Volunteer

OOOOHOME | VOLUNTEER


OOOOWe have chosen organizations which seek out volunteers, and through which volunteers actually come into contact with those in need. We have also tried to chose those for which you don't have to be a member of a particular group or have any specialized training not offered by the charity itself. The charities listed are national in scope. The sites under "General Philantropic Assistence" are omnibus organizations which point potential volunteers to charities, including local charities in your community.
OOOOAbove all, whether you volunteer or donate, we suggest you check all charities with the watchdog groups.
OOOOFinally, we appreciate any comments or suggestions.




p CHARITY WATCHDOG ORGANIZATIONS

American Institute of Philantrophy
OOORates charities according to how much of their takings actually go to the work they claim to do, and on the openness of their records. Lists top-rated charities, but charges for its entire list of rankings.

Charity Navigator
OOORates charities according to their efficiency and effectiveness. Most extensive of the rating organizations.

Give.org
OOOFrom the Better Business Bureau, information and ratings on charities.

National Center for Charitable Statistics
OOOFrom the Urban Institute, not really a watch-dog organization but a research organization for non-profits and non-profit giving.



p GENERAL VOLUNTEER ASSISTENCE

Corporation for National & Community Service
OOOFederal program which includes AmeriCorps, SeniorCorps and Learn & Serve. Not a volunteer search engine, but provides placement in a variety of tasks throughout the United States.

FirstGov: Public Service & Volunteerism
OOOAt the bottom of the page. Some specialized, but some open to anyone. Possibly a few thigs you may not have thought of.

Idealist.org
OOOFrom Action Without Borders, global search engine for both volunteering and donations.

ServiceLeader.org
OOOFrom the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas at Austin, valuable advice and opportunities for volunteering.

USA Freedom Corps
OOOGovernment site created by President Bush as an umbrella organization for several public and private sector service organizations. Its search engine is a good composite of other sites, and provides both hands-on and virtual volunteering opportunities.

USA Network: Give Where You Live
OOONational, urban-oriented volunteer network with substantial and varied volunterring opportunities.

Volunteer.Gov
OOOClearinghouse for volunteer opportunities with the U.S. government and its agencies. Opportunities are varied, however the majority are with the National Parks Service and Veterans' Affairs' hospital system. The site allows searching by state.

Volunteer International
OOOSearchable voluteer opportunities.

Volunteer Match
OOOSearchable volunteer opportunities with extensive local results. Its search engine seems to be the default choice for many sites which don't have one of their own.

Volunteer Solutions
OOOFrom United Way of America, extensive local search results.

Youth Service America
OOOOur exception to the available-to-everyone rule. YSA offers volunteering opportunities to children and young adults, 5 to 25. Zip-based serach engine.



p CHILDREN & YOUTH

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Boy Scouts of America

Campfire USA

City Year
OOOInvolves youth in a year of public service.

Covenant House
OOOProvides shelter and services to homeless and runaway youth in major cities in the United States, Canada and Central America.

Girl Scouts of America

National 4-H Council

National Mentoring Partnership
OOOClearinghouse for mentoring programs with zip-based opportunity search engine.

YMCA


p CIVIL LIBERTIES / HUMAN RIGHTS

Amnesty International
OOOInternational human rights organization. Offers indirect participation through local groups.



p DISASTER & RELIEF

American Red Cross


p EDUCATION & LITERACY

America's Literacy Directory
OOOHas searchable database of volunteering opportunities for the United States.

Proliteracy Worldwide
OOOHas searchable database of volunteering opportunities for the United States.

Reading Is Fundamental
OOOEncourages reading among children and youth. Lists of regional volunteer contacts.



p ENVIRONMENT

National Park Service: Volunteer
OOOProvides a complete list of volunteer needs.

National Wildlife Federation: Volunteer
OOOFill out the questionaire.

USDA Forest Service: Volunteers
OOOA variety of programs for youth, seniors and regular volunteers.



p HEALTH, HEALTH CARE & DISABILITIES

American Hospice Foundation
OOOProvides services to the terminally ill and the berieved through education, training and advocacy.

Faith in Action
OOOSeeks to maintain the independence of those with long-term illnesses.

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association
OOOPromotes the benefit of horse-riding for the physically, emotionally and mentally disabled.



p HOUSING & SHELTER

Habitat for Humanity
OOOBuilds affordable housing for low-income families.

Rebuilding Together
OOOThe program rebuilds and rehabilitates low-income housing and non-profit structures. The site is mostly about founding affiliates - a responsibility you may not want to take on - but the affiliates use both skilled and unskilled volunteers. There is a link to finding a local affiliate.



p HUNGER & NUTRITION

America's Second Harvest
OOONation-wide network of food banks and food "rescue" organizations.



p SENIORS & AGING

American Association of Retired Persons: Community Service
OOOThe search engine is not senior-specific. (In fact, it's Volunteer Match.) It's best to fill out the on-line form and contact AARP directly.