Previously, we offered tips on selecting charities in your local community. This time, we want to explain the benefits of volunteering and what it can do for you and those you serve. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to volunteer, this list will hopefully help you make the decision to get involved.
It’s Good for You
A growing body of research indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. Research conducted by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) presented in a report titled “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,” has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health. Bottom line: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression later in life and greater functional ability than those who do not volunteer.
You Get More Time
Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner wrote in the Harvard Business Review that her research found those who volunteer their time feel like they have more of it.
It’s Good for Your Career
Highly skilled professionals who volunteer in new industries gain experience that helps them switch fields. Also, if you plan on moving from the corporate world to the nonprofit sector, volunteering first can help you prove your commitment.
You Feel More Love
Love is hard to quantify, but researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness and found the more people volunteered, the happier they were.
There are myriad reasons to volunteer, all of which can positively affect your mind, body and even your career. Don’t know where to start? For those in the U.S., there are numerous opportunities in your local community through sites such as VolunteerMatch.org.
No matter what you choose, you will enjoy increased health and happiness through your volunteer efforts.