Finding a Community Partner
When planning a service project, finding the right community partner is essential. It is important that you find a community partner that fits your personality and time commitment.
7 Steps to Find a Community Partner
- Why do you want or need 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 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 area community needs and assets? To start, consult our list of current volunteer opportunities which have been submitted to our office by local nonprofits. 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 211 Database. 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 they have 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.
- Who is your contact? When you email or call an organization, ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator or a similar representative to discuss volunteer opportunities that match your interests and talents.
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.
After you choose a partner, check out our Tips for Successful Volunteers which will help you get the most out of your service experience.