(514) 848-2424, ext. 5578
So, you want to volunteer! But... where do you start? Here's a checklist to get you started.
Volunteering in three easy steps:
- What do I expect from a volunteering experience?
- What are my personal goals?
- What are the talents, abilities and skills I want to share or develop?
- When am I available?
- How long of a commitment am I willing to make? (regular activity, short-term commitment, one-day event?)
- What type of cause do I want to contribute to? Do I want to support a specific clientele? (If you had all the resources necessary, what problem would you want to solve? What would you do with your time? Your answers may point to a cause that matters to you.)
- How far am I willing to travel? Do I want to volunteer close to home, close to work or school? What are my transportation needs?
- What kind of environment do I prefer to work in? (indoors? outdoors?)
Finding the right volunteer opportunity for you is not unlike finding a job. While volunteer listings are great to get you started, nothing stops you from being more pro-active.
If you know what cause you want to work for, research local organizations that work for this cause. Most non-profits have a website which lists volunteer opportunities. Don’t be afraid to contact the Volunteer Coordinator to offer assistance or propose a project!
Online resources such as the Volunteer Bureau of Montreal's database can facilitate your search.
Benefits of volunteering
Top ten most-cited benefits of volunteering
Students say that volunteering has allowed them to:
- Explore career options
- Develop interpersonal skills
- Improve career-related skills
- Gain experience which enhances their resume
- Gain self-confidence by tackling new challenges in a supportive environment
- Empower themselves by taking action to improve the world they live in
- Contribute to a cause they care about (environment, literacy, human rights, integration of new immigrants, a specific health-related issue, etc.)
- Enrich their lives by balancing their activities and connecting to their community
- Network and meet new friends
- Have fun!