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.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|