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What should I consider before volunteering?

  • When are you available to do volunteer work?
  • You need to identify how much time you have available to volunteer
  • When can you volunteer; evenings, weekdays, weekends
  • What commitment can you make; short term, one off projects, once a week, long term etc.
  • What type of volunteer work you would like to do?
  • You need to consider what you would like to gain from volunteer work.
  • Think about what interests, hobbies or skills you have or would like to develop.
  • What locations are you willing to travel to the volunteer position?
  • You need to consider:
    • how you will travel; public transport or vehicle,
    • time and distance it will take,
    • financial costs involved in travelling; petrol or fares.

What should I consider when looking for a suitable volunteer position?

Is the organisation you wish to volunteer with a not for profit organisation or project (i.e. not a private company)?

Does the purpose of the organisation match your own values and beliefs?

Does the organisation offer the sort of work that interests you and can you maintain or develop you skills?

Will the organisation provide you with a written reference if you need one?

Does the organisation have a written volunteer policy explaining your rights and what you can expect from the organisation? Is it available for you to read?

Does the organisation have volunteer insurance to cover you for the volunteer work you will be doing?

Is there a written job description for the volunteer position you want and does it explain what you will be doing?

Is the organisation willing to provide you with written information about itself?

Does the organisation have a manager of volunteers or a contact person whose job is to support and supervise the volunteer program?

Will you receive adequate training and orientation for you to perform your job?

Will you be reimbursed for money spent on behalf of the organisation?