Ten Reasons to Volunteer

Ten Reasons to volunteer for a Non Profit Organisation
Article written by Dalene Ingham-Brown of Discover Africa

If you’re thinking about becoming a volunteer, you’re an absolute blessing. However, actions speak louder than words, and what better way to inspire you to take the final leap of kindness and sign up than to give you ten solid reasons why you should volunteer for a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO)

1. They need you
When you volunteer to help an organisation in need, they’re able to funnel their economic resources in the direction of making local improvements that directly help those in need. Know that you are a valuable part of the organisation, saving them up to R150 per hour! Your donation of time, is a donation to change.

2. Creating Ubuntu
Volunteers are great for building camaraderie and promoting team work… women volunteers especially. Dealing with different types of people from all walks of life, working together towards a common goal is a sure way to build a nation!

3. Builds self-esteem
Volunteering boosts self-esteem. By helping and learning you gain a stack of knowledge about the surrounding community. This knowledge, paired with that feel-good factor of being able to help others, means that you’re able to foster empathy and self-efficacy, which is the stuff that builds good ol’ self-esteem. Score.

4. Social responsibility
Volunteering for an organisation is a way of providing a valuable community service that proves to be a great investment in your community and others who live in it.

5. Boosts wellbeing
Getting out and helping others does wonders for your physical and mental health. It reduces stress and improves your mood. They say that when you shift your attention and efforts to others, you are more likely to lift your emotions to a positive state, and your actions interrupt usual tension-producing patterns, causing stress reduction… meaning less wrinkles!

6. Build a community
Depending on where you decide to focus your volunteering efforts, you make a real difference in the lives of those who the organisation serves. These efforts build up various elements that make up an entire community. A few of these elements within a community include:
• Support families (daycare and eldercare)
• Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
• Community Health (family and patient support and education)
• Protect animals (rescue and rehabilitation)
• Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
• Beautify the community (beach and park cleanups)

7. Learning
Volunteering helps you learn and grow in many ways. On a personal level, volunteers often discover hidden talents and passions that are directly linked to improving self-confidence.
Volunteers are also able to learn about how the government works and supports NPOs. Don’t we all just want to learn about government operations?
The community you volunteer within is also great in building your knowledge base. Involved in various projects, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about local resources that are used to aid community project needs.

8. Work experience
Being involved in any organisation is great work experience. If you help in the administration side of things then you will no doubt learn loads about people, planning and the running of an organisation. If you physically help with various projects it’s a brilliant way to get on the job experience, interacting with people or animals you may be interested to work with in your career at some stage.

9. Give back
Often volunteers decide to get involved with NPOs because they want to give back to the community they know and love. It’s also an opportunity for people to support community resources that they use themselves, or that they know makes a lot of difference to uplift a community. If an organisation has helped someone that you love, then giving back in the form of volunteering is an extremely generous, thoughtful, valuable way to show appreciation.

10. You make a difference
Every person who volunteers helps. A lot.