July 04th, 2017

5 of the best websites for skilled volunteer opportunities

There are many reasons why people volunteer domestically or online. For some, it is a chance to break into the not-for-profit or non-government sectors. Others value the personal or professional development. Recruiters recommend it as a precursor to international volunteer assignments. 

Whatever your motivation, the standard and diversity of volunteer opportunities is on the rise. Technology has enabled formats such as micro-volunteering, where tasks can be broken down into minutes, or mentorship facilitated through applications like WhatsApp. Even teams of professionals can tackle large projects together. One thing is certain - the world could not exist without volunteers. 
 

United Nations Volunteers

The best thing about UN volunteers is the organisations you can connect with across the globe! Support grass-roots organisations in Nigeria or international NGO’s in Uganda, Ghana or Guatemala. The assignments are all virtual, so requests are skewed to computer or mobile-based.

 

Good Company

Good Company was Australia’s first corporate volunteering site, servicing large workforce programs for the likes of ANZ, Optus and Westpac. They represent some 1,500 charities! Opportunities are available to individuals and companies alike, and contributions are tracked by participants, hours and the value of the skills donated.

 

Go Volunteer

There’s a mix of skilled and unskilled opportunities on this site. Thanks to more than 40 filters you can narrow the search down, which you’ll need to do as there are currently more than 12,000 opportunities on the site! Run by peak body Volunteering Australia in partnership with Seek and state based volunteer centres, this is the epicentre of domestic volunteering.

 

Red Cross Australia

You might associate Red Cross volunteering with op-shops but they actually employ thousands of skilled volunteers to facilitate migrant support, disaster recovery and relief work, and community services across the nation every year. They’re not called a movement for nothing!

 

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)

The peak body for international development in Australia, ACFID lists all member organisations that rely on skilled Australians to help implement programs across the globe. You’ll find AVI on the list, along with the Australian Government’s skilled volunteering program – Australian Volunteersfor International Development.


Tips to help find your match 

  • Look beyond your job category. If for example, you’re an Information Technology Manager, your skills in business management, administration, project planning or training might be a few clicks away from the ICT category.
  • Expect the unexpected. The ‘third sector’ has a different set of rules and motivations for working. Values-based decision making, flat hierarchies, wider consultation and a lack of resourcing are common differences to the private or government sectors.
  • Be patient. It’s likely the request for your assistance has come from someone who is time poor. Response rates can be on the slower side, but don’t let it dampen your enthusiasm.