Guest Blogger Kaitlyn Moore Offers Insight, Tips on Volunteering
I’ve worn many hats as a volunteer – grant researcher, envelope stuffer, fundraiser and event planner, to name a few. When I stop to reflect on these experiences, I’m struck by the fond memories, lessons learned and breadth of opportunities I’ve had. Through volunteering I’ve tried new things, honed my own technical skills and learned invaluable soft skills from nonprofit leaders, like how to champion your cause and inspire people. I think about just a few weeks ago, in the midst of so many professional and personal competing priorities, I got the morale boost and clarity I needed from working on the Give an Hour Women in Leadership blog and absorbing inspirational advice from Jess and Trina.
I am proud to say I am a Give an Hour volunteer – helping the organization to develop communication content for many of their important initiatives. In my career at Aetna, I focus on behavioral health and mental well-being strategy. My volunteer work at Give an Hour is a great complement because it helps meme see the industry from another lens.
A recent study found that the biggest barrier to volunteering among those who want to get involved is that they are unsure how to do so.1 So I thought I’d share some advice from my experience for those looking to get more involved:
- Tap into your network: Chances are your bosses, mentors and coworkers have cultivated a network full of volunteer opportunities. Ask them about what they do to volunteer and, if it sounds interesting, see if they’d be willing to make an introduction for you.
- Keep an open mind: Volunteering can come in so many forms. I’ve stuffed many envelopes but I’ve also planned fundraising events and hosted an Easter egg hunt for children living in a local shelter. Now, in my time at Give an Hour, I support their communications department using a part of my brain I don’t get to use every day at work. Think about your skill set and interests and be ready to share them when you talk with a prospective organization
- Immerse yourself in a new organization: Nonprofits are full of inspiring people who bring another level of passion to their work. The opportunity to work with and learn from them is something I cherish. What always surprises me is how open they are – keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to just reach out and offer support!
- Connect to something that resonates with you: I am passionate about mental health and my fiancé recently left the Military. So, I am always happy to support Give an Hour in any way I can because I know first-hand how important the work they do is.
If you’re interested in volunteering, I’d encourage you to consider Give an Hour. You can reach them here.
1 Points of Light. A look at American civic engagement amid a global pandemic.