Question:

How do I find a volunteer opportunity?

Find the Right Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteering is very hands-on, so here are a couple of volunteer tips to help you make your decision about where and how to donate your time.

While there are charities around the world looking for volunteers, it probably makes the most sense to start locally, since you know the area and its needs, and because you will be able to witness the benefits of your work. Common local organizations that tend to use volunteers include churches, temples and mosques, local libraries, Scout troops, halfway houses, or other community groups and projects.

You can call your local volunteer center, a branch of the United Way, or a community foundation to get information on volunteering. All of these organizations should be able to make suggestions on which local groups could use volunteers and help you decide to which you'd like to donate your time.

*Your friends, neighbors and co-workers can be an excellent network through which to find volunteer opportunities - your employer may even sponsor a volunteer program.

Online Tools

Finding the right volunteer opportunity is no small task. Like any job, volunteering carries with it challenges and rewards, and it is an obligation. You want to make sure that you commit to the opportunity that works for you, and where you can make a real impact. Luckily, in recent years, several organizations have developed online resources that will help you find the volunteer opportunity that is right for you. Each of them is affiliated with different charities and volunteer organizations, and provides slightly different services. Take some time to explore them and decide which one best suits your needs and interests, and then get involved!

The Network for Good is a nonprofit organization that connects individuals with their favorite charities. You can also make online donations, explore volunteer opportunities, and learn more about important causes at www.networkforgood.org. Idealist (www.idealist.org), a project of Action Without Borders, is a site that features more than 46,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 165 countries, searchable by name, location or mission. The site also lists thousands of volunteer opportunities in your community and around the world, a list of organizations that can help you volunteer abroad, and a nonprofit career center.

• VolunteerMatch (www.volunteermatch.org) offers a variety of online services that support a community of nonprofit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement.

• Volunteer Solutions (www.volunteersolutions.org) is a volunteer matching application available through the United Way of America that helps Volunteer Centers connect individuals to volunteer opportunities in their community.

Charity Frequently Asked Questions

What services do animal charities provide?

What are modern animal shelters like?

What is the ASPCA's mission?

What services does the American Humane Society offer?

What should I consider before adopting or rescuing a pet?

What does the World Wildlife Fund do?

What are the dimensions of charity?

How does the charitable market differ by nation?

Why should I donate my money, time or goods?

How should I go about deciding which charities to support?

What do breast cancer charities do?

What are some high-profile breast cancer charities in the United States?

How can I support the fight against cancer?

How can I help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS?

What are some international service agencies I can support?

Why do nonprofit organizations have so many fundraising campaigns?

What do my donations to annual campaigns fund?

What is a capital campaign?

What is an endowment campaign?

What role do special events play in charities' fundraising activities?

Should I buy these new charity wristbands?

Are there objective bodies that report on charities' activities?

Do charities have to disclose their operating records?

Where can I find out more about how a charity operates?

How can I support children in the United States and around the world?

What are some organizations that provide services to children and families?

What is the digital divide?

Why does the digital divide matter?

Does the digital divide only affect people and the countries in which they live?

How can I help bridge the digital divide?

What is disaster relief?

Who participates in disaster relief and recovery efforts?

What are the phases of disaster relief and recovery?

What kind of disasters need relief?

What are the different ways to donate money to charitable organizations?

Do I have to give a large gift to make a difference?

Why should I donate blood?

Why should I become an organ donor?

How can I help sick kids?

Is my old cell phone something I can donate?

Can my old computer be used by schools or charitable organizations?

What is the best way to donate a computer?

What should I do when donating a computer?

What do environmental charities do?

What organizations promote conservation and environmental protection?

Are homeless charities meeting current needs or helping homeless people become self-sufficient?

What does the National Coalition for the Homeless focus on?

How does America's Second Harvest address hunger and homelessness in the United States?

How does the Enterprise Foundation support community development and fight homelessness?

How can I help combat homelessness?

What are some organizations that are involved in international relief programs and efforts?

What does the term "nonprofit organization" refer to?

How can I plan to support my favorite causes through a bequest?

What are the tax implications of making a bequest?

Where can I get more information about planned giving?

How can corporations contribute to charitable causes?

What are the tax benefits of corporate giving?

Why should companies donate to charity and community causes?

What should I look out for when deciding to which charities to give?

What can I give to charitable causes?

How can I get involved without spending a lot of money?

How to I get to know the organizations I am considering supporting?

How to I teach philanthropy to my children?

What is philanthropy?

What are some smart things to do as I plan my charitable giving?

What is substance abuse?

How can we help prevent and reduce substance abuse in our communities?

How do charitable organizations help people with dependency issues and their families?

What are some organizations that provide substance abuse prevention and treatment services?

How can I help people with substance abuse issues?

What are missionaries?

How do I find a volunteer opportunity?

Are there volunteer opportunities that are not "in person" opportunities?

What role can online volunteers play?

How can I find an online volunteer opportunity?

Can I volunteer my technology skills?

What do I need to do to be a good volunteer?

What skills could I offer an organization?

How can I help charitable causes if I don't have a lot of money to donate?





Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Charity Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace