Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 Questions to ask Before you Volunteer

Do volunteer positions keep popping up in your radar? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before giving a Yes or No:


1. Will my Family directly benefit from this Position? • if I'm volunteering for 7 organizations and my husband and kids do not directly benefit from it, I might not need to volunteer. My family is my priority, so I closely study the benefit of every volunteer position to see it they meet my current family goals. If volunteering is taking away from precious time with family it won't be beneficial. 
2. Am I volunteering because of guilt?  guilt might get you somewhere but it will not keep you there. Guilt is a negative feeling and negativity does not beget positivity. Pay attention if you are being manipulated to join an organization because of guilt. The feeling every leader wants volunteers to have is serving out of a heart of generosity not out of guilt. 
3. Is this position part of my core strength?  don't accept a position that does not match your core strength. I won't accept a position as the person responsible for crafts in my mommy group because crafts are not part of my core strength and I don't have any interest in developing that area. When you're offered a position you're not gifted in, resist the temptation to join just to be part of an organization. There's more joy in doing something you're good at or something you have interest in. The key is to always know which strengths you can bring to an organization. A great follower is better than a marginal leader.
4. Is this a never ending contract?  don't accept any volunteering position without a clear deadline. Go ahead and have the deadline conversation up front even if it means renegotiating your position on an annual basis. This principle benefits both parties because you feel like you are working with an end in mind. When you have a deadline you can better set goals and pursue them aggressively. It is also good to train someone else to fill your spot when you have a deadline. It is a good thing to hold volunteer positions with an open hand: you do your best work but you also give room for others to lead and learn.
5. Is God calling me to volunteer in this capacity? • because I'm a Christian, this should be the most important question in this equation. When God calls, He equips and provides. I'm not saying everything will be easy but your efforts will be blessed by God. Praying and asking God's guidance before you accept a position is a great way to know if you should say yes or no. I also get my husband involved in the process. He always helps me make good decisions when it comes to time commitment. Volunteering means giving time, which is our most valuable asset. Godly guidance is a must if we want our volunteering to bear fruit.

I hope these questions challenge and equip you as you help some awesome organizations out there. I'd love to hear your thoughts on other questions to ask yourself before accepting a position as a volunteer.

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