This page will walk you through some strategies for crafting your own volunteer role or project.
Maybe you've looked for existing volunteer opportunities that match your interests and availability but have come up empty handed. Or you already knew that you were looking for something a little more choose-your-own-adventure. Maybe you are already volunteering somewhere but would like to propose something new to try there. All of these are examples of DIY volunteering!
If you haven't already, read "How Can I Volunteer?" to determine your volunteer interests.
Then, if you haven't already, do a quick search for existing volunteer opportunities that might meet your criteria.
There may be an ideal volunteer opportunity already out there for you to try, thus saving you the work of creating the project from scratch as well as providing the support of an existing organization. At a minimum, doing this search can be a great first step for crafting your DIY volunteer project or role as you'll likely learn a bit more about which organizations are doing similar or complementary work in your area.
After your search, if you still haven't found the volunteer opportunity you were looking for—or if you found an organization doing interesting work but not the specific volunteer role or project you had in mind—move on to Step Two.
Now that you have a better picture of what's already out there, as well as a clearer idea of what types of activities you'd like to undertake, time commitment you anticipate, and issue or cause you'd like to address, you're ready to start thinking through the specifics. Here are a few questions that you'll need to answer:
Consider checking out these toolkits to help you work out the details of your project:
Hopefully you now have a plan for the what, when, why, where, and how of your DIY idea.
One final step before you can dive in is to think about structure and community partners.
Specifically, is your project something that you want to run on your own, like an unincorporated grassroots organization?
Or is it something, especially in the case of a DIY volunteer role, that might fit really well in partnership with, or under the umbrella of, an existing organization?
If you plan to propose your project or role to an organization in the hopes that they take it on, here are few things to keep in mind: