Tips for Volunteering

United Way of Wapello County and the Volunteer Center work with volunteers and local nonprofits to develop the best opportunities for you, busy working adults and seniors to serve. When you work with your local United Way or  Volunteer Center, you can feel confident about the quality of the opportunity you choose and about the organization you donate your time to support. Below are some tips for finding your ideal volunteer opportunity.

Find your passion

Whether it is helping children achieve their potential, helping families become financially stable or improving people's health, find out what cause is closest to your heart. When you feel passionate about a cause, both you and the organization will benefit from a better volunteer experience.

Consider the skills you have to offer

Would you like to write an agency's newsletter? Or would you rather work outside? Find something you enjoy doing and enhance your skills through volunteering. If you can’t find an opportunity that capitalizes on your skills, contact an agency and tell them what you have to offer. They may have a need that they haven’t considered, and you might be the solution.

Learn something new

Volunteering can also teach you valuable new skills that you can use in other parts of your life. You can offer to lead a project to gain leadership experience, or challenge yourself to try something new. Some organizations offer training or continuing education to their volunteers.

Be selective

Think about what matters to you, and be selective about where you spend your time. Your volunteer experience should make you feel good and support a cause you are passionate about. Having a good experience will make sure you want to go back.

Don't over-commit

Stick to a volunteering schedule that makes sense for you and leaves you time to enjoy the activity. Taking on too much can ruin a volunteer experience. Both you and the organization you volunteer for will benefit if you enjoy your experience and have enough time to do quality work.

Share the experience with family, friends or co-workers

Group volunteering is a wonderful way to bond with your family or co-workers. Days of Service like the Day of Caring or Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service are great ways to get your family and friends involved and build community momentum. The Volunteer Center can help you find a group project for your family or business any time throughout the year.