Volunteering is a win-win opportunity.
People enjoy giving their energy to others, especially when doing so with friends or co-workers.
Research shows that volunteers who give time and money to others get a boost in their own happiness. Whether you’re helping out at an animal shelter or at your local place of worship, you’re bound to feel a deep sense of purpose for what you’re doing.
The bottom line in giving is that while the people or organizations you decide to help may seem like the most obvious winners, there’s much evidence to support the fact that the “givers” experience less stress, anxiety and depression in their own lives.
Sound like a benefit your employees could use? Here’s how to encourage your staff and employees to find their giving bliss, and help them identify which causes are closest to their hearts.
Get employees to think about their own interests
What do I truly enjoy? is a question your employees should ask themselves. The answer will likely point them in the right direction. Here are a few examples:
I enjoy animals. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Or foster puppies or kittens that are waiting for adoption.
I enjoy culture. Look for opportunities with local art museums or theater groups.
I enjoy my community. Be a local expert. Some towns and cities have volunteers who help guide tourists.
I enjoy the outdoors. Volunteer at a local, state or national park . Or sign up for a nearby trail or beach cleanup.
I enjoy my neighbors. Start a neighborhood watch group. Make a map with people’s names and numbers. Use it to check on each other during severe weather and power blackouts.
I enjoy exercise. Sign up for 5K charity races—participate, form a team, raise funds or offer to help during the event.
I enjoy my time at home. How about being a virtual volunteer? Area organizations may need clerical or other computer work you could do in your free time.
See what’s needed locally
Check out VolunteerMatch.org, the online database that helps pair volunteers to projects in their area.
The point to make is that giving gets you many things in return – meeting new people, a fresh outlook on issues in the world and additional education on topics you enjoy.
And, of course, there are those special and satisfying little perks — like the happily wagging tail of a shelter dog who knows you’re there to go for a walk together.
That’s a sight that’s always good for the soul.