Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Find Fulfilling Volunteer Opportunities for a Purpose-Filled Retirement with These 3 Networking Tips


As a senior, you may find yourself wondering how to fill up newly freed-up time. Volunteering is a terrific option that allows you to stay productive even as you relax and enjoy the fruits of a life of hard work. You wouldn't be alone, either. Statistics show that 28% of individuals aged 65 and older reported engaging in volunteer activities in 2021. Volunteering allows you to try new things and comes with advantages such as connecting with others. Research also shows that it raises happiness levels. There are many volunteer opportunities out there that cover a wide variety of interests and skills. Here are three networking tips to help you locate the one that best suits you. 


1. Connect Over the Internet

The internet is filled with websites that can help you find volunteer opportunities by either providing recommendations or directly connecting you with organizations. For example, VolunteerMatch allows you to search for ones close to your home and then click on listings you are interested in to start getting involved. Job boards are another place you can look, as is your local chamber of commerce. Nonprofits occasionally post on job sites to search for volunteers. For example, by visiting freelance job boards, you may be able to find volunteer work as a translator.


Social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are also excellent for finding volunteer opportunities. Post that you are searching for volunteer opportunities and briefly outline your relevant skills, and you will be surprised by the number of people who offer suggestions or reach out to see if you are a good fit for their organization's needs. 


If you don't have the time or transportation means for in-person volunteering, virtual volunteering is flexible. Among the available options are Crisis Text Line, Project Gutenberg, Zooniverse, Librivox, and Cards for a Cause. While some may have more stringent requirements, others ask nothing more of you than making an account to get started. 


2. Contact Specific Organizations 

If you already have an organization in mind, initiating direct contact may be the way to go. Write an email or even send a physical letter to the main office. Contact staff members through social media asking if they need volunteers or for the chance to talk to them. Before doing so, do your research. Demonstrate that your interest is genuine by knowing the facts, including what the company does and its values.


3. Reach Out After Meeting 

Don't get into contact once and never reach out again. In the busy rush of life, individuals from charity organizations may forget you. One of the best ways to avoid this is to reach out again and remind them of who you are and your interest in volunteering for their company, whether that is through email, letter, social media, or phone. Maintain relationships with these people. 


Networking is vital to effective volunteering. Making use of available internet resources, taking the initiative, and contacting organizations and following up after initial contact can help you find the volunteer opportunity that gives you the most fulfillment and enjoyment. 


A guest post from Dan Hall


Photo credit: Pexels.com 


Thanks Dan!

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