Retirement usually raises the following question “What will I do with my time?”. Sometimes the question doesn’t get much consideration until after you retire and your daily schedule becomes more clear. After all, you still have your daily routines, responsibilities and time with family and friends. However, wanting to “keep busy”, “make a difference” or “give back” are very common retirement goals. Here are some suggestions on how to find the right volunteer fit for you.
Choosing a volunteer role is a match-making process. It is about finding a balance between your abilities/talents/interests and needs in your community. You may wish to use the following outline to research and find a successful match for you.
- What’s important about volunteering for you?
- Do you want to “make a difference”? To whom? Be specific.
- Define your goals. What you do want to get out of volunteering?
- How much time you are willing to contribute per day/per week/per month?
- What time of day you are available (morning, afternoon, evening)? Does this vary by day-of-the-week?
- What distance you are willing to travel? How will you travel? (Car, transit, walk.)
- How long do you see yourself volunteering? (1 year, 2 years, etc.)
B. The Volunteer Position
- Do Research within your own circle of friends and contacts in volunteer roles and organizations they are familiar with.
- Expand your research to include online resources.
- Contact possible organizations to get more information about specific volunteer positions*.
- Visit the organization, person or event to do your own check.
- Do a “trial run” to see if your choice is a real fit.
Make a final decision. If you don’t find a match, repeat steps 4 and 5 until you find one.
*Additional criteria to consider for certain volunteer roles:
Some volunteer organizations use additional criteria that go beyond most other volunteer situations.
Q. Will you need some form of health check or criminal record check? (Example volunteering in a hospital.)
Q. Do you need personal liability insurance or additional insurance? (Example as a volunteer driver.)
Here are some online resources you may find helpful in conducting your own research. All of these searches are based on the volunteering in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Other communities may have similar resources, depending on the size of the municipality.
A helpful, local starting point is available at MBC.org (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon)
Within that site, you can browse a list of volunteer positions for ideas on possible matches for you.
Another way to conduct research is to look for organizations that are a good fit for retiring or retired people based on your experience and interests.
Here’s another one:
An In-Depth Guide to Volunteering in Mississauga
Eventbrite does a good job of summarizing volunteer fairs:
Summary of Volunteer events at Volunteer Fairs
Have fun finding your ideal volunteer role!
By the way, remember to leave time for continuous downsizing, after you retire. It’s an on-going process, even after retirement.
* You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.
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Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated.