Six Qualities of a Great Volunteer

The impulse to volunteer and support our community is one that Saskatoon is known for throughout Canada. As a regular volunteer capital, our city is filled with people who desire to help others and give back.

Through our work with One Small Step, we’re lucky enough to connect with Executive Directors at charities and non-profits all the time, and we’ve learned a few things that will help you be the most useful and effective volunteer for any organization you want to help.

1. When you first reach out to an organization, PATIENCE is key. We know you’re excited to start, but often charities are dealing with clients or crisis and they may not be able to get back to you right away.

2. PERSISTENCE is also a key quality–call back if an organization hasn’t replied within a few days, or drop them a polite email. Understand they are busy, but that they absolutely value your intention to be part of their work!

3. It may be that you have a terrific skill set to offer a charity, so take some time to think about how you can best serve them. Maybe you’re amazing with numbers and could join their board to help illuminate financials, or perhaps you have a strong understanding of how to fundraise and you want to help with their next event. Maybe you’re a people person or good with your hands–whatever your skill, make sure to be OPEN and to share it with the organization so they know how you can best help them.

4. When you first arrive for a shift, it may not look how you anticipated. Certainly with COVID, organisations have had to pivot and transform. Your FLEXIBILITY when asked to pitch in will make all the difference.

5.Your PASSION will fuel your hard work and help you give your best to the charity you want to serve. Take time on our site to explore the mission, vision and values of the charities we showcase to find programming and services that resonate with your values best of all. It will mean that you are most inspired when you show up to volunteer and you’ll give your utmost.

6. A volunteer who is able to work hard but also be TRUTHFUL about their capacity, will be far more useful to an organization than someone who promises more than they can deliver. All of us have commitments that get in the way, so make sure that when you offer your time, you’re able to follow through.

It’s a known fact that giving elevates and enhances our own lives. Let us know with a #onesmallstep hashtag where you volunteer and how you make a difference–and tell us any other qualities we should add here! We’re stronger together!


October 25, 2021