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Don’t Wait to Advocate

There’s no doubt that volunteering is a rewarding task, whether you’re considered a newbie or a service project pro. Helping others out just feels good. And in order to get the best volunteer experience possible, you need to be passionate about the subject. It’s time to stop sitting back and to start being an advocate for what you believe in. That way, you will feel even more in tune to the organization. Even the shyest person can be a volunteer advocate, and here is how.

Pick Your Passion
This is the easiest part about becoming an advocate. Think about what really sparks your passion. There is probably a topic that hits home for you because it has affected your life, or you’ve just always had an interest in the subject. Then think about how you can reach out to that specific cause. Search online for organizations near you.

Reach Out to an Organization
Now that you’ve found an organization with a mission you can believe in, volunteer with them. The best way to get to know the organization is to start small. You don’t have to automatically try for a spot on the board of directors, but you do need to start learning the ins and outs of the organization. Once you know the people and the way the organization works, it’s up to your own judgment to know if it’s a good fit for you. Then ask them how you can help spread the word. Advocating will only work if you truly believe in the organization you’re backing.

Find Your Strengths
There are several ways to advocate, and it all depends on what you’re good at. If you’re known for your extrovert qualities, you’ll have no problem. Target groups that would have an interest in your mission. Then get up in front of them and speak from your heart. Tell about the rewarding parts of volunteering, and about why your cause is the best.

If you’re shy, you don’t have to be the person up in front of a huge crowd. Start smaller by helping with mailings or maybe talk about the organization with individuals that you know. This should help you build confidence to start talking with others about the organization. It doesn’t hurt to come prepared with information pamphlets or handouts to ease your nerves.

Reap the Benefits
If you’re out advocating for an organization, people will remember you. And when they come in to volunteer, you’ll feel great when they know who you are and say that you’re the reason they chose the organization to donate their time. So find something you care about and advocate to feel more fulfilled with your volunteer experience.

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    LSA is a grantee of the Legal Services Corporation.