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Want to boost your wellbeing and meet new people? Try getting involved in a charity. The team at Mine Wealth + Wellbeing shows you how...    

If you’d like to be involved with a charity beyond the traditional quick donation, there are many options available these days. Whether you want to volunteer your time to a charity or you’re helping to run the show, here are three ways you can make a difference.

1. Get clear on your motivations

Finding your motivation to get involved with a charity can clarify the role you’d like to take with them. For example, if you’re keen to meet like minded people, you won’t choose a behind-the-scenes role that’s done from home. Likewise, if you’re short on time but high on professional experience then you might search for a committee or board position.

It’s okay to ask the question, 'What’s in it for me?' even when dealing with a volunteering situation. Ultimately, the more you look out for yourself, the more you'll have to offer others. This self-reflection can then help you move outside your own world, and then you’ll find that helping charities could benefit you more than you realise. "Volunteering increases your wellbeing," says Karen Mahlab, founder and CEO of Pro Bono Australia, "because you’re going beyond yourself and your own concerns. It broadens your perspective of the world and enables you to meet other people you’d never meet ordinarily, and so you have an informal network that broadens because of the cause."

2. Professional volunteering

Professional skills are in high demand in the not-for-profit sector.

These positions are open to people who can offer specialist skills on either a short-term or long-term basis. This is a growing field, which you can enter by applying for a role or by speaking with your workplace. Your employer may choose to partner with a charity program to fill their corporate social responsibility and to give you and your colleagues the chance to use your current skills, gain new experience and help a worthwhile cause.

Because of its nature, professional volunteering shouldn’t be entered into lightly. There is a level of commitment involved and the opportunity to make a real difference. The key is for it to be a good match between yourself, your organisation and the charity. "There has to be a strong cultural and personality fit," Mahlab says.

3. Creative experiences

Many charities are finding it difficult to get their message heard in a more competitive space, and are discovering that asking for a quick donation isn’t always the best way to gain support. Instead, they’re creating experiences for people who volunteer their time or money. This gives volunteers something to talk about and to share with their own networks, and also provides them with a deeper understanding of the charity’s cause and what they’re working to achieve. This can help give greater levels of satisfaction than traditional volunteering.

For examples of this, look at the charities offering trips to various parts of the world for those who raise a required amount of money, or the charities who ask people to take on a challenge (such as Movember or the ice bucket challenge) and share it with their friends who might like to donate. The theory is that the greater the experience, the more connection people feel with it, which then generates wider awareness and ultimately more donations. And whether you’re taking part in one of these experiences with a creative charity, or creating an idea yourself, it’s certain that any efforts are going to reward both the cause and yourself. 

Financial advice for families 

Financial advisers are experienced at helping families make plans that consider more than just their finances. If you’re considering your family's financial future, think about getting in touch with a financial adviser from Mine Wealth + Wellbeing Financial Advice to discuss your plan to make your dreams a reality.

This is general information only and does not take into account your financial situations, needs or objectives. Before acting, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you and read our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). If there’s any inconsistency between this document and the PDS or Trust Deed the terms of the PDS or Trust Deed prevail. This information is based on our understanding of current Australian laws and assumes they will remain unchanged.

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