Why Volunteer for a Nonprofit?


Yours Humanly

July 15, 2021

Why Volunteer for a Nonprofit?

The obvious answer is the amount of lives you could transform with the time you dedicate to a nonprofit, but what you may not realize is that one of those lives could be yours. While the fundamental purpose of volunteerism is to help others, the list of ways in which volunteering benefits the volunteer is a long one.

To begin, research has proven just how much volunteering positively affects a person’s mental health. The study “Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms” conducted by BMC Public Health found that participation in volunteer services resulted in an “8.54% increase in mental health, 9.08% in physical health, 7.35% in life satisfaction, and 11.11% in social well-being.”[i] How can volunteering impact you in such significant ways?

One reason for the increase in mental health is that you considerably reduce your stress levels when volunteering as you take your mind off your own problems by solving larger problems within a community. And recognizing the impact you’ve made on someone else’s life or an entire community of people is an immediate mood-booster. ­There is actually something called “the happiness effect” that takes place when we volunteer, to which the Forbes article “Volunteering: A Formula For Help And Happiness” calls attention. Our happiness is directly correlated to helping others, and the article explains that “weekly volunteering leads to happiness levels comparable to a life-changing salary boost.”[ii]

Along with the mental health benefits of volunteering, such a worthwhile activity can even promote longevity. According to the article “8 Long-Term Health Benefits of Volunteering,” volunteers could be at a lower risk for memory loss while the social interaction that comes with volunteering helps reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.[iii]

Additionally, volunteering offers an opportunity to expand your social circle as you are bound to meet new people and make genuine connections with others who want to change the world, in addition to meeting the people (or animals or natural environments) you’re helping through your volunteer activities. Volunteering with Yours Humanly, specifically, can even connect you with people around the world as we work in six countries—Cambodia, Haiti, India, Nepal, the Philippines, and the United States—providing educational programs and resources to children who so desperately need help.

Lastly, your life satisfaction substantially increases as you recognize that you’ve made a meaningful difference in the world, no matter the size of that difference. One Yours Humanly volunteer stated, “Every night when I go to bed, I ask myself, ‘Have I done any good in the world today?’ Supporting the work of Yours Humanly is an easy way to fall asleep with a solid ‘Yes!’ to that question and a smile on my face.”

Without a doubt, volunteering offers you a greater purpose in life. Seeking out this purpose, one that transcends your own life, will allow you to lead a life well-lived by helping others live their lives with positivity and possibilities. Ultimately, volunteering provides fulfillment and a quality to your life that can’t be found anywhere else.      

While we’ve provided a few examples of how volunteerism can positively impact your life, the list goes on. You can discover the benefits of volunteering for a nonprofit by working with Yours Humanly. Help us transform the lives of children around the world while changing your own here.   

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5504679/

[ii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/10/16/volunteering-a-formula-for-help-and-happiness/?sh=7e34740e3cdc

[iii] https://nonprofithub.org/featured/8-long-term-health-benefits-of-volunteering/

Natalie Cornacchio

Natalie Cornacchio is a freelance writer who graduated in 2020 from Villanova University with a degree in English and communications. She is passionate about merging her love for writing with contributing to a greater good, such as raising awareness about mental health and the importance of children’s education throughout the world.