Educational institutes throughout the world tend to focus more on preparing students for professional life, working for corporations that aim to provide a service and make huge profits. They also prepare entrepreneurs who come up with the most innovative ideas for businesses and compete with similar firms to reap financial benefits in the market. What seems to be slightly ignored by students is their dedication to volunteer work with non-profit organizations owned by the state or private individuals. This volunteer work receives lesser importance than it deserves in the global market.
What are not for profit organizations?
Apparently, these are organizations working for a cause and the ultimate aim is not profit but welfare of the community or society. The first question that emerges in mind is that if owners of these organizations are not reaping any financial benefits, why are these organizations operational in the first place? Nevertheless, the world still consists of many “good” people who are concerned about societal issues like discrimination, oppression, inequality, global warming, rights of minorities, and welfare of the disabled and extinction of species. In order to make a difference, these individuals take a step forward to initiate an organization working solely for a good cause which requires input from a lot of people from the society.
Immense dedication is required to own a not for profit organization in this world of individuals working for self-interest. However, since these organizations do not provide any service in return for a fee or cost, they constantly need donations and human capital to keep the organization operational. Whatever revenue they get is invested in the cause and they cannot afford to hire and pay many employees. Such organizations, therefore, offer volunteering opportunities for students and professionals in an attempt to hire free of cost labor to help them achieve their goals.
Why should you volunteer with not for profit organizations?
A person is only willing to work when there is an incentive he is getting, be it monetary or non-monetary. Unfortunately, not many students value the benefits not only that they are getting but what they are contributing for the society. The society needs you and in order to make this world a better place to live in, volunteering with such organizations is important. It is through these actions that you are able to make a difference rather than leading comment wars on social media. Following are some reasons why you should spend time doing volunteer work with not for profit organizations:
Self-satisfaction and sense of responsibility: The major reason why you should volunteer with not for profit organizations is that you realize how much you are contributing to minimize, if not bring an end, to the global issues that are largely ignored. Even if you do not witness positive results, you are able to point out the problems because you have played, and are playing, your part for the betterment of society. It also exposes you to range of other problems that you might not be aware of just like how different the professional corporate world is from that you read in books. This creates a sense of responsibility within you because you eventually realize that it is you who can help the world deal with these problems. As a responsible individual, you can encourage others to join in as volunteers because you are now aware of its importance.
Exposure to a different social environment: You have probably spent your entire life till now around luxuries and among people who live an extraordinary life. By volunteering with not for profit organizations that run schools for disabled or underprivileged students or rehabilitation centers for mentally challenged people, you are able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and experience their way of living. This also makes you feel grateful for whatever you have because a lot of people are only dreaming to live the life you are living.
A break from the corporate training: For college students, volunteering with not for profit organizations is a great opportunity to not think about the typical corporate setting for some time and experience an entirely different organizational structure. Since business courses teach students about non-profit organizations too, you can get a practical experience through volunteer work, the only difference being that the work may be irrelevant to your field and will not earn you any stipend.
Self-benefit in educational programs: If not solely for the sake of society, volunteering with not for profit organizations can also benefit you as a student in many ways. When you apply for admission to colleges, they attach immense importance to the time that students have spent in such volunteer activities. A survey revealed that volunteer work increases the chances of students being accepted to a college. Also, numerous exchange programs attach significant importance to volunteering and this is one of the most important factors in determining if a student is selected for the program or not. So by volunteering in not for profit organizations, you are not only benefitting the society but also yourself.
Fun-filled experience with a lot of new interactions: Finally, volunteer work is not boring at all because volunteers tend to have fun together. In the activities, they are not only focusing on work but also have fun with the kids and patients. The pictures you capture will remain memorable all your life and you may even end up making friends that stay with you for lifetime. Since a lot of students from various institutions participate in volunteer work, you get to meet new people which can help you expand your social circle. You will realize the importance of a strong social circle once you graduate from college so start working on it as soon as possible!
So you can see how working with not for profit organizations does not go in vain and is actually very useful. Keeping the personal benefits aside, the world is in need of dedicated individuals who are passionate about bringing a positive change. This is your chance of raising your voice and act to minimize, if not eliminate, global issues that are unfair for some. Utilize the power you have to help the powerless instead of going blind after the monetary benefits.