Thursday, February 4, 2021

Volunteering in Retirement: Where do I begin?

What are your plans as you enter retirement? 
How will you continue to stay sharp and utilize the years of experience you’ve acquired?

Nonprofit agencies are in need now more than ever. Budgetary constraints and an increase in service demands leads to many gaps needing to be filled.

How can we fill those gaps and help promote a culture of civic engagement, social welfare, and leadership?

Volunteerism! Offering your unique set of skills after retirement is an invaluable asset to any nonprofit.

But how do you find your perfect match?

You may not know where to begin - but we do!

1. Reach out to Bergen Volunteers and the Redefining Retirement Team

Finding the right opportunity can be challenging. You may be unaware of current community needs or who to contact to get started.

Redefining Retirement does the hard work for you - so you can focus your time on giving back! Liaisons are in constant contact with local nonprofits, therefore they know what needs are present in the community and where your skills would be best used. By reaching out to Redefining Retirement you will work with a real person that understands your unique skills, talents, and experiences. We will help you every step of the way to finding a volunteer opportunity that is both relevant and rewarding to you.

2. Plan in Advance

Volunteerism, like many other everyday tasks, requires a plan. Similarly to how you may write a grocery list before going to the store, you should write a list of what issues are important to you before volunteering. Think about what missions you are passionate about and what impact you hope to make in the community. Listing down your interests will be a great starting point to find opportunities relevant to you.

Additionally, consider your time commitment. Are you looking for something short or long term? Weekly or as a need arises? Ensuring that we are aware of your time commitments or constraints allows us to find the best organizations for you.

3. Consider Your Experiences, Talents, and Skills
  • Are you good with numbers and want to utilize this skill? A local museum may need help balancing their budget.
  • Do you like to be outdoors learning about plants and nature? An environmental center may need a knowledgeable guide to give nature tours.
  • Do you love reading and want to instill the love of literature in others? An elementary school may be in need of volunteer reading buddies to work with students individually.

4. Sharpen Your Skill Set

Many volunteer organizations will offer you training, but getting started on your own can be a good idea. Learning new skills or taking a few extra courses will help prep you for what’s out there. You can find many free online or local community courses on how to hone your computer skills, learn about social media, and so much more!

5. Start Volunteering Now and Reap the Benefits

Do not hesitate - oftentimes the best experiences result from being put in an unfamiliar situation. Research indicates that stepping outside of your comfort zone may sharpen your emotional intelligence, problem-solving ability, and build self-confidence.

You can begin by contacting the Redefining Retirement team at Bergen Volunteers. We have connections with over 100 local Bergen County nonprofit organizations. Our liaisons are ready to help match you with a nonprofit agency in need of your talent, skills, and expertise.

Call us at 201-489-9454, ext. 209 or email to get started or visit to learn more!

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