"... Nonprofits are often seeking people who can help them in precise areas, like fundraising, PR and marketing, event planning and finances. Specific skills run the gamut from coaching to mentoring, web design, writing and accounting.

So think strategically about what the volunteer experience can do for you. “Volunteering can be a stepping stone to other opportunities,” said Betsy Werley, director of network expansion at Encore.org, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people over 50 make a social impact, and former executive director of The Transition Network, a national group for women over 50 in transition.

Your goal might be to land a paid position at a nonprofit or to use the volunteering time to ramp up your skills and knowledge so you can ultimately launch your own social enterprise.

“If that’s you, you will need to be strategic and sign up for something that will have a result that can move you toward your goal,” said Werley. You want to find volunteering opportunities that will let you, for example, “complete an entire project, so you can say ‘Here is the project I led and what we accomplished,’” she said. ..."


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