Volunteering Wisely

Tips on Volunteering Wisely

Before you decide to volunteer your precious time to us, you may want to review these tips on volunteering wisely. This way you will be an informed volunteer so you can make the most of the time that you can give to us.

  1. Research the causes or issues important to you
  2. Consider the skills you have to offer
  3. Would you like to learn something new?
  4. Combine your goals
  5. Do not over-commit your schedule
  6. Nonprofits may have questions, too
  7. Consider volunteering as a family
  8. Is there an interest in “Virtual volunteering?”
  9. Give voice to your heart through your giving and volunteering!

You can read more in the article from at http://www.raisingamillionaire.com/giving_back/tipsOnVolunteeringWisely.htm )

Proven Health Benefits of Volunteering

Here are some proven health benefits of volunteering as given in this article (http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf

  • Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health and that older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities.
  • Volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that protect individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust.
  • Older individuals who volunteer demonstrate greater health benefits than do younger volunteers, due in part to the fact that volunteer activities by older individuals are more likely to provide them with a purposeful social role.
  • A second study found that, in general, volunteers report greater life satisfaction and better physical health than non-volunteers do, and their life satisfaction and physical health improves at a greater rate as a result of volunteering. At the same time, older volunteers experience greater increases in life satisfaction and greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result of their volunteer activities than younger volunteers do. (Van Willigen, 2000)
  • Those who engage in volunteer activities are less likely to suffer from ill health later in life and may be introduced into a positive reinforcing cycle of good health and future volunteering.
  • Even when controlling for other factors such as age, health, and gender, research has found that when individuals volunteer, they are more likely to live longer.
  • Individuals must meet a “volunteering threshold” in order to receive the positive health outcomes from volunteering; that is, they need to commit a considerable amount of time–or at least one or two hours a week–to volunteer activities.

TAX Benefits

Although we cannot deduct the value of our time as volunteers, we can deduct our mileage at a rate of $0.14 per mile. This includes any trips including business on behalf of HODRRM from going to a volunteer opportunity to picking up materials to complete a project. As long as it is on behalf of HODRRM (we qualify as per Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code), those miles can be deducted from your taxes.

If you travel away from home in connection with your work with us, you can deduct your costs if they are properly documented, non-lobbying, are reasonable in amount, and there is no significant degree of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation to the travel.

Deductible expenses are similar to those that you can claim as a taxpayer making a similar trip for business purposes, including out-of-pocket costs for lodging, meals, round-trip travel, taxi fares, and other transportation costs. There is, however, one important exception: if you travel away from home overnight for HODRRM, it is not subject to the 50% limit that applies to business meals, but may deduct 100% of meal costs.

For a lot more information than you probably want or need, you can always refer to IRS Publication 526 Ð Charitable Contributions, available on the Internet at www.irs.gov (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf )

Be sure to consult an accountant to maximize your tax benefit