When You're a Volunteer
- If you volunteer for a position, be sure to hold yourself to the same work ethic expected in the business world. Think twice about applying unless you're really ready to work.
- Be sure to follow up once you've offered your services. If you've waited a week or two to hear back from a nonprofit, call back. The organization is probably swamped with work and would be pleased to know of your real interest.
- The most successful volunteer is realistic about his or her expectations. In business, if you see things aren't working well and try to set them right, you usually get results. In a nonprofit, it's sometimes trickier. Don't get frustrated about the way things are done or simply assume ineptness on the part of the organization's managers. The fact is, they are often constrained by financial resources.
- If you have ideas for improving things, don't wait to be asked. Your input will probably be quite valuable. Just be sure not to push your suggestions too hard, and don't be hurt if nothing comes of your effort.