The impact of your volunteer hours
There are countless ways to volunteer in community efforts that don't take lots of time.
Volunteering in your community can make such a difference — even if it's only two hours at a time.
Ask some people about ways to volunteer in community efforts, and they might come up empty handed. It can be hard to figure out how to start volunteering, and full schedules as well as uncertainty contribute to inertia. And many might feel an hour or two of giving won't matter to an organization or their community but that is not true.
Even the smallest volunteer hours and tasks have a big impact. Think about a small increment of time — perhaps simply the same amount that you might spend watching a movie. Give those hours to local nonprofit and charitable groups and you can help bring lasting change to your community. In part that's because acts of service benefit organizations by freeing up hours and resources for staff to devote to other efforts, making a profound economic impact. According to TheNonProfitTimes, just one volunteer hour equates to approximately $28.54 in help to a nonprofit.
According to the Independent Sector, about 77.4 million people in the United States volunteered about 6.9 billion hours of their time resulting in $187.7 billion to build and help communities. Volunteers allow charities to do more without spending more.
Positive effects of volunteering
In addition, even small amounts of time spent volunteering can have a positive chain-reaction effect on your community — your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and even yourself. Volunteering boosts quality of life by helping you forge new relationships, relieves stress and anxiety, improves your physical and mental health and boosts self-esteem. Volunteering as a family can be a great way to instill a spirit of giving together at a young age.
Grants and employee volunteer programs
Many corporations and employers have charitable and nonprofit giving programs. Check with your employer to see if they have a program for donating funds based on the hours you donate to a certain cause. Some corporations even offer matching dollar donations to the nonprofits that their employees volunteer for or support.
In addition, some organizations offer employees paid days to volunteer. Others provide product donations, grants or cash donations. You may be surprised at what programs many employers and organizations offer.