Things to Do After Organization Selection
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Things to Do After Organization Selection: Making Certian It's a Good Match

You’re doing great and you are almost on your way to a fulfilling volunteer opportunity. The journey does not end with just finding a place to volunteer there are still a few things to consider to make sure that the organization and the volunteer assignment you choose or are given is right for you. This month’s Monthly Matter focuses on questions to ask yourself regarding your volunteer activities, time, cost and even where to draw the line if a volunteer situation goes bad.

You've Found the Perfect Place, Now What?


After shifting through the many organizations and opportunities available, your next step is to contact the organization. However, before you do that, prepare a list of questions you’ll want answered in the interview or for when you contact the organization. Be ready to actively participate in the conversation in an investigative way. Find out as much as you can about the place or places that interest you, especially as to how you might fit in. When you see how you will fit in, share your insight. Don’t be shy! Those looking for volunteers are just as eager to make a connect and find the right fit too.
Questions to ask yourself after you have selected an organization and project that will guide you in your overall evaluation:

General


1. How does the goal of the organization fit with my personal goals?
2. How do I feel about the organization?
3. Are the paid employees enthusiastic about the organization’s mission?
4. What kind of energy do you sense in the people and in the organization?
5. Is it the kind of energy you like and will mesh with?
6. If you visited the organization: do I like the people I met?
7. Do I share the same values as those I’ve met?
8. How do the people I met relate to one another?
9. What kind of attitude did I perceive in the organization about their clients and/or programs?
10. Do I share a similar attitude?
11. Based on what I’ve learned, am I and this organization a good match?

Activities


12. What services are available for me to prefer?
13. What is asked of me?
14. Is training needed?
15. Is training provided?
16. Will the duties satisfy any community service requirements I need to fulfill?
17. Will the duties satisfy my personal interest?
18. What am I willing to do?

Time

19. How much time is required?
20. How much free time do I actually have to give?
21. Which hours do have available?
22. How can I best fit my schedule into the needs of the organization?

Cost

23. How much will traveling expenses be to and from the organization?
24. Is a uniform required?
25. Will it be provided?
26. Are there other expenses involved?
27. Will these expense be reimbursed?

If you do not have an interview, it would be a good idea to visit the organization and meet the supervising people before hand. This way you can make sure it is a place you’ll feel comfortable and that the people are friendly.

Drawing the Line: When It’s Not Working Out

Common problems volunteers face when they get involved with an organization are:
• Resentment from paid staff.
• Demands beyond volunteer duties.
• Demands beneath (yes, beneath) volunteer duties. For example: cleaning toilets in a hospital was not what you meant by helping the sick)


Even with the best effort and intention on your part , it is possible that a particular volunteer assignment or organization just may not be right for you. If you have a problem with your job assignment, or your fellow volunteers, try a different job within the same organization. If you run into any other types of problems when volunteering, if you feel you can no longer fulfill your original time or service commitment or if you no longer want to work with the organization, don’t just stop showing up. Rather talk to someone in charge and see if you can improve the situation. If not give your notice and leave. Resign with as much consideration as possible. If possible give advance notice, just as you would with a paid job or try to complete a project already in progress. One of the best things is find someone to replace you with in the organization. Even if you leave a volunteer job, when handled maturely and in a business like manner, you would have learned from the experience. When your volunteer experience comes to a successful conclusion, ask for a letter of recommendation. It will be nice to have in your portfolio to show to colleges and future employers.

NOTE: Next month's Monthly Matter will be about Ways to Give Direct Service. Please let me know if any of this information has been useful to you. E-mail me at CMJPlatformPlace@yahoo.com. -----Catherine Jackson