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Why assess your interests?

Now that you know a bit more about your multitude of options for getting involved as a volunteer, it's time to figure out the details.

  1. Thinking about your goals, interests, and skills may save you time and energy by steering you away from volunteer positions that just don't fit the bill, and towards roles you'll get a lot out of!
  2. The time you waste getting trained for an unwanted volunteer role wastes the time and energy for the organization, too. Now they have to go out and find, place, and train someone all over again.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, a bad fit can in some cases actually end up causing harm. For example, quitting a mentoring commitment early can damage the self esteem of a young person (who may have abandonment issues already).

Such consequences are the opposite of doing good. It's wise to be thorough in determining what a good volunteer fit is, for you. That said, participating in day-long service projects or other micro-volunteering efforts are effective ways of giving volunteering a try.