Volunteering is a cornerstone of making a difference in the community and supporting the important work of nonprofit organizations. The Denver Foundation's 2005 Giving and Volunteering Study found that 74% of Metro Denver residents do some kind of work each month for no money in service to people or causes outside of their households. Many nonprofits attribute their success to individuals volunteering their time. For example, many programs rely on volunteer mentors to work with at-risk youth or volunteer drivers to deliver food to the elderly. You can help to improve life in Metro Denver by volunteering today!
- Metro Volunteers, Denver's volunteer center, helps individuals, families, and corporate and community groups find volunteer opportunities with diverse service organizations throughout the Metro Denver area. Their capacity-building programs and services allow volunteers to work hand-in-hand with nonprofit organizations to develop strong and vibrant communities. Nearly 100,000 potential volunteers utilize their website and other services annually to build community and meet critical needs. For more information, please contact Metro Volunteers at 303.282.1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at http://www.metrovolunteers.org/.
List of Resources
The following are websites dedicated to connecting individuals with volunteering opportunities in the nonprofit sector. These sites offer a variety of online services to support engagement in the nonprofit sector. They provide information about volunteering opportunities available in communities nationally and internationally, including opportunities specifically in Colorado. Check them out to find a volunteering opportunity best for you.
- AmeriCorps (http://www.americorps.org/)
- Idealist (http://www.idealist.org/)
- Metro Volunteers (http://www.metrovolunteers.org/)
- Network for Good (http://www.networkforgood.org/)
- Points of Light Foundation (http://www.pointsoflight.org/)
- Volunteer Connection of Boulder County (http://www.volunteerconnection.net/)
- VolunteerMatch (http://www.volunteermatch.org/)
If you are specifically interested in joining a board, please contact Metro Volunteers (http://www.metrovolunteers.org) to find out information about board opportunities near you.
Tips for Volunteering
- Many people donate and volunteer within their own families. Think about what you most enjoy doing to help your family and use that as a starting point to explore other interests.
- Determine your motivations and goals for volunteering. Why do you want to volunteer? Motivations and goals can include meeting new people, gaining work skills and experience, or simply giving back to the community.
- Identify skills and talents that you can bring as a volunteer. Are you most interested in volunteering directly with people, in a back office, at a special event, or in another way?
- Choose an issue you care about. Are you interested in arts, youth development, health, homelessness, education, etc.? If so, there are many nonprofits in the Metro Denver area that work in various areas of interest. Contact Metro Volunteers to find out how you connect with a nonprofit or support an issue that's important to you.
- Research nonprofit organizations doing good work in your areas of interest. Visit the Colorado Nonprofit Association website at http://www.coloradononprofits.org/, or The Denver Foundation's website at http://www.denverfoundation.org/. Organizations that have received dollars from The Denver Foundation's Community Grants Program have undergone rigorous review for quality of service and efficiency.
- Consider how much time you have to volunteer. Is it a couple of hours a month or can you only help on weekends? Whatever it is, nonprofits appreciate any help you can give. Ask potential nonprofits what expectations they have of you as a volunteer. Ask how your volunteer time will help the nonprofit achieve its mission?
- Make it a social outing. Volunteer with friends, family, business associates, and neighbors.