As Community Engagement Coordinator for CopperPoint Insurance Companies, I’ve helped countless employees and executives find a charity partner to call home. If you’re ready to volunteer but don’t know where to start, try answering the following questions to determine your interests and availability. Soon, you’ll be ready to lend your time and talents to the nonprofit that’s just right for you.
What’s your passion?
- What’s important to you: a social cause, the environment, education or something else?
- Do you like working with kids, animals or seniors?
- Do you prefer behind-the-scenes support?
What activities do you enjoy?
- Working outside? Painting/building?
- Planning events and being creative?
- Is it important to include your family/children?
- Do you want to use skills you use in the course of your work (re: accountant working with a budget, graphic designer helping with materials) or do you want something totally different?
What is your availability?
- Are you looking for intermittent events or an ongoing commitment?
- Are you available on weekends or evenings only?
- Find out if your employer will approve volunteering during the workday. CopperPoint employees receive up to 12 hours of paid time off to volunteer each year.
Once you have answered these questions, here are some next steps:
- Find a friend who volunteers and tag along.
- Check out websites like Hands on Greater Phoenix and Valley of the Sun United Way where you can view multiple opportunities for a variety of causes.
- Look around! There may be volunteer options close to your home or office. If you have children in school or you live near a school, ask if they need volunteers. It could be in the classroom, putting together packets for teachers, or sorting books in their library after school.
- If you have tickets for the arts such as the ballet or theater, those organizations usually have activities for volunteers. Sometimes you may even get free tickets!
- Once you commit to a project or task, consider it like a job. Many nonprofits depend on volunteers and your time is as important to the nonprofit as it is to you. Be courteous and let someone know if you can’t be there.