Congratulations! You made a resolution to volunteer more often in the New Year. Since we know that "Future You" isn't as motivated as "Now You,” here are four activities that you can do TODAY to help future-proof your resolution.
Pick a Cause with a Personal Connection or Passion
When you care about a cause on a deeper level, you'll naturally want to participate more often because it means something to you. It’s easier to keep your resolution to volunteer “for Grandma” than it is “because it’s the right thing to do.” Take 30 minutes today to research an organization whose volunteer opportunities fit your skills and interests; Idealist.org, Chicago Cares and Volunteer Match are all good places to start.
Join a Board or Junior Board
Boards are a great way to make a difference within an organization by committing a set amount of time, and often finances, to furthering a cause. They have regular meetings, regular events, and you can do some great networking in the process. Do a quick Google search for Boards/Jr. Boards in Chicago today and check out the various structures and time commitments. You can also reference Chicago Nonprofit’s comprehensive list of nonprofits by category for potential openings.
Sign Up for Charity Races NOW
Have you always wanted to try Special Olympics’ Polar Plunge but habitually missed the deadline? Heard about those crazy people climbing some of the tallest buildings in our city during the Fight For Air Climb <cough> I used to work for the American Lung Association and am extremely biased in recommending this race <cough> but never got around to training? Registration for these types of events often opens up months in advance and the organizations will offer discounts to early bird registrants. Get some skin in the game by registering today and start your training AND fundraising before it’s too late.
Create Reminders for Future You
- Signing up for charity e-newsletters for a weekly/monthly reminder to get involved.
- Putting monthly reminders in your calendar like: “Hey! It’s me (you) from the past, just wondering if you’d gotten around to volunteering yet?” OR (for those too cool for school) just putting regular monthly reminders in your calendar like: "Volunteer."
- Following your favorite organizations on Facebook/Twitter.
I was going to give you five reasons but this post is already too long and most people have probably already stopped reading. Thanks for making it this far (Hi Mom and Dad!). Now go! Get started!