If you have ever been involved in volunteer work, you know how intrinsically rewarding it can be to make a difference in the lives of others.

Employee-sponsored volunteer events are becoming more common and with good reason.

According to a study done by United Healthcare, employees who volunteer report a multitude of benefits, including stronger bonds with coworkers, improved people/teamwork skills, and an overall increase in both happiness and self-esteem.

For these very reasons, you may have considered furthering your volunteerism and making it a more regular part of your life. Not sure where to start? We have some pointers for you to help you get involved with your community in a lasting capacity.
Research Your Options

Researching is the first step to finding volunteer opportunities. Try using a volunteer database, such as volunteermatch.org, to find opportunities near you. If you’re local, check out volunteermckinney.org! Sites like these will help you learn and understand your community’s needs as you search for a cause that speaks to your heart.

Consider Your Skills
Can your professional skill set assist others in need? You’d be surprised! Many organizations need skilled and experienced help with a variety of projects.

According to Catchafire, a skill-based volunteer matching service, “Nonprofits provide critical support for their communities, but limited budgets can block them from hiring the expert talent they need to operate most effectively. Skills-based volunteering can bridge that gap.”

Could you be the person to bridge that gap for a nonprofit? Use your talents for good while broadening your experience—and furthering your resume as an added bonus.

Reach Out to a Local Organization

Select an organization from your research to contact. You can also consider connecting with a local church or school district to learn about ways you can either help them directly or participate in their efforts to help others.

Now, pick up the phone! Send that email! You will be glad you did.

In the words of the inspirational Mahatma Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”