Many of us are bursting with passion, but have limited time to dedicate to volunteer opportunities. Whether you are a student, professional, or invested in family life, time can be spread thin, and pose as an obstacle when it comes to volunteering…but it doesn’t have to be. There are many quality, immersive, and short-term volunteer programs for every budget, destination, and focus. Discover the best domestic or international volunteer opportunity, that fits your schedule and passion, and set forth on a life-changing, impactful journey!
There are resources dedicated to helping you find the best one to three week volunteer program, based on your specified search requests. Whether you are a traveler passing through, a student looking to fill a school break, or a professional putting together a group outing, your situational needs can be taken into account.
International Volunteer Programs Association: “The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is a nonprofit accrediting body dedicated to promoting awareness and access to quality volunteer abroad programs.”
In addition, there are many volunteer organizations that fall within a wide spectrum of projects & destination; some have a narrow focus within a single country or community, while others have 100+ trip destinations. Here are just a few organizations that caught our attention.
Global Vision International: “We’re a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).Opportunities include high impact volunteering from one week and up, internships for those looking for career development opportunities, Challenges that allow a one week adventure all for a good cause and a range of programs for school groups and younger volunteers.”
Great for… Anyone.
International Volunteer HQ: “Established in 2007, IVHQ is the world’s leading volunteer abroad organization, offering a variety of projects in over 30 international destinations. Whether you are traveling abroad, taking a gap year, wanting to experience a volunteer vacation, or simply wishing to provide assistance in a community abroad, IVHQ has the program for you.”
Great for… Anyone.
Me to We: “ME to WE is an innovative social enterprise that:
- Inspires and enables people to become leaders and agents of change
- Offers unique volunteer trips that allow young people and adults to participate in health, education and economic development projects abroad
- Empowers people to change the world with their everyday choices by offering consumer products that give back. Every ME to WE product sold contributes to lasting change in a community overseas through its innovative Track Your Impact model”
Great for… Families. (more expensive, but impeccably planned.)
Máximo Nivel: “Maximo Nivel provides high quality, affordable study abroad programs in Latin America. Our programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru include: Spanish immersion, Volunteer Abroad,Service Learning, International Internships, TEFL Certification, Semester Abroad, High School Abroad, and other great adventure and culture programs.”
Great for… Students interested in South America.
Global Volunteers: “International volunteer service can be an experience of a lifetime. Choose a program wisely, and you’ll change the world. Join Global Volunteers, an internationally recognized and respected non-profit leader founded in 1984 providing:
- Genuine human and economic development
- Short-term assignments on long-term projects
- Sustained community-based partnerships”
GlobeAware: “Globe Aware, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) develops short-term volunteer programs in international environments that encourage people to immerse themselves in a unique way of giving back.Every activity in which we engage is intended to accomplish one of two things: promote cultural awareness and/or promote sustainability. For us the concept of cultural awareness means to recognize and appreciate the real beauties and real challenges of a culture, but not to change it. The concept of sustainability is to help others stand on their own two feet; to teach skills rather than reliance.”
Great for… Students & young professionals interested in Asia or South America/Caribbean
Volunteering Solutions: “‘Volunteering Solutions is the best way to travel, intern and volunteer across the world!’ Conceptualized in the late 2006, Volunteering Solutions, now nicknamed VolSol, is an international volunteer placement match organization. In simple words, we find the best volunteer work opportunity abroad for you and get you a volunteering placement in the organization and destination you desire. Most of our volunteers are high school students, teenagers, corporate groups and individuals on their summer or career break.”
Great for… Students looking to volunteer or intern abroad.
Fronteering: “FRONTEERING TRAVEL SERVICES INC. specializes in organizing volunteer abroad projects to preserve the environment, wildlife and indigenous people throughout the world while giving the volunteers a real and raw experience in some of the most beautiful and often remote places in the world to make a true difference. Fronteering takes you off the beaten path and offers many different volunteer abroad opportunities! Wildlife Volunteering, Care for huskies and dog sled or help save the Amazon Amerindian Way of Life!”
Great for… People who love animals and the environment.