Being an active and knowledgeable citizen is a healthy way to get involved and integrate yourself into a community. There is an abundance of clubs, nonprofit organizations and other methods for people in Springfield who wish to volunteer. We talked to Paige Oxendine, program coordinator at the efactory and co-founder of Rosie, an organization aimed at assisting professional women in and around the Springfield area, for some tips for those hoping to establish themselves within an organization and one day take a leadership role.
Do Your Homework
It’s important to know exactly what you’re volunteering for when you decide to get involved. Do some research into the organization and make sure you have done your due diligence. The more informed you are, the better you can serve; this will also show those in leadership roles that you are serious about your commitment.
Find Your Passion
Volunteering is great, and even if you find an organization you like, it’s important to explore what it is you like doing most within it. “[Take] stock of what it is you’re interested in and the field in which you’re interested in serving,” Oxendine advises. “Start off as a volunteer, whether that’s serving on a committee or volunteering at an event or calling that organization and seeing ways in which you can become involved—most of those nonprofits are almost always looking for volunteers in some capacity—that’ll really give you a great insight into the organization,” Oxendine says. Once a member applies, Rosie encourages its members notify them that they’ve done so. Rosie wants to do everything it can to help, to do outreach on a member’s behalf. Consider it a referral—Rosie reaches out to these other organizations and explains and vouches for why a member would be a good fit for a board position.
Have Information at the Ready
It seems like this would be a given, but Oxendine says she tells members of Rosie to always have an updated resume and a short bio at the ready. It shows organization, and it can serve as a shorthand for the organization to find out who you are and why you might be a good fit. Additionally, they might want some information to put in a press release should you be selected. Often, Oxendine says, people don’t have these things updated, and just like in a job application, that can make all the difference.