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    Donating Time or Services

    Donating your time, talent, and treasure to charities you love.

    What motivates you to volunteer may change over time


    The most important thing is to reflect on what drives you to volunteer - your passion. Then, you can find the right fit for what you have to offer and your life experiences.


    Volunteers are most powerful when they are eager and committed and when organizations have a plan and structure for how to use them effectively. At Charity Navigator, we advise volunteers, as well as the charities they work with, to start with a plan so that both get the most out of the experience. 


    For volunteers, we recommend taking a few moments to ask yourself the following questions:

    • What do I enjoy doing?
    • What do I not enjoy doing?
    • How would I like to make my community a better place?
    • How much time can I commit to volunteering? And when am I available?
    • Do I have any relevant or special skills to contribute?


    Taking the time to answer these questions honestly will help you create a plan for finding the right volunteer opportunity--one that inspires you to get involved, uses your skills and abilities, and avoids the things you really don’t like.


    Donating Your Talent

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    There are many articles on donating money or volunteering, but few on donating talent, that is your skills. Nonprofits are constrained in terms of the staff they can afford. Giving talent leverages specific skill sets that volunteers have in the management, planning, and execution of their mission. So, how do you best offer your talents?


    The first step is to reflect on what skill sets and experiences you have as well as why a nonprofit would benefit.


    The second step is to figure out what you are passionate about and determine which nonprofits need the support and align with those passions. If you already volunteer at a nonprofit that you think is terrific, you can ask them what they need on an ongoing basis and whether they can use your skills and experiences.


    You can also piggyback on other organizations such as your employer, church, or a service organization like Rotary or Kiwanis. Companies and educational institutions partner with nonprofits as a way of increasing their capabilities. These assignments might include setting up computer systems, social media management, and communications or establishing processes to improve performance.


    Rise Against Hunger asked North Carolina State University to suggest improvements to their supply chain to get meals from the U.S. to partner organizations overseas. The charity implemented recommendations to streamline their processes, reduce the time of shipping, and support food usage for receiving organizations.


    Many volunteers join the Board of Directors at nonprofits. This gives organizations a broad base of skills, such as governance, planning, operations, finance, human resources, and fundraising. Consulting services are also in demand for nonprofit organizations. Business strategy, marketing, finances, legal, and other professional services are some examples of consulting services you can volunteer.


    Donate Your Time, Talent, and Treasures to Organizations You Love


    Your time is as valuable as money. It can offer you enriching experiences and career opportunities. Your talents are needed by nonprofits to expand what they can offer programmatically and to improve internal efficiencies.