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6 Considerations for Volunteer Work

 


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Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding experiences an individual can have. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 64.3 million people volunteered for charities and their corresponding organizations in 2011, which is a little over 26 percent of all people over 16 years of age. Charities and their recipients receive great benefits from volunteer work, while the volunteers feel a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment. Before deciding which charity event would benefit the most, here are 6 suggestions for finding the right one.

  • Reason
  • Commitment
  • Cause
  • Ability
  • Development
  • Taxes

Reason

Everyone has a reason for doing the things they do. Volunteer work is no different in the that aspect. Some people may do it for the sense of accomplishment, while others may be doing it to expand their network or meet people of like interests. Every volunteer has their own reason, and a charity isn't going to turn someone down simply because the volunteer feels it's just a great way to meet people.

Commitment

Some organizations may require extensive interactions while others may only need a few moments of time. There is a vast difference between passing out fliers for a day than agreeing to help build the new addition on a local church. Know how much commitment is needed and how much time is available to be donated before agreeing to the volunteer work.

Cause

Every charitable event has a cause at the center of the function. It may be for increasing awareness about a particular disease, raising revenue for a medical procedure or any number of justifiable causes. Each cause has its own merit and needs. Working for a cause with a personal investment or experience may have more meaning and be more rewarding than simply doing volunteer work.

Ability

Every person has their own set of skills and sources. It can be essential to finding a charity that utilizes abilities that are already developed. A mason with experience and tools would be the best volunteer for building a block out-building for a local school, and a writer for creating pamphlets and fliers. Finding the right charity with the right skill set can make the work much more enjoyable for both the charity and the person volunteering.

Development

Some charities require training to perform the job correctly. The organization trains participants before sending them to their assignments. The skills that are developed can be used on future projects and even claimed on applications for future employment. Gaining employable skills while volunteering can become an influential factor for deciding the best charity to donate time to.

Taxes

As base as this may sound, it can be a huge benefit for volunteers. The time dedicated to a project can not be written off with the IRS, but any out-of-pocket expenses can be. Paying for conventions, uniforms and other supplies may also be tax deductions. The IRS has strict rules about special deductions and any information regarding volunteer work can be found in IRS Publication 526 Charitable Contributions.

Finding the right charity is just as important as donating time and effort for a good cause. Benefiting from doing so shouldn't be forgotten about. Developing skills, expanding networks and helping others can be done together, and most charities will simply be glad someone contributed. There is no reason why everyone involved can't benefit in some way.

Kristi has done volunteer work individually as well as with other writers . She has a sense of great accomplishment when his skills can be used to benefit those in need. She also recommends finding the right cause with the right skill set, so it seems less like work and more like volunteering.

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