Want to volunteer? Our Volunteer Resource Center can help


Volunteers work to reinforce sandbag levees in North Dakota. (Photo by US Army Corps of Engineers, Flickr/Creative Commons)

Did you know there are more than 13,000 volunteer opportunities listed on Idealist.org right now? Whether you can spare a few hours or an entire year,  we have an opportunity for you.

If this is your first time volunteering (or you just need a refresher), here are some highlights from our Volunteer Resource Center:

Who can volunteer? Just about everyone. Check out our resource center for more specific information on volunteering for youth, students, families, retired folks, those of you currently in the workforce, and those of you with special needs.

What can I do as a volunteer? Again, just about anything. While you can certainly go to a shelter once a week to dish up food, volunteering can take many other shapes. Broad categories covered in our resource center include serving on a board, participating in direct service or disaster relief, creating your own project, volunteering online, offering your skills pro bono, and volunteering in a different community or even a different country.

How do I start?

  • With so many options available to you, you’ll first need to identify your interests and your goals, and the time commitment that you’re willing and able to make.
  • Search Idealist to find potential partner organizations that you’d like to work with. Do some preliminary research to make sure they are a good fit. Some example questions are below; click here for a more complete list. If you’re considering an international opportunity, make sure you check out our International Volunteerism Resource Center as well.
    • What is the organization’s mission?
    • What would your responsibilities as a volunteer be?
    • Is there a time commitment for volunteers?
    • Make sure to ask questions specific to your situation: building accessibility, physical ability required for the position, transportation options, accommodations for a restricted diet or certain religious/cultural practices, etc.
  • Make a decision and follow through with your commitment!

If you need some convincing to get started, take a look at some benefits (to you!) of volunteering, and the importance of volunteerism to your community, and yes, to the economy (…to the tune of $162 billion U.S.).

Find a volunteer opportunity that suits your interests and needs here.

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