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.

63 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 Larry Bertoni June 28, 2016

      I would like to volunteer but I am disabled so I’m not sure what I could do but I do need to do something I have had for fusions in my lower back. I have had a fusion in my neck and shoulder surgeries but I would love to find something I can do to be productive during the day after working for 20 years

    3. 4 Miun Gleeson July 5, 2016

      Hi Larry. Try visiting the websites in the article and see if they have opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Good luck!

  2. 5 Israel Nasasira March 22, 2015

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

    1. 6 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. 7 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. 8 Nancy Bergman April 3, 2015

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

    1. 9 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. 10 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 .

      http://www.volunteerbreak.com

      Thanks and Regards
      Volunteerbreak.com

  5. 11 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. 12 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 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

    Thanks

    1. 19 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. 20 Apricio De Oliveira August 23, 2015

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

    1. 21 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. 22 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. 23 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. 24 Emmanuel September 18, 2015

    We Are Looking For Volunteers

    1. 25 Jonathan Goldford September 18, 2015

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

    2. 26 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

      Thanks

  13. 27 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. 28 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. 29 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. 30 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.

  15. 31 Penny Lafferty December 11, 2015

    Hello,
    I live in Bucks County, Pa.
    I was wondering if there is some areas near me where you can use a volunteer for a few hours a week.
    Thank you,
    Penny, 215-396-2996

    1. 32 Jonathan Goldford December 14, 2015

      Thanks for reaching out Penny. Try checking out each of the websites listed in the article. The VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist and HandsOn Network websites each allow you to search by area so you can find opportunities close by.

      Good luck.

  16. 33 Le Hai Yen December 15, 2015

    Hello,
    I am a Vietnamese.
    I want to join in a foreign Laboratories in Biology to help professor make experiments. I want to work in laboratory as a volunteer for a long time.
    if you know professor need a volunteer work in his/her laboratory, you will talk to me, won’t you?
    Thank you so much.

    1. 34 Jonathan Goldford December 16, 2015

      Thanks for reaching out Le. While it might be tough finding exactly what you’re looking for, your best bet is to use the websites listed in the article to find volunteer opportunities. Good luck.

  17. 35 Neel Kothari December 29, 2015

    Dear Jonathan,

    I work at a not-for-profit organization called SMART Eco Park, Mumbai, India. We have a 20 acre unique interactive learning studio for children. We are looking for international volunteers who would want to spend their summer interning or working abroad (at our Park). Would you happen to know any websites that offer such access to not-profits like ours?

    Please visit our website at http://www.smartindia.org. Please contact me via email.

    Thanks and take care.

    Neel

    1. 36 Jonathan Goldford December 30, 2015

      Thanks for reaching out Neel. I’d recommend checking out the websites in the article and posting your opportunities on those sites. Good luck!

  18. 37 susie January 3, 2016

    Hi Jonathan,
    This Susie,I’m ESL student, I’m looking to do volunteer . Could you please tell me your recommendation!!
    Thank you in advance.

    1. 38 Jonathan Goldford January 3, 2016

      Thanks for reaching out Susie. I’d recommend checking out the websites in the article. I’m sure there are a ton of opportunities that would fit an ESL student. Good luck and let me know if there is anything else we can do to help.

  19. 39 Felicia January 5, 2016

    CWFAH seeking Volunteers Business Management Reception Nonprofit Secretary event planner for Columbia Mo

  20. 40 Merianne Bowens February 7, 2016

    Im a senior living in cleveland ohio looking for something on a bus line to volunteer with people that are struggling in their day to day with addiction and or everything associated with loosing everything because of their addiction. Thank You. Merianne

    1. 41 Jonathan Goldford February 10, 2016

      Thanks for reaching out Merianne. Try visiting the websites in the article and see if they have opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Good luck!

  21. 42 Tyson Adams February 9, 2016

    Hye,i am in Africa Kenya and i have been serching for an NGO to volunteer as either:charity work,language practise,art project or teaching but i have found none can you please assist me?

    1. 43 Jonathan Goldford February 10, 2016

      That’s great to hear Tyson. Try visiting the websites in the article to see if they can help you find opportunities! Good luck.

  22. 44 mayega sulaiman makanga March 13, 2016

    i would like to volunteer but i do not know where to start from

    1. 45 Jonathan Goldford March 23, 2016

      Thanks for posting Mayega. To get started check out the websites in the article. Hopefully you can find some opportunities on those websites. Good luck!

  23. 46 Jon Ollendorf April 13, 2016

    I realize the typical commenter is looking for volunteer activities. However, some are looking for volunteers to help them personally. Hopefully this comment will help people coming to your website looking for assistance. By dialing the telephone number 211, many people in the US are able to find organizations that provide assistance and aid. 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember three-digit telephone number that brings people and services together.

    The website http://www.211us.org/status.htm gives an indication of coverage by state.

    1. 47 Jonathan Goldford April 13, 2016

      Thanks for sharing Jon. The 2-1-1 service is definitely a valuable resource for the community.

  24. 48 Matthew April 18, 2016

    If you’re looking to do skilled volunteering, check out taprootplus.org from the Taproot Foundation! It’s a nation-wide volunteer marketplace specifically for pro bono, meaning you can use your professional skills to help nonprofits with a high-impact project. Most projects can be done remotely, and it’s a free service for both nonprofits and volunteers.

    1. 49 Jonathan Goldford April 25, 2016

      Thanks for sharing Matthew. This seems like a great opportunity for folks to contribute to the nonprofit space.

  25. 50 Ishant May 23, 2016

    Hi Jonathan.

    Really appreciated the way you help people by your comment. You are doing such a nice job.

    I am Ishant from India and now I have some free time which I want to use it to do some good volunteer work or to help people. I may not have much skills. But still I do have a passion to do something good. And I want to start it from India. Because i cant go abroad dont have so much money so Can you please advice me or share me anybody’s contact no in delhi so that I can contact with him to join. Because I don’t know from where to start.

    1. 51 Jonathan Goldford June 1, 2016

      It’s great to hear that you want to volunteer Ishant. I’m definitely not an expert on volunteer opportunities in India. Have you taken a look at https://www.volunteeringindia.com/volunteer-delhi.html? That seems like a helpful site and one that might provide you some opportunities. I’d also suggest doing a few searches online to see what else you can find. Good luck!

  26. 52 Tammy Austin May 23, 2016

    I moved to New Orleans, Louisiana from a small Arkansas town a year ago. I do not work and at 56 years old I don’t know how to go about meeting people and making friends. My boyfriend suggested volunteering at something but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?

    1. 53 Jonathan Goldford June 1, 2016

      I think volunteering is a great way to meet new people. I’d suggest checking out the websites listed in the article to find opportunities that you would enjoy in New Orleans. Good luck!

  27. 54 Elias May 24, 2016

    I was volunteering at st joseph as a child care worker,so i want to go volunteer international so please help me

    1. 55 Jonathan Goldford June 1, 2016

      It’s great to hear you’ve been volunteering Elias. I’d suggest using the sites covered in the article to find new opportunities. Good luck!

  28. 56 David Hesron Shehemba June 14, 2016

    My name is David shehemba, a Managing Director for Enhancing Access to Health for Poverty Reduction – Tanzania. We are looking for a volunteer who will help us in our present undertakings. Please advise me what to do.

    1. 57 Miun Gleeson June 20, 2016

      Hi David,
      The resources cited in the article would be a good place to start. Good luck!

  29. 58 Dom June 27, 2016

    Hey there,

    I am looking to find volunteers to help a with a musical project.
    I will be based in Europe for the next 6 months but my colleague is a producer in Toronto.
    I work remotely but our main markets will be Ontario (Toronto), New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
    Any advice on where to post? How to go a bout it?
    We are small collective with vast experience in the music industry, particularly in Europe and are looking for younger people (18-30) to help with P.R., promotion and the like. If these people prove themselves down the road we could possibly hire them.

    Please me help me out, would be very appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Dom

    1. 59 Miun Gleeson July 6, 2016

      Hi Dom, we’d refer you to the resources in the blog post if your project is a nonprofit opportunity.

  30. 60 Adia June 27, 2016

    Hi everyone,

    I am part of a small group that started a Non Profit organization for homeless children in Burundi (Africa) called One Meal at a time. We are looking for ways to have the organization website built by a volunteer, since we are not so great at it ourselves 🙁
    Any ideas? Would greatly appreciate any advise. Thank you.

    1. 61 Miun Gleeson July 5, 2016

      Hi Adia. We’d suggest visiting the websites in the article to get started. Good luck!

  31. 62 Kyoyita Isreal June 28, 2016

    I am Kyoyita Isreal programs director of Love Uganda Foundation Uganda.We are looking for volunteers Child care/Ophanange,Poverty eradication,Farming,Water and sanitaion.

    1. 63 Miun Gleeson July 5, 2016

      Hi Kyoyita. Try visiting the websites in the article and see if they have opportunities that might be a good fit for you. Good luck!

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