#GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, will take place on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Whether you’re a nonprofit engaging volunteers on #GivingTuesday, or an individual looking to give back, the following post (originally published on GivingTuesday.org) explains why “giving time” is a good idea.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “give”?
A donation of money? An act of kindness? A concession (i.e. “giving in” or “giving up”)?
How about volunteering?
Across the country and across the world, people are giving back to their communities by volunteering their time. Why? Plenty of reasons:
1. Volunteering is Good for Your Health
In 2013, UnitedHealth Group conducted a study on the link between health and volunteering called “Doing Good is Good For You.” They found that volunteering makes people feel better physically, emotionally and mentally. 76% of participants reported that volunteering made them feel healthier.
You may be wondering how volunteering could possibly be related to health. One big reason? Volunteering lowers stress, which not only improves general health, but improves your mood. Which leads me to point number two…
2. Volunteering is Good for Your Happiness
According to that same UnitedHealth Group study, 94% of volunteers report an improved mood from volunteering. And it’s not surprising. Volunteering can be fun.
Volunteering is a great way to meet others in your community with similar passions and get connected with your neighbors. Volunteering together with friends or coworkers can strengthen those relationships.
And beyond the fun, volunteering can give you a sense of purpose. By seeing how your actions are having a positive impact on your community, you’ll feel an unsurpassed sense of fulfillment.
At VolunteerMatch, we collect stories from our network of volunteers, and nearly every one is inspiring in some way. Becky, a volunteer at a hospice care facility, recently told us, “Other than raising my children, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything quite so meaningful!”
3. Volunteering is Good for Your Community
Let’s not overlook the obvious. People volunteer because they are needed in their communities. There is someone that needs help, a problem that needs to be fixed, or an improvement that can be made.
According to the National Council of Nonprofits, 85% of nonprofit organizations are entirely volunteer-run. Gina, who works at a no-kill cat shelter, said to us, “Without our volunteers, we would cease to exist.”
Furthermore, if you put a dollar amount to every volunteer hour, you would find that the amount of social value volunteers generate each year is astounding. Do you volunteer using your specialized skills? That number gets even higher. For example, $1.3 billion dollars of social value was created through connections made on VolunteerMatch.org alone in 2014.
Even if you have the means to give monetary donations this #GivingTuesday, consider giving your time as well. Working during the week? Volunteer the weekend prior, or the weekend after. While the exact date doesn’t matter, the act will carry you and your community to a better place.
To find your #GivingTuesday volunteer opportunity, visit VolunteerMatch.