3 min read

6 Surprising Benefits of Volunteering

The impact of the entire non-profit and charitable sector is made possible by thousands of volunteers annually who work generously in service of others. Their goal is to improve lives and make their communities better places to live.  

There are clearly a lot of benefits to our community. But did you know there are also lots of great benefits for you, too?   

Build Your Community 

Our social networks are more important than ever, with many connections impacted by the pandemic. However, getting involved with an organization whose mission inspires you helps you meet others with similar interests and passions. 

Cultivate Your Sense Of Belonging and Become Happier 

We all want to feel like we belong. Community-building through volunteerism provides a foundation, sense of accomplishment and more happiness. Volunteering helps develop empathy and compassion, which leads to happier lives. 

Boost Your Self-Esteem 

Whatever age you are, we all struggle with self-esteemTeens, seniors and adults all experience low-confidence from time to time. Social interactions and skill-building through volunteering is shown to be both emotionally rewarding and important for building self-esteem. 

Even simple, everyday acts of kindness have been shown to increase self-esteem, so imagine how high your confidence will rise when you regularly volunteer! 

Improve Your Health 

Spending time with others and helping folks in your community can reduce stress and anxiety in your life, which also impacts your physical health. Less stress leads to better sleep, fewer colds and sicknesses, and more energy. Even if you’re not able to do physical tasks, the interactions and fulfillment you’ll experience from volunteering will make your body, mind and heart healthier.  

Develop Your Skills 

When you volunteer your time and talents, you use the skills you already have and learn new ones along the way. More than 70% of volunteers in Canada seek volunteer opportunities to use their skills and experience. 63% improved their interpersonal, communication, organizational or managerial skills. 

Whether you mentor youth in your community, offer social media or content development skills, or offer a free webinar to coach others, you’ll develop and hone your skills even more. High school students who volunteer find more success when applying to post-secondary education, and adults with volunteer experience on their resumes stand out when applying for jobs. 

Make An Impact 

Most of us feel a desire to help our communities and make a positive impact, locally and globally. Volunteering in any and every way makes an incredible difference to the lives of people, animals and organizations in need. Many nonprofit organizations only employee a small number of staff, and rely on volunteers to achieve their goals and help their communities. As a volunteer, you’re an important part of social outreach, support and change. 

Trust the nearly 12.7 million Canadians who volunteer their time each year. They devote around 1.7 billion hours to organizations annually. That’s more than 863,000 full-time year-round jobs! While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted when, how and where we can all volunteer, some organizations have adapted to virtual volunteer opportunities. And soon, we’ll be able to roll up our sleeves and get back out there together. 

We’ll all need a little extra help rebuilding our social networks, dusting off our bodies and minds, and looking forward to a brighter, more connected future. 

Find volunteer opportunities at carya here. 


Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media so you can hear from us when new volunteer opportunities become available. 

Read more about how we’re celebrating Volunteer Week here.