Some people watch fashion trends or the stock market. We’re watching giving in Charlotte. As we kick off 2015, here’s what we’ve seen over the past few months that’s hot, and what’s not, in volunteering.
- One time opportunities, where a family or individual can make a difference in a few hours, like ushering with Davidson Community Players or sorting food at Loaves and Fishes.
- Youth services opportunities have always been popular and that hasn’t changed. Events like Youth Serve days at Charlotte Family Housing are still a great way to connect kids to volunteering.
- Board and committee position volunteers, like those available with Youth Development Initiatives and GenerationNation, are interesting to young professionals and residents new to the area who are looking for ways to connect.
- Animals, particularly when volunteers can engage them one on one, have been popular. Hinds’ Feet Farm had a great opportunity recently that allowed individuals to care for horses on their farm, which appealed to a variety of horse lovers and equestrians.
- Excuses, as more nonprofit organizations begin to offer virtual ways to get involved, or opportunities that can be done on a flexible schedule. Writing Christmas cards for Changed Choices was a great way to involve volunteers who needed the flexibility of working on their schedule, from their own location.
Volunteering trends don't change as frequently as fashion, but it's fun (and informative) to know what volunteers are interested in right now, whether you're a Neighbor interested in giving back or a nonprofit in need of volunteer help.
Is there a trend we missed? Tweet us and let us know!
Image clockwise: Loaves and Fishes, Charlotte Family Housing, Hinds' Feet Farm, Changed Choices