Volunteering is a selfless way to share your skills and passions with those in need.
The internet is a wonderful tool for connecting us with people in need, both at home and afar. It can connect you with your local animal shelter, or it can connect you with an overseas charity that could use your helping hands.
Whether you’re an organization looking to find volunteers or you’re a volunteer in need of a new project, here are 20 websites that match people with organizations in need.
If you’re a volunteer manager looking to upgrade your program with some kick-ass software, click through to our extensive list of volunteer management software, or directly to our volunteer management app.
VolunteerMatch is one of the largest databases for connecting nonprofits with volunteers. Since its inception, VolunteerMatch has connected 15.2 million volunteers to organizations globally. VolunteerMatch offers a simple interface for either posting volunteer roles or searching for them. Nonprofits, schools and non-U.S. NGOs are all welcome to submit a call for volunteers, as well as government organizations and other tax-exempt organizations.
JustServe helps people find volunteer opportunities nearby. Volunteers can search by projects or organizations to find something more specific. Another element of JustServe is that potential volunteers and organizations can browse through past success stories. These show a description of an event, a photo of the volunteers and the date the event took place.
At DoSomething.org, youth volunteers are inspired to create major positive impacts in communities throughout America. People interested in making a difference can find a cause that they’re passionate about. Some of those causes include putting an end to gun violence, addressing hate speech or improving child literacy. Then, users can stay updated with news and tips for taking action in their communities. To date, DoSomething.org’s members have registered 118,706 voters, cleaned up 3.7 million cigarette butts and recycled 1.4 million pounds of textiles from landfills.
Encore.org encourages people older than 50 to find a new purpose in meaningful causes. Part of Encore’s mission is to change the perception that older adults should take a backseat in their communities. Instead, it involves them in action alongside everyone else and helps them mentor and inspire younger volunteers. Encore makes it easy to find local opportunities, with an interactive map displaying projects in your area.
International Volunteer HQ
International Volunteer HQ connects people with opportunities abroad. Their programs span 40 countries and include projects that target nearly every interest imaginable. A few project areas include sea turtle and marine conservation, teaching, arts and music, sports, and women’s empowerment. There are opportunities throughout Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.
All for Good
Points of Light owns the volunteer site All for Good, which connects people to local volunteer opportunities. In addition to registering an organization or searching for causes, you can also use All for Good to start a new project. Once you add your location and project idea, you can set goals and dates for project completion. Then, you can search for like-minded collaborators or volunteers in your area, or invite friends and neighbors to join your cause.
Catchafire.org matches people’s professional skills to nonprofits in need. Skills like accounting, branding, engineering, web design, sales, marketing, writing and social media — among others — are all in demand. The majority of opportunities on Catchafire are remote, making it easier for busy professionals to donate their time whenever it’s available.
At GozAround, volunteers can sign up and input skills and preferences that suit their interests, skills, schedules and location. GozAround also adds a fun gamification element, allowing volunteers to set goals for their hours and track their giving progress. The GozAround network also promotes the sharing of volunteer experiences. Whether it’s reaching out to friends or telling about your experiences on social media, GozAround helps organizations and volunteers create more visibility into important causes.
U.S. volunteers passionate about nature, conservation and animal protection will enjoy the many opportunities listed on Volunteer.gov. Volunteers can search for opportunities by state, project or date, and no specific experience is required to find a role. Whether it’s being a campground host, interpreting Spanish for park rangers or helping at therapeutic gardens, the opportunities for getting outdoors and doing good abound on volunteer.gov.
Taproot Foundation focuses on finding helpers with specific professional skills. Organizations are seeking people to help with social media strategy, employee handbook development, business plan creation, technology assessments, and many other tasks. Taproot offers a number of resources for finding the right volunteer role and making a difference in the lives of others.
Idealist has more than 120,000 organizations and more than 1.4 million monthly visitors, making it one of the top resources for finding volunteer opportunities around the world. The mission of Idealist is to unite those who want to do good with those who need help doing good. Users can search for jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. You can also search organizations by keyword and location, helping you find a local nonprofit that may need help, even if there isn’t a volunteer role listed.
Create the Good by AARP
Many people are familiar with AARP, the American Association of Retired Person. What some people may not know is this nonprofit offers a database of volunteer opportunities. Named Create the Good, AARP’s volunteer search has more than 200,000 people in a network. It connects charities with volunteers through a simple online search. Registering on Create the Good can help you find new opportunities that match your interests and skills.
Doing Good Together
Families can find ways to serve their communities with Doing Good Together. Designed to bring parents and children together in the spirit of selfless service, Doing Good Together is focused on family volunteering. Currently, it provides free listings for opportunities in Baltimore, Boston, New York, Oakland, St. Louis, Seattle, Silicon Valley and the Twin Cities. Families near these areas can search by location to find the right opportunities for them.
United Way is one of the oldest and most esteemed volunteer organizations. They’ve been influencing positive change for more than 125 years. There are a number of ways to get involved in United Way projects locally. Using the United Way volunteer search tool, you can browse opportunities by keyword and location. Then, you can filter by skill, category and activity type to find a specific job that suits you and your interests.
Global Volunteers offers volunteering opportunities for students, families, individuals, professionals and retirees. Opportunities last from one to three weeks, immersing volunteers deeply in the culture of the people they’re supporting. Projects include teaching English, supporting women’s crafts cooperatives, improving computer literacy and educating people on nutrition. From Cuba to China, there’s something for everyone at Global Volunteers.
GivePulse is a search tool that lets both volunteers and volunteer organizations find the help they’re looking for. Organizations, for example, can list a specific call for volunteers and add the location, dates and details of the role. GivePulse helpers can also track their hours on the website, which can then be verified by the organization. Volunteers can collaborate with friends, partners and family members on GivePulse projects in order to make an even larger impact.
Jumpstart is an education-focused nonprofit that connects college students and community volunteers to students in need. Jumpstart focuses on improving literacy by having educated volunteers read to students, teach reading skills and ignite their interest in books. Volunteers interested in getting involved can join the corps, where they learn the training, skills and practical experience required to be better prepared for the workforce. This is especially relevant to young people interested in education careers, but anyone who loves books and reading is encouraged to apply.
At Globe Aware, travelers can make an impact in destinations like Thailand, Costa Rica and Peru. Globe Aware offers many specific types of volunteer opportunities, such as those for families, retirees, solo travelers and university groups. Globe Aware is committed to helping people take trips that give back rather than going on another ordinary vacation. By combining beautiful and enriching destinations with meaningful volunteer opportunities, globe aware ensures that everyone involved gets more than they bargained for.
AmeriCorps offers long-term volunteer opportunities, but they also have many chances to get involved in daily, weekly or monthly events locally. Their Find An Opportunity page helps organizations list a call for volunteers, and helpers can also look for events and organizations near them. Whether you want to build houses, support youth literacy or give out meals to those in need, there are many ways you can make a difference through AmeriCorps.
Images by: rawpixel©/123RF.com, Chokniti Khongchum©/123RF.com, Burt Johnson©/123RF.com