Have you ever signed up for volunteering and then disappeared?
Here’s how you can stop being a ghost volunteer.
How to not be a ghost volunteer — volunteers who express interest and then disappear?
You are interested in volunteering — that’s great! As a next step, you sign up for volunteering activities. Somehow though,
you never see the finish line.
Have you wondered why?
Did you unexpectedly become busy? Did you sign up without completely understanding the volunteering opportunity? Let us take you through some of the ways which can prevent you from being a ghost volunteer. That is, you sign up for volunteering projects and then go underground (not literally!).
Choose your volunteering project carefully
You might have signed up for volunteering projects out of sheer enthusiasm. But do you have the skill sets that the project requires? In case of a mismatch of skills, you might get demotivated, choose to remain silent or, quietly drop out. So, choose a volunteer project based on your skills.
Understand the time commitment required for volunteering
Are you available for the time required to complete the volunteering project? Have you taken into account any upcoming official or personal commitments? These considerations will help plan to allocate time better in pursuing the volunteering project.
Respect deadlines set for the volunteering projects
When NGOs seek voluntary support for preparing project proposals, annual reports, newsletters or, managing a social media campaign, they also have their deadlines to meet. Sticking to the deadlines set for the volunteering projects will ensure that we complete them and also provide timely support to the NGO.
Manage your volunteering time
You can plan and set aside time for volunteering. For example, if a volunteering project will require a month to complete. Then you can set aside a similar time frame every week — Saturday, 4 pm to 6 pm depending upon your schedule.
Get your family’s support
Does your family know of your interest to volunteer? Have you discussed it with them? Their support becomes vital. For instance, your spouse may pitch in to help finish your child’s project work while you are volunteering. Or, they could help in giving you space and time to engage in the volunteering activity.
Focus on one volunteering opportunity at a time
Do you usually sign up for too many volunteering opportunities and then fail to keep track? While first starting to volunteer, it is okay to sign up for fewer or just one activity only. As you build experience and learn how to manage your volunteering time, you could think of taking on more volunteering projects.
These were some of the tips that could help you in becoming an efficient and effective volunteer for an NGO. Identify what stops you from volunteering and find remedies to take proactive steps.
To Sum Up:
Timely volunteer support becomes essential for the smooth functioning of NGOs as they work with disadvantaged communities and critical social issues such as environmental conservation, animal welfare, health, education, etc.
So, next time when you sign up for a volunteering project, please check if you have the time, skills and a supportive environment to finish it.
If you have hit all the checkboxes shared in this blog and wish to start volunteering, then visit our current volunteering opportunities here: https://www.connectfor.org/virtualvolunteering/
Happy Successful Volunteering!
— Blog by Padmapriya N, Volunteer, ConnectFor.