There is some good news for volunteers and job seekers! Aside from the obvious benefits that volunteering has on nonprofits and the community at large, volunteering might just increase your chances of employment! According to the Corporation for National & Community Service’s new report, Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, volunteers are 27% more likely to find employment than non-volunteers.
Why does volunteering impact employment?
As discussed in Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment, volunteering can increase your chances of employment by:
- Expanding your social network. When volunteering, you have the opportunity to build close relationships with nonprofit staff and volunteers who have all sorts of different experiences and connections they can share with you.
- Giving you experience. Employers want proof that you can get the job done and the best way to do this is by showing them your experience.
- Creating a positive impression in the job market. Even though job searching can be a full-time job, employers like to know that you were busy with something other than job searching while you were unemployed.
For all you who are in the process of starting a nonprofit,
you may find this true of your start up endeavors: volunteering helps you
obtain connections you need in the field, gain skills and knowledge in
nonprofit best practices and establish your credibility in the sector.
What does this mean if I’m in the job market or interested in starting a nonprofit?
If you are looking for work or interested in starting a nonprofit, make sure to seek out volunteer opportunities that challenge you. Identify your weaknesses and skill gaps and try to find volunteer opportunities that will force you to exercise those weaknesses. Don’t limit yourself to volunteering at the same organizations that you’ve always volunteered at; try volunteering with new organizations, so that you can meet new people and expand your social network.
How do I get involved in the volunteer scene?
Here are some great places to look for volunteer opportunities:
- Volunteer Match is a national database of volunteer opportunities.
- Idealist.org posts volunteer opportunities and jobs from across the country. They also have a great blog for young professionals looking to enter the nonprofit sector.
- Hands on Atlanta Volunteer Search allows you to search for volunteer opportunities in the Metro Atlanta area.
- Giving Point is a volunteer database specifically for students.
on Atlanta Team Works is a 6-8 week program that allows you to sample a diverse array volunteer experiences and
meet new people. The program brings volunteers together in teams on Saturday
mornings and focuses on a different community issue at a different organization
each week. This is a really great program for people looking to expand their
Lauren Kline, Program Associate, Foundation Center-Atlanta