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Stiemke: Time to add volunteering to your schedule

Rebecca Stiemke
Rebecca Stiemke

It is time to add volunteering to your schedule, but how do you begin? Finding the right place to volunteer can be a challenge. You want to begin by asking yourself a few important questions.

What are your interests? Do you like animals, kids, seniors, the arts? Finding a place to volunteer that is in line with your interests will make it more meaningful.

When can you volunteer? There are volunteer opportunities that are “one-time only,” weekly, monthly or even annually. There even are gigs that you can do from home. It depends on the agency’s needs.

How far do you want to travel to volunteer? Volunteering needs listed on volunteercentermchenrycounty.org are specifically for the greater McHenry County area. You can narrow your search by city or ZIP code.

Why do you want to volunteer? Your needs are important. Make sure to let the nonprofit know why you are volunteering. Whatever the reason – looking for new employment, building your résumé, volunteering as a school assignment – some agencies can identify areas to help that match your needs.

Upcoming workshops include:

• Sept. 12: Documenting gifts – We will review the rules for documenting gifts, some of which might surprise you, and review some real cases where a donor or charity did not comply with the rules.

• Sept. 28: Board roles and responsibilities – This workshop will explore the 10 basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards through experiential activities and scenarios in the context of the governing challenges facing nonprofits today.

• Oct. 11: Nonprofits will gain tips for developing an effective government relations strategy that enables nonprofits to identify, recruit and activate advocates.

Volunteer Center McHenry County is here to strengthen local nonprofits. For information, visit www.volunteercentermchenrycounty.org or call 815-344-4483.

• Rebecca Stiemke is the executive director of Volunteer Center McHenry County. Reach her at 
rstiemke@volunteermchenrycounty.org or 815-344-4483.

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