Getting Involved: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3!

December 16, 2014

Looking for ways to give back to your community? Getting involved is as easy as 1-2-3, with this advice from the United Way of Johnson County.

1. Find your fit

Take time to assess your skills and talents to figure out what type of volunteer opportunity is best for you. Think about needs in your community, causes you may be passionate about, or interests that you would like to explore.

Then get realistic about the time you can dedicate. Will this be a one-time time commitment? Or would you prefer to volunteer on an ongoing basis?

Next, find an agency or organization where you can utilize your talents. There are many online resources that can match you with a cause, including the United Way website ( or Volunteer Match (

Having trouble finding an organization that interests you or addresses the needs of your community? Think about planning an event, such as a neighborhood cleanup, independently of a community organization.

2. Get clear on the details

Have a clear understanding of the agency/organization you will be working with, including its mission and goals. Also think about what your priorities are for your time of service: what do you want to get out of your involvement?

Next, figure out your role & responsibilities. What is will your job description be? Is there training required? What supervision will you have as a volunteer? Will you be supervising others?

3. Follow through!

The last step is to take the plunge! Show up with a positive and flexible attitude; enthusiasm is key!

Be sure to keep track of your volunteer hours and information about your service, including names of key contact people and a description of your duties. This will be helpful in the future as you look to repeat your service, get involved with other organizations, earn volunteer hours for programs like Silver Cord, or update your résumé.


For more information on ways to get involved, especially in southeastern Iowa, check out the following brochure: PDF icon"United Way Volunteer Center Youth & Teen Volunteer Guide"