How to Start Volunteering: Finding Volunteer Opportunities that Suit You
Have you been wondering how to start volunteering? Well, it’s never been easier! In fact, it’s constantly increasing in popularity and more people than ever before are taking part in voluntary works all across the globe.
Today, people of all abilities and ages are looking for ways they can support causes they hold dear as well as improve their community.
If you’re in search of how to go about making your own contribution, this article will help you navigate through the different volunteering opportunities that can be found online. It’ll also help enlighten you about different causes and how you can get in contact with the people involved.
There are also volunteer centers up and running in states and cities all over the world. Even looking in your own backyard might turn up a ton of local volunteer opportunities!
Let’s get started and show you how you can best find an opportunity that suits you.
Online Volunteer Matching Websites
In modern day society, the best place to start almost any search is through the internet. You can start looking for volunteer opportunities by perusing volunteer websites online.
If you find yourself attracted to a certain cause, you can proceed to dig deeper with the goal of finding any volunteer needs in that particular field. Some of the best volunteer websites you’ll find online include:
- VolunteerMatch – This site has matched millions of individuals with fantastic volunteer opportunities. It shows all volunteer opportunities around you at any given time – you may even find some of Esperança’s voluntter events!
- All For Good – This platform also helps you find volunteer opportunities in your area. All you need to do is search for the organizations that are providing these leads. The site usually has thousands of results to choose from!
- Do Something – This online platform empowers youth to get involved and fight for social change. In 2018, the whole operation helped register over 1,000 thousand new voters!
Government-Sponsored Volunteer Programs
Established government-sponsored volunteer operations usually provide plenty of opportunities for travel and volunteer work, both international and domestic. Some of the most well-recognized programs include:
- Peace Corps – This site used to be be seen as only for recent college graduates, but not anymore! The “new” outfit welcomes adults, including both seniors and retirees. There are also short-term opportunities besides the traditional 2-year commitment.
- Serve.gov – This Corporation for National and Community Service’s portal helps get US citizens to engage and volunteer in national service.
- AmeriCorp – This is basically the American version of the Peace Corps. There are very many different types, such as Vista and State. You get paid a stipend once you find a full-time placement.
International Volunteer Opportunities
A lot of international volunteer opportunities require you to cough up a little cash as payment for the experience. Some folks are okay with this and find it a very rewarding way to travel. In fact, combining volunteerism and travel has become very popular! Here are some organizations that allow you to travel while giving back:
- United Nations Volunteers – The United Nations regularly publishes select volunteer opportunities worldwide. If you want to apply, you’ll need to create a profile and place it in the UN Volunteers’ Global Talent Pool.
- Global Service Corps – GSC has been offering life-changing and challenging student experiences, internship and service-learning volunteering in 7 countries for over a decade. Join them as they address global inequities and issues through their programs
- Esperança – This organization is deeply rooted in providing food, disease prevention education, water and sanitation to those who need it most. They even provide surgical and medical care in several countries by way of volunteers.
Youth And Student Volunteering Opportunities
Encouraging your children to volunteer from an early age gives them valuable life experience. This can help enhance their university applications as well as help broaden their personal horizons.
- City Year – This national service program, founded in 1988, was created to unite youth from diverse backgrounds and surroundings, bringing them together for twelve months of full-time community work. It has over 3,000 members across 3 continents.
- GenerationOn – Let your children join GenerationOn and give them access to extensive volunteer resources that’ll allow them to make their own individual marks on the world at a young age.
- DoSomething – This online platform empowers youth to get involved and fight for social change. In 2018, the whole operation helped register over 1,000 thousand new voters!
Virtual And Micro-Volunteering
A few of the organizations listed in this article provide avenues whereby you can volunteer virtually using your computer or mobile devices. Most virtual volunteer operations are also “micro” because they’re compiled of tasks that can be completed in a short amount of time.
Below are some of the websites that concentrate mainly on virtual volunteering.
- Catchafire – offers several virtual opportunities for the skilled volunteer
- Help from Home – concentrates on micro, virtual volunteer actions
- VolunteerMatch – contains a very well-stocked virtual volunteer list
Other than scouring the internet for virtual volunteering platforms, you can also take a look at websites for people that have similar specific interests.
Special Volunteer Days (And Weeks)
There are many special volunteer opportunities throughout the year where volunteering is heavily promoted. Below are just but a few of them.
- Martin Luther King Day – third week of January
- National Volunteer Week – third week of April
- National Family Volunteer Day – Saturday before Thanksgiving
How To Start Volunteering
Staring the volunteer process doesn’t have to be difficult! In this day and age, it is easier than ever to get involved in causes you are passionate about. Not to mention, not much can beat that amazing feeling you get after you’ve volunteered!
Set aside a few hours of your time and go and help improve the environment or your community. In the end, it’s always worth it.
Looking for your next volunteer opportunity? Contact us today so we can help get you started.