A great way to quickly learn about your new community and meet new friends is to get involved with a nonprofit organization. Every community offers numerous opportunities to support these worthwhile causes. Finding organizations that are meaningful to you will make the experience most rewarding.
These four questions can help you find your perfect nonprofit match:
- Do you have a passion? By identifying what motivates you, such as sports or outdoor pursuits, environmental or conservation issues, working with children, or assisting the elderly, you’ll start to narrow down the list.
- How much time can you give? Figure out how many hours per week or month you’d like to contribute to an organization. If you have schedule limitations, check to see if the organization can work around those.
- What do you bring or want to acquire? It’s important to know how you’d like to contribute to an organization. Are you interested in providing leadership, planning events, or being a social media guru? Volunteering is also a way to get practical training and experience to help your career.
- How do you want to serve? Consider whether you prefer working one-on-one, such as mentoring a teen or helping an adult learn to read, or working in a group, such as helping to renovate a home or coordinating fundraising activities.
Once you’ve had a chance to consider your ideal organization, start exploring what’s available. If you worked with a nonprofit in your previous community, there’s a good chance you’ll find a local chapter in Thurston County too. Three consortiums support a variety of community nonprofits and the lists of their member organizations are a good resource.
- South Sound Partners for Philanthropy
- The Community Foundation
- United Way of Thurston County
Want to get involved but don’t feel you have the time as you get settled? Consider attending a fundraising event. Events are a fun way to meet like-minded people, raise funds for the cause, and give you a feel for the organization.