Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How VolunteerMatch Works


More than 65,000 nonprofits list their projects and volunteer needs on VolunteerMatch, the largest online network of volunteering opportunities.
More than 65,000 nonprofits list their projects and volunteer needs on VolunteerMatch, the largest online network of volunteering opportunities.
©iStockphoto/JasonRWarren

It used to be that your primary options for finding volunteer work would be to read your church newsletter or scan the community center bulletin board. Not anymore. Now, finding volunteer work is a lot like trying to find a love interest online -- complete with profiles that include pictures, testimonials and reasons why you'd be the perfect match.

More than 65,000 nonprofits list their projects and volunteer needs on VolunteerMatch, the largest online network of volunteering opportunities. Persons seeking charity work can search for opportunities by location, interest area or keyword.

Launched in 1995 by four MBA grads who wanted to make it easier for busy executives to get information about social causes and the organizations in need of help, the San Francisco-based Web site claims it has made more than 4 million volunteer referrals in the past 10 years [source: VolunteerMatch].

The goal is to tap the millions of online users who may be willing to donate money to a good cause or lend a hand, expanding the reach of nonprofits that typically have limited marketing and recruitment funds.

Organizations that list their volunteer openings on VolunteerMatch include the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, National MS Society, Easter Seals, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and the Peace Corps [source: VolunteerMatch].

The site also helps corporations like Charles Schwab, Dell Computers, Exelon, Google and General Mills match their employees to community projects, track employee volunteer hours and manage their own charitable campaigns [source: VolunteerMatch].

Read on to find out more about how VolunteerMatch helps nonprofits get the help they need.


More to Explore