When it comes to doing any kind of work, if you’re passionate about it then you’ll get better results. Think of a project you were assigned at work that really got you excited — I bet you put that excitement into the execution, right? As opposed to something you couldn’t care less about, the passion projects are always going to win.
So, let’s apply that concept to volunteer work. If we are volunteering for a cause that we’re truly passionate about, there’s nothing that’s going to hold us back from going the extra mile. As I write this I can’t help but think of all the people I know in animal rescue. They’re so completely dedicated to their work that oftentimes they’re in danger of burning out. (That’s a subject for another day though.) But, I’m not suggesting you have to be quite that dedicated. Most likely your volunteer work will be a side project or hobby, not a full-time job or commitment.
If you already know the cause you’re passionate about, then you’re halfway there! It just becomes a matter of what the needs are and how you can best help those needs. But, perhaps you haven’t found that cause that makes you want to jump right off the couch and go help. No worries, here are a few steps to get you in the right direction:
- Start Broad
Let’s start by breaking down your interests into three main categories: Animal, Environmental and Humanitarian. Choosing just one will help to narrow things down quite a bit. We’re going with a gut instinct or first reaction here — are you someone who is drawn to animals? Or loves to be out in nature? Or feels best when surrounded by people? To an extent we could be all three, but go with the one you feel most connected to.
- Consider Your Beneficiary
Sometimes you don’t know exactly which cause you want to help, but you know who or what you want to help. For example, you might really like cats — working with them will narrow down your options for volunteering. Or, you’re drawn to helping veterans because of your Grandparents history of serving our country. This more specific category can help narrow things down even more.
I hate to give you homework, but the next step is to do some research — Google is the best! Look into different issues and causes for your category and beneficiary and see how they make you feel. Again, we’re going to what stirs you to take action.
- Add Your Skills
Lastly, with or without the above, you could also consider basing your decision off of a certain skill you’re passionate about using. For example, if you love taking photos, then it might not matter what the cause is because you’ll be doing an activity you’re passionate about.
No matter how you get there, the key is that you’ll drive more results if you’re passionate about the cause you’re helping. So, do a little self-discovery and dig deep to find it!