There are many ways to give to your charity of choice, but one of the most effective ways to give back is to donate time – that is to say, volunteer. Being generous with your time is beneficial to both you and to your cause of choice.
The effort to eliminate poverty worldwide would not have advanced as far as it has without the hard work of thousands of volunteers – and continued initiatives to reduce poverty will require more volunteers as well. Here are three reasons why you should donate your time.
1. Volunteering Benefits Charities
When volunteers give their time to an organization, it allows that organization to use the money it would have otherwise paid someone to do the same task to make improvements elsewhere. According to the University of California San Diego, an average volunteer hour is worth $15.39. Volunteering permits organizations to make intelligent decisions about where that money is better spent.
Giving your time also saves you money, allowing you to invest it in other causes as you see fit – it truly spreads the wealth in more ways than one.
2. You Reap the Rewards
As opposed to donating money, donating your time allows you to see first-hand the difference you’re making. Volunteering also allows you to meet new people, explore new causes and develop skills that may be useful to you later in life. Not only that, volunteers often end up learning lessons that stick with them throughout their entire lives and lead to other opportunities.
3. Your Community is Enhanced
No matter what cause you support, donating your time enhances your community in that it brings people together. Even if your efforts aren’t aimed locally (for instance, in nearby schools, youth programs or elderly facilities), working to better the world makes your community a better place to live. Engaging in service strengthens individuals’ sense of “civic responsibility” and encourages further investment into communities everywhere.
Donating time is one of the best ways to give back to not only your charity of choice but also your community. In 2013, over a quarter of Americans volunteered in some fashion. Increasing the number of volunteers — and the hours they spend volunteering — across the world is sure to make a difference for a number of causes, poverty-elimination included.
– Elise L. Riley