Questions to Ask

Set Yourself Up for Success

Before you start any type of volunteer opportunity, make sure you know what’s expected of you.

Browse through an organization’s website and social media pages to understand their personality. Speak with a volunteer manager to find out what positions are available.

Asking the right questions will help you understand what your experience will be like. The list below can be a helpful starting point when considering a volunteer opportunity.

Things to Consider Before Volunteering

  • Does this position require training? A background check? Transportation?

    Some volunteer opportunities may require training(s) to brief volunteers on their expectations, the organization’s needs, and the environment.

    Background checks are common across the board, especially when the positions involve working with children.

    A few volunteer positions may require you to drive (e.g., delivering goods to an event).

  • If my application is accepted, when would I start?

    All volunteer opportunities differ in their schedules. Keep in mind that background checks can take a few weeks to process. Additionally, if an organization is working with a school, they may be closed during the holidays or have certain days off.

    There’s no “usual” timeline, so it’s important to be flexible and patient.

  • Who would I work with?

    This will ultimately depend on the program or organization you choose. Some programs involve working directly with students or learners who need help. There are a few organizations that need help staffing a hotline or writing for their website.

    There are many ways to get involved, so consider what you’re interested in volunteering for before looking at available opportunities.

  • What are the benefits of volunteering?

    First and foremost, volunteering allows you to make a positive impact in the community.

    However, it also lets you gain hands-on career and interpersonal skills that can be useful throughout your life. You can expand your network, develop new relationships, and explore new passions and interests you might not have considered otherwise.

  • What typical challenges do volunteers face in this role?

    It’s important to know what exactly you’re getting yourself into when you sign up for a position. Will the organization be the right fit for you physically and emotionally?

    Tip: Ask to speak with current or former volunteers to get insights into their experiences.

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