Can people create their own volunteering jobs


Volunteering - a definition

Voluntary work is the performance of an unpaid task that serves the common good of society. Another name for this is civic engagement. This brings three central terms into focus that are associated with voluntary work: voluntary, free of charge and oriented towards the common good.

Good reasons for charitable work

The drive from which people get involved in voluntary work can be traced back to different reasons: For example, the charitable work can be based on a religious motivation. The belief that doing good is desirable is anchored in many religions. For example, the Japanese scholar Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki explained the Buddhist ideal as follows:

"The Bodhisattva never tires in his endeavor to do good to all beings in every way through his self-sacrificing life."

For others, it is an inner need to help people, which is why they choose to volunteer. The gratitude of others for their charitable work is payment enough for them. Many people also experience personal deprivation suffered by relatives, acquaintances or themselves. They feel obliged to volunteer because they experience blows of fate up close, e.g. accidents that led to a disability. Working with young people, in particular, drives many people to become charitable. Some people may have struggled with problems even in their youth, others find it particularly easy to empathize with young people. Youth work offers numerous facets and motivations for voluntary work. Still others do civic engagement because it gives them company. Through their charitable work, they find a social connection and like-minded people. If you are looking, you will find numerous reasons to volunteer and help in very different ways. Would you like individual and legally secure advice from specialist lawyers for your specific questions about your commitment as an association board member? We do this as part of our association's cover letter.

Examples of voluntary work

Volunteering is as diverse as the areas in which helping hands are needed. If you would like to help and have always asked yourself "What kind of voluntary work are there?", Here is an overview that makes it easy to find the right area of ​​charitable work:

  • The volunteer fire brigade and the THW: The number of members of the voluntary fire brigade exceeds the number of the professional fire brigade, making it clear how important it is. Each of them always carries a beeper with them in order to be able to be informed quickly in an emergency and to set off straight away. If you take it exactly, the volunteer fire brigade is available 24/7, because emergencies don't know the end of the day.
  • Trainer: Behind the popular leisure activities, such as football or swimming, are the coaches, who accompany children and adults through the process and with a trained eye. They too often do voluntary work, because not every association has money for this.
  • Political honorary positions: e.g. as an election worker for sorting and counting the votes
  • Ecclesiastical honorary offices: Church carers and church administrators are often looked after by volunteer members.
  • Youth welfare: A typical field of voluntary work is also looking after and organizing youth centers and get-togethers as well as the support offered to young people from difficult family backgrounds.
  • Voluntary work related to animal and animal welfare: The animal shelters are usually overcrowded, the coffers are tight and there is a lack of helpers. Here, too, volunteer activities are used to keep the animal enclosures clean, take care of the animals or take the dogs for a walk.
  • Refugee aid: Volunteers help refugee families to integrate, learn the German language, fill out forms for authorities, help with shopping and visits to the doctor or go on excursions together.
  • Care and help for old and sick people: A common term listed under this voluntary activity is that of neighborhood help. Older or sick people often lack the support they need to get to the doctor or go shopping. Volunteers can help and do good here.
  • Help in the hospice: To make the last time of life as beautiful as possible, this is ensured by volunteers in the hospice. Starting with cake donations, reading books to discussions, the employees can be supported here.
  • Protection of the environment: Activities related to the protection of the climate and the environment are often in the area of ​​voluntary work.
  • Voluntary work in the company: These include the positions of the works council, staff councils, employee representatives and the trainee representatives.
  • Voluntary work in life saving: The voluntary activities are very broad and range from rescuing shipwrecked people to telephone counseling.
  • Homeless assistance: Organizations like the Tafel or Homeless Sleeping Places live with the help of numerous volunteers.

The example of youth work as a voluntary activity

In addition to the parents, the teacher and the kindergarten teacher, youth workers are other people who have an influence on the personal development of young people. Youth work as voluntary work serves to promote social skills and personal responsibility. There are several areas of volunteering in youth work.

The volunteer work is appreciated by many Youth associations who pursue individual offers and approaches, but offer these basic forms of voluntary work. Each of the youth associations is non-profit, regardless of size.

Which voluntary work suits me?

There are many volunteer activities, but ultimately the question remains which of these positions might best suit you. You should ask yourself whether you want to be in closer contact with people, whether you prefer fixed times or want to be completely flexible or whether you can deal with suffering and illness. After all, help is needed in numerous places, so that there is certainly a suitable honorary position for everyone, which means that you enjoy helping.

Requirements for successful work as a volunteer

Anyone who is enthusiastic about the charitable work of others but doesn't know whether he or she would also like to do some kind of voluntary work can ask themselves a few questions:

In this way, it is possible to make yourself aware from the outset whether volunteering is the right thing for you and what motives it is based on. Ultimately, it also makes it easier to find the right job where you can help and do good in the future with your charitable work. It should never be forgotten that your job and your own private life should not suffer from voluntary work, but rather become an enrichment - for yourself and for others.

Pay for volunteer work?

By definition, voluntary work is not rewarded with payment. Nevertheless, there are so-called expense allowances, under which the activities continue to fall under those of an honorary position. Each club and organization decide for themselves whether an expense allowance is or can be paid. This compensates for expenses that you had as a volunteer for your work, for example. Of course, compensation for the time spent is also possible. The limit of 840 euros per year applies to all voluntary activities in order to remain tax-free.

Social work as a healing task

Not everyone gets along equally well in everyday life. Through social work, the autonomy of individuals is professionally promoted so that they can cope better with everyday life. Voluntary work with which one helps others is particularly useful when there is enough free time, for example at retirement age. But social engagement is anything but a retired job. Rather, people of all ages can do charitable work. But social work doesn't just mean improving the lives of individuals. The soft skills of all group members can be strengthened through social activities with groups. The ability to work in a team, interacting with others as well as the ability to deal with conflict and criticism are therefore part of social skills. Non-profit social work can also go beyond direct contact and voluntary work with people and take the form of a redesign of the structural nature of social work spaces. The overriding goal is always social work, which aims to prevent people from being socially isolated.

Are you interested in volunteering and you don't yet know which one?

Social projects are a dime a dozen. These are not only offered by non-profit associations. There are also numerous volunteer programs where you can apply for volunteer work.

Voluntary service

  • EVS - European Voluntary Service
  • FSJ - Voluntary Social Year
  • BFD - Federal Volunteer Service
  • FÖJ - Voluntary Ecological Year

Volunteering can be, for example, computer help, animal welfare or looking after the disabled. First, you should look in a database for social projects that you can get excited about. The second step is the application for the charitable work, in order to finally introduce yourself personally to the respective provider. Social projects can also be offered by associations. It is advisable for clubs that offer to advertise a project first in order to know how big the rush is. You can do your voluntary work in one of the ~ 600,000 clubs.

The charitable status in the association or the social projects that are offered must be checked individually for each association.