Volunteering in the Arts: Good Work Is More Than Just Making Good Work

Have you thought about using your art for volunteering, as part of a social program, or as a catalyst for change? For this Giving Tuesday, we have a few pointers on how to help you get started:

  1. Find a cause that you believe in. Over at the Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, there is a great rundown of organizations, and some have finely tuned missions. For example, The Art of Autism focuses on “shifting perceptions and creating futures in the arts for those on the autism spectrum by creating collaborations and a support network for creatives on the spectrum.” Just a simple internet search could also yield some worthwhile results.
  2. Find your place. While some organizations might be focused on monetary contributions, others accept artwork or welcome any time spent volunteering. Find something that’s in your area of artistic expertise, but also consider your geographic area as well. While the remote revolution might have changed the way many organizations operate, much of the power of art lies in its physical presence, and face-to-face contact still plays a role.
  3. Do your homework. While many organizations are legitimate, there are still a few bad apples out there and you should still do your own research before diving in. Trust but verify. You can find tax-exempt status on sites like the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search, as well as more information on sites like Charity WatchCharity Navigator, and GuideStar.
  4. Make contact! Once you’ve settled on what organization is the best fit for you, this next step is obviously the most important one. All organizations have their own way of corresponding with volunteers, but there is one approach that applies to all: Don’t be shy. If you’ve found a cause you want to contribute to, then you already have something in common.

If you’re receiving this, then there’s no doubt that you know the important role that art plays in people’s emotional lives. Others may not be so fortunate, and might just need a little help in finding the right direction. Art is a gift that keeps on giving!

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