National Center for Charitable Statistics

The Nonprofit FAQ

How do I find volunteer opportunities in my community?
You can check for volunteer recruitment notices among the organizations listed at Idealist.org (the publishers of the Nonprofit FAQ). Open http://www.idealist.org and then click on Volunteer Listings in the Advanced Searches area at the right side of the screen. Fill in as many of the fields as you want and then click the Search button. You can also sign up to receive email announcements whenever a new listing is posted that might fit your interests; one of the option boxes at the right hand side of the search screen sets that up for you.






The Points of Light Foundation maintains a list of local volunteer centers at http://www.pointsoflight.org/centers/find_center.cfm. Volunteer centers help match interested volunteers with community organizations and often offer other programs and services related to volunteering, community service and community building.

You can also often find volunteer opportunities by checking through the United Way of America site to find your local United Way at http://national.unitedway.org/myuw/index.cfm

The United Way system includes over 1,400 community-based United
Way organizations. Each is independent, separately incorporated, and
governed by local volunteers.

Many United Ways are also available through 1-800-411-UWAY
(8929), a nationwide toll-free number to put you in direct touch with your
United Way. You can call the 1-800 number to find out if your United Way is
available through this toll-free service.

Pamela Hawley, Director of Operations at Impact Online, wrote in May of 1998:

First item of note: we have launched a new web site!

Please check it out at http://www.volunteermatch.org. The web site reflects our
"city-based model," allowing us to profile volunteers and nonprofit events
in each area. Our purpose is to create a greater sense of community on our
web site which will translate into more involvement in our communities and
benefit our nonprofit partners.

We encourage you to continue taking advantage of all aspects of our
VolunteerMatch service. We've made a signficant investment in building
this database and will continue to do so. Our purpose is to provide
accessibility to the best technology, for free, for our nonprofit partners.
Hundreds of nonprofits are updating their volunteer opportunities and
receiving volunteers. We now encourage you to go to the VolunteerMatch web
site and submit information about your events and need for volunteers!

Susan Ellis said in ADVICE FOR VOLUNTEERS on Impact Online (now http://www.volunteermatch.org/):

There are many ways to identify organizations looking for volunteers.

Here at Impact Online you can learn about one-time volunteer activities
scheduled on specific days. In about twenty American cities there are
organizations called New York (or your city's name) Cares or Hands On
Atlanta (or your city's name) that organize such single day, group events.

See if your community has a "volunteer center," "voluntary action center," or
"volunteer bureau" (try the phone directory) which is a clearinghouse for
information about volunteer opportunities. If not, contact your local
United Way, cultural arts association, or other umbrella organization that
knows about the work of a number of local agencies.

You can also call any agency and ask if they are looking for volunteers.
Just as with a paid job search, taking the initiative may pay off.

And if you cannot find an organization that does the work you most want to do
as a volunteer, maybe you should become the founder of a new agency. It
always starts with one person with a vision. Maybe that's you!

Looking for volunteer work is very much like looking for a paying job--only
better! Expect volunteering to be a fun way to spend your valuable time,
with the added benefit of helping others. The more you know about what you
want to do, the more valuable you will be to the organization you join as
a volunteer.

© Energize, Inc., used by permission.




Reposted with additonal information 8/22/98; re-arranged, updated and corrected 1/20/06 -- PB