Finding a Community Partner
When planning a service project it is important to remember what you get out of the experience directly relates to the work you put into planning the experience. Consider following these steps to help you plan a service project that benefits you and the community.
- Why are you wanting or needing to perform this service? Think about what is motivating you to do volunteer work. If you need a certain number of service hours because of a class or other obligation, make sure you know how many hours and what kind of service will count towards fulfilling that requirement.
- Is there a particular social issue that interests you? Service is a lot more fun and meaningful when you have a connection to the issue that an organization is working towards. Think about social or environmental issues that you have learned about, dealt with, or have a passion for.
- Do you have a particular skill you can offer? Everyone has skills that nonprofits would love to tap into. These could be physical skills like experience with construction, home restoration, house painting, powerwashing, etc. Or they could be skills such as being good with kids, artistic skills, experience with caring for animals, tutoring, etc.
- Do you want to serve with a group or as an individual? Group volunteer projects are very different from individual projects. Organizations like to know up-front how many people to expect in any given timeframe.
- What are the community needs and assets? Consult our list of current volunteer opportunities which have been submitted to our office by local nonprofits to start. There is contact information on each listing in order to make it easy for you to get in touch with the organization. Whether or not you decide to serve in one of these events, this list is a great way to get to know what kinds of needs and assets our greater Springfield community has.
- At what organization do you want to serve? To view a list of nonprofit agencies that regularly handle volunteers, visit the United Way’s website 2-1-1 Help. The Springfield Greene County Library also has an exhaustive directory of nonprofits, The Directory, which allows you to search by subject or keyword.
- Ask potential host sites whether the organization has submitted the necessary Community Partnership Form for accepting a Drury volunteer. For questions regarding whether or not the nonprofit you desire working with has submitted these forms, contact our office.
- How do you make contact? When you email or call an organization, ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator or a similar representative from the nonprofit to discuss volunteer opportunities that match your interests and talents. Talk about expectations and start a relationship that will allow for continual communication.
If you need further assistance, or want us to walk you through the process of finding a good community partner to volunteer with, set up a one-on-one consultation with someone from our office (Community Outreach and Leadership Development). Call (417) 873-6803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
When you have chosen a partner and are getting ready to serve, check out our Tips for Successful Volunteers which will help you get the most out of your service experience.