Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your community, help those in need and do something for the greater good. It can also do yourself some good in return — you can meet new people, learn new skills and challenge yourself to try something different. Plus, it simply feels good to give back!
But where to start and how to find a place that works well with your schedule and talents takes some careful consideration and planning. The good news is there’s always a place to volunteer, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time — you just need to find the right fit for you!
Let’s get started!
Volunteer Posting Sites for Local Opportunities
Local volunteer posting sites are a great way to get started. They can give you all the details you need about volunteering for different organizations. Many of these websites post information about a variety of groups so you can research different opportunities in one place.
No matter what kind of volunteer work you’re interested in, these websites can help you find an opportunity that matches your skillset and interests.
- United Way is an international organization whose mission is to “improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.” It connects people to volunteer opportunities in their communities. On the United Way website, you can search by city, areas of interest and more.
- JustServe helps people find local volunteer opportunities. You can search by project, organization, interests, skills and more. The site also shares success stories with descriptions, photos and details that might help you decide which organization is right for you.
- VolunteerMatch makes it easy for good people and good causes to connect. Since 1998, the organization has connected 16.7 million volunteers with great places to volunteer, helping more than 135,000 organizations create real impact.
- DoSomething calls itself a “youth-led movement for good.” It helps young people who are interested in making a difference in their communities find a cause that fits their passions. It even helps members earn scholarships through community service!
- Engage can connect you to all kinds of volunteer opportunities in your area. You can search for causes — and if you don’t find a good match, use the site to start a new project in your community! You can also search for other volunteers near you, or recruit friends and neighbors to join your cause.
- Catchafire matches professionals who want to share their skills with nonprofits in need. Skills-based volunteering allows nonprofits to tap into a range of professionals they might not be able to afford to hire, such as accountants, engineers, marketers and more. All that expertise adds up — the average volunteer project on Catchafire provides professional services worth $5,200!
- GivePulse lets you easily engage with local causes you care about, then measure and understand the positive impact of your efforts. Since 2012, it’s helped more than 100,000 groups bring millions of people together to make positive social change, with more than 10 million verified impacts across North and Central America.
Places to Volunteer
When thinking of ways to give back to your community, consider looking right outside your front door. Starting local in your philanthropic endeavors is a great way to ensure your area gets the right support, curated to its specific needs. It can also mean you can receive better resources, connect with your community and create the biggest impact with your time and effort.
Looking for volunteer activities near you? There might be more than you think! There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in your surrounding area — you just may not know about them yet. That’s where we can help! Here are 12 types of organizations that might be looking for volunteers in your area.
11. Arts and cultural organizations
Cultural organizations like history museums, art museums and theaters often need volunteers to help with ticket sales, food and beverage service, and directing patrons around the venue. In museums, teachers and trained experts can volunteer to help run seminars and guide tours. In some community theaters, volunteers can help with behind-the-scenes work, such as set design and lighting. If you know where you’d like to volunteer, check out opportunities on their website, or talk to friends or colleagues who are already involved.
12. Local hospitals
Local healthcare facilities always need help, and they are typically very welcoming to volunteers. And you don’t need to have medical experience — you just need a willingness to lend a hand! Most hospitals rely on volunteers to supplement their staff’s daily nonmedical tasks, from greeting families to delivering flowers. Call your local hospital or check the website to find out if they’re accepting help from volunteers.
Ready to Volunteer? Find Volunteer Work in Your Community!
Now that you know where to look for volunteer opportunities and have some local options, it’s time to get started! Volunteering for organizations you care about not only helps your community today, it’s a promise for a future that can empower others to dream big and continue the chain of change. Whether you volunteer every day or every so often, your time and skills can make real, positive change for an individual, family or whole community.
At American Family Insurance, we share your passion for creating stronger communities. We believe it’s our responsibility to show up for our communities –– our dedication to philanthropic efforts has been engrained in our company culture for over 90 years. That’s why we created our social impact resources collection. Take a look!
This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.