What Sort of Volunteer Are You?

Volunteering can be one of the most fulfilling activities you can participate in as an IU student. With the free time you have on days with no exams or Canvas assignments, you can have an impact on your community by heading over to My Sister’s Closet, or the Bloomington Community Kitchen.

But if you haven’t volunteered before - or at least, in a while - it might be difficult to figure out where to start. Civic Leadership Development exists to make volunteering easier - and fun. Before you sign up for our events however, you might want to know what sort of volunteer you are. So, are you...?

Structured. A leader. An educator. In it for the long term.

If you answered yes to all these questions, then long term ‘formal’ volunteering may be the job for you. Formal volunteering assignments are structured, supervised, and often times for a longer period than a single shift. They require regular attendance worked out prior with the organization and can be rewarding when you’re able to do things like tutor elementary kids in math or teach students at local schools about business. These programs emphasize responsibility, commitment, but also a love for building long term relationships and great time management.

CLD examples:

Junior Achievement program

Organized. Straightforward. A listener. An eye for details.

This sort of personality lends itself to project based volunteer-work for local organizations. At events as such, you’re given clear instructions and you can help an organization in need with getting their daily tasks done in a faster time than usual. If you have an eye for details and can keep up with making sure items are organized, then you’ll be set to sort and tag for local thrift stores, or managing inventory and keeping track of items for the staff you’re assisting. This sort of volunteering follows routine and is good for those that appreciate a good set of instructions rather than a surprise at each turn.

CLD examples:

Opportunity House, My Sister’s Closet, Teacher’s Warehouse

A people person. Good with surprises. Adaptable. Ready to roll.

If you’re ready to volunteer no matter what the situation, you’ll fit in perfectly with event based volunteering. Sample activities may include welcoming attendees, running games/sports, setting up tables, collecting tickets, and more. This sort of volunteering requires that you interact with guests, so if you’re a people person and love to help out, this sort of event is perfect for you. As event staff cannot predict where help will be needed, you might not know what your assignment is right when you sign up to volunteer. Adaptability, in this case, will help you be ready for wherever they feel you are most needed. You’ll be able to put a smile on people’s face while guiding people in the right direction!

CLD Examples:

5Ks, such as Run for the Animals & Barktoberfest or Hoosiers Outrun Cancer

So, what sort of volunteer are you? Whether you’re in it for the long term or just free for the weekend, hopefully this post shed some light on you or the different types of volunteering. All forms are equally as rewarding and signing up or a volunteering event is just the first step to making new friends and positively influencing your community.