding whether an organization is a good fit for you, the main thing you need to consider is its main aims and goals. To find this, you can check out the organization’s website or social media pages to see if they have a mission statement, beliefs, or values posted.
You should also consider how the local community is involved in the local organization, especially if it’s an overseas opportunity. Sometimes, there are capable people who live locally who could assist with the organization’s efforts, but they either aren’t willing to get involved or the organization decided to seek out volunteers in an effort to find free labor.
Vetting nonprofit organizations may take some time, but you’ll be a lot happier with your efforts if you choose a charity that’s trustworthy and well-operated. Not only will your experience likely be better, but you’ll also have the chance to make a bigger impact on people’s lives, the way animals are treated, or the environment — and really, that’s what working with a nonprofit organization is all about.