It’s National Volunteer Month – Volunteering Helps Your Community, Career and Health
Volunteering is at an all-time high in the U.S., according to a November 2018 report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). In 2017, 30.3% of adults volunteered through an organization, up 6% from the previous year.
Volunteering creates enormous value in local communities and nationwide. In fact, CNCS estimates that in 2017, Americans’ time spent volunteering equated to $167 billion in economic value. Nonetheless, with everything that’s already on your plate – from work responsibilities to personal obligations – you may feel like you don’t have any time to spare for volunteering. But before you rule it out, consider what volunteering can do for your career and well-being (in addition to your community)!
Professional and Personal Benefits of Volunteering
For starters, 97% of career advisors surveyed by Movingworlds agreed that candidates with volunteer experience on their resume are more likely to get their preferred job. In the same survey, almost 80% of career advisors said that skills-based volunteering helps build a person’s professional network.
What’s more, a 2012 study published in Psychological Science found that volunteering promotes an increased sense of work-life balance, giving volunteers the perception that they have more time in their week. Other research has shown that volunteering generally reduces stress – not only contributing to emotional wellness, but also improving physical health outcomes.
Volunteer Opportunities That Can Boost Your Career
Those interested in reaping the professional and personal benefits of volunteering can apply to volunteer at SCORE. Score, an expert volunteer network providing free mentoring to 138,000 small business owners a year, offers volunteer opportunities for individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds. Volunteer roles include:
- Mentors: Use their industry-based knowledge and expertise to help business owners who are looking for guidance.
- Subject matter experts: Collaborate with experienced mentors to offer advice in their specific area of expertise.
- Workshop presenters: Educate through giving presentations on specific small business topics.
- Chapter support: Assists their local chapter with marketing, finance, scheduling and other key administrative tasks.
The time commitment at SCORE is flexible. Whereas mentors may dedicate a few hours a week to SCORE, subject matter experts often donate just a few hours a month. Regardless of how much time they donate, SCORE volunteers feel gratified knowing that their work makes a measurable, meaningful impact on the small business owners they serve. In 2018, SCORE mentors helped their clients start 32,387 businesses, adding 135,687 jobs to the economy. To learn more about volunteering with SCORE, visit www.score.org/volunteer.
If SCORE ultimately isn’t the right fit, you can still find other volunteer opportunities that will be valuable to your career and your community! Sites like Volunteer Match, LinkedIn and Movingworlds enable you to search volunteer opportunities based on location, organization type and skills requirements.
National Volunteer Month isn’t over yet – so start your volunteer journey now, and take that altruistic spirit into the rest of the year!
This guest post was authored by Bridget Weston
Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the SCORE Association. In this role, Bridget is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies for the organization to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and training services.