3 Websites to Help you Find Volunteer Opportunities

Man in Volunteer Shirt


Since there are tons and tons of nonprofits finding a volunteer opportunity is pretty easy to do.  The issue is finding an opportunity that fits your needs and interests.  Some people want to work with animals every Monday while others want to paint a building one Saturday every year.  To help you find that perfect volunteer opportunity that’s in your area here are three websites you can use to search and contact nonprofits for volunteer opportunities.

1. VolunteerMatch.org

Using VolunteerMatch.org to search for volunteer activities is really straightforward and very simple.  You type in your zip code and a keyword about the type of activity you want and you get a list immediately.  I typed in 63132 and “technology” and found a nonprofit that teaches 4th – 8th graders how to use the computer.  I was then able to send a message directly from the website to their volunteer coordinator expressing interest in the program.

2. Idealist.org

Idealist.org is another great place to search for volunteer opportunities online.  My favorite feature of Idealist.org is the ability to drill down to the exact types of volunteer opportunities you’re looking for.  After typing in my city in the search box I was then able to use the sidebar to look for only events.  Once I was looking at events I could choose to see only walks, conferences, or fundraisers.  If you’re looking to make a career in nonprofit work they also allow you to pull up available jobs or internships in your area.

3. HandsOn Network

The HandsOn Network is the volunteer arm of the Points of Light Institute, a large nonprofit organization inspired by President George H.W. Bush’s Daily Point of Light Award for individuals who have made a difference.  Just like VolunteerMatch.org and Idealist.org you can search for opportunities by type and by location.  While they don’t have as many opportunities listed as the others (only two came up for my zip code) they do have local “Action Centers” you can contact to help you find opportunities in your area.  Also, you can contact someone within their organization who will help your company set up a customized employee volunteer program.

I know this article doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the websites you can use to find volunteer opportunities, but hopefully it will help get you started if you’ve had trouble finding volunteer opportunities in the past.

Have you ever used the internet to find a volunteer opportunity?  How did it go?  Share your tips in the comments.

Jonathan Goldford is Wired Impact’s resident programmer and usability chap. He spends most of his time hunkered down with code working to make websites load faster and work more simply.

28 Comments on “3 Websites to Help you Find Volunteer Opportunities

  1. 1 ntombozuko jentu March 11, 2015

    I would like to volunteer but I don’t know were to start

    1. 2 Jonathan Goldford March 11, 2015

      If you don’t know where to start then I’d definitely recommend checking out the websites listed here. Good luck in your search!

  2. 3 Israel Nasasira March 22, 2015

    We are a charity in Uganda. Any advise of how to get volunteers?

    1. 4 Jonathan Goldford March 22, 2015

      That’s a really good question Israel. I would suggest looking for Ugandan websites similar to the ones listed here and posting your opportunities there. Otherwise, make sure to list volunteer opportunities on your website and make it easy to reach out to get involved. Aside from that, ask people. A lot of people don’t volunteer simply because they’re never asked.

  3. 5 hamadi habib April 2, 2015

    I’d like to work in voluntary countries because’m tired of the war here in libya I am from Benin and am looking for someone who can help me thank you and I speak English French Arabic

  4. 6 Nancy Bergman April 3, 2015

    I am planing a visit to India. Can you tell me about the best volunteer organizations in India?

    1. 7 Jonathan Goldford April 3, 2015

      Thanks for writing Nancy. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can be a ton of help here. Your best bet is probably to do a Google search for “volunteer opportunities in India” or even a more specific search for volunteer opportunities in the cities you’re going to be visiting. Good luck.

    2. 8 Peeyush June 24, 2015

      Hello Nancy, I saw your comment on internet that you are interested in volunteering in India so kindly visit our website and let us know. Thanks in advance

      Have a great day ahead .


      Thanks and Regards

  5. 9 Steph April 15, 2015

    Hi Jonathan. I am actually liking for the opposite. I’m trying to locate volunteers in my area that may be able to help with light tasks with my dad who has dementia. I found one elder website that required you to pay upfront before even obtaining any information, which is unsettling.
    Are there websites you are aware of to help locate local volunteers?

    1. 10 Jonathan Goldford April 15, 2015

      Hi Steph,

      It’s going to be a little harder for you to find volunteers directly since I would guess you’re not set up as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. My best recommendation would probably be to search for nonprofits that help provide elder care. They would likely already have volunteers who are willing to help, and would have the processes in place to provide effective care. I hope that’s helpful and good luck.

  6. 11 Md. Rakibul Islam April 23, 2015

    I want to be a world’s renowned volunteer. How can start the task to be? Though I am a novice in this regard.

    1. 12 Jonathan Goldford April 23, 2015

      Hi Rakibul, that’s a difficult question. If you want to be world renowned you should probably start volunteering all the time for highly visible nonprofits and attempt to have as great an impact as possible in the community. Good luck.

  7. 13 Nicole Proudman July 22, 2015

    I am trying to find a place were i can volunteer helping out the homeless and battered women. I know a lot about programs getting on welfare ssi ssd other programs to help these women find affordable houseing cash ass. counseling a bunch I have helped out a lot of people on my own and would love to volunteer at some shelters and help these women get back on there feet. I am a survivor of a few rape and violet relationships and have been through a lot of what these women are going through now and no one helped me not family friends no one but myself. It makes me feel good to help others and someday soon I am hopeing to become a counselor. I am still battling with some issues but I know I will get through them since I am use to life by now and am doing everything I can to reach my goals and get what I deserve finally. In the mean time it gives me great joy to help those who truely need the help it makes me feel good and Iam proud of myself when I can help someone ans see them become better for the help I have given its a bigger payment to me then money. Don’t get me wrong I do love and need money and after I go to school and become a counselor until then helping people will be great practice and will give me the feeling of good I will be making a difference one person at a time and hopefully what I teach them they teach and help out someone else. Thank you Nicole Proudman can contact me also by phone in the morning after 10am at 716-912-1045

    1. 14 Jonathan Goldford July 22, 2015

      Thanks for reaching out Nicole and for your passion to help others. Hopefully by using the websites listed in the blog post you can find an opportunity that works for you. Good luck.

  8. 15 Maudedobbs@gmail dobbs August 1, 2015

    I’m located now in mccomb Mississippi and I have no one so I’m rather bored I can be using this time wisely

  9. 16 willians nieves August 23, 2015

    Hi Jonathan, I would like to know how can I do to get a project to make or built web apps or websites as volunteer, I want to improve my portfolio and i think that’s a good opportunity. i am from Venezuela I hope you can help me


    1. 17 Jonathan Goldford August 23, 2015

      Thanks for reaching out Willians. You can definitely find opportunities to help remotely. Try visiting http://www.volunteermatch.org, choosing “virtual” and typing in something like “website”, “web development” or something similar. I tried it out and there were a few opportunities where nonprofits were looking for web help. Good luck in your search.

  10. 18 Apricio De Oliveira August 23, 2015

    We are a charity from Timor-Leste. Any advise of how to get volunteers to my organization.

    1. 19 Jonathan Goldford August 24, 2015

      My first suggestion would be to post volunteer opportunities on the tools listed in the article. If that doesn’t work I’d suggest reaching out to universities to see if they have students that might be interested.

  11. 20 kelvin njenga September 13, 2015

    we are an NGO christian based organisation in Kenya dealing with helping street kids in Kenya and offer a number of placements to our volunteers, but we are finding it difficult to find international volunteers. What is the best thing we can do to have international volunteers?

    1. 21 Jonathan Goldford September 15, 2015

      Hi Kelvin, I’d recommend posting your volunteer opportunities on the websites listed in the article. Those sites are extremely popular, so your opportunities would hopefully be seen by folks who may be interested in coming to Kenya. Good luck!

  12. 22 Emmanuel September 18, 2015

    We Are Looking For Volunteers

    1. 23 Jonathan Goldford September 18, 2015

      Great. Make sure you post your opportunities on the websites listed in the article. Good luck.

    2. 24 adeel ahmed November 19, 2015

      hi Emmanuel I would like to know how can I do to get a projector as volunteer, I want to improve my portfolio and i think that’s a good opportunity. i am from pakistan I hope you can help me


  13. 25 Rudra Khanal November 3, 2015

    Dear Jonathan i am behalf on west Nepal Development Trust from Nepal and our organizations want volunteer for needy society so how to requirements to volunteer s please guide to me.

    1. 26 Jonathan Goldford November 19, 2015

      Hi Rudra, the best way to find volunteers is probably to post on the websites provided within the article. Take a shot at that and let us know how it goes. Good luck.

  14. 27 adeel ahmed November 19, 2015

    hi friend I am planing a visit to china. Can you tell me about the best volunteer organizations in china?

    1. 28 Jonathan Goldford November 19, 2015

      I’m sorry Adeel, but I wouldn’t be the best person to ask about volunteer organizations in China. Try going to the websites I listed and see if they can provide any help. Good luck.

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