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Volunteer work is an excellent opportunity to get involved in your local community and help those in need. There is an overabundance of organizations that are always looking for me people to serve. The tricky part comes when you are trying to navigate where it is you are going to dedicate your time and efforts to volunteer. When taking the time to decide where to volunteer, there are several tips to follow on how you should determine where it is you will serve.

It’s important before choosing a place to volunteer that you know your area of expertise, and what you have to offer. Typically organizations are looking for volunteers in precise areas to serve, such as fundraising, marketing, and finance. Some are looking for specific skill sets such as mentoring, coaching, writing, or even web design. Think about the area that you feel you could best assist in, and see what organizations need volunteers in that particular area.

Consider your availability before you go and volunteer somewhere. If your schedule is extremely busy with work and other obligations, you may want to reconsider. When your schedule is already busy enough, volunteer work can cause you to burn out quickly. Take time to think carefully before committing to any volunteer organization. If you are still set on volunteering, look at working with an organization on the weekend so that you can meet your work obligations during the week.

Decide how it is that you want to make a difference with your volunteer work before deciding where to dedicate your time and efforts. Some people choose to volunteer for local nonprofit organizations where they can see immediate results from their work. Others want to serve on a much larger scale for national organizations to make a difference across the country. Others who prefer to work by themselves may volunteer online virtually to do all that they can to serve. It’s always a great idea to try to interview with the organization and get a feel for what it would be like volunteering there before committing. They should be able to provide all the information that you need to make an informed decision.