Examples of Volunteer Work and How To Choose a Right One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 16, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Volunteering is an excellent way to apply your skills and abilities for a good cause, create positive change, and experience profound fulfilment. There are several volunteering opportunities you can choose from to impact people, the environment, and your community. Understanding examples of volunteer work can help you decide on a particular volunteering field where you can use your abilities for good. In this article, we discuss examples of volunteer work, highlight how to decide on particular volunteer work, and outline the benefits of volunteering.

Examples of volunteer work

Here are some examples of volunteer work you can consider:

Volunteering in permaculture projects

Permaculture is an innovative way to make the processes involved in agriculture more sustainable. You can volunteer in several permaculture projects to learn how to work with and care for the environment. Permaculture projects comprise taking care of the earth and its resources, especially concerning the earth's sustainability. As a volunteer in this field, you practise respect for the earth, explore social justice, and promote the fair division of the earth's natural resources. There are several permaculture centres where you can explore alternative options for society and the environment.

Farm volunteering

Volunteering at a farm is another environment-themed way to apply your skills for the benefit of others. Farm volunteering activities include gardening, transferring plants from their nurseries to their permanent location, applying fertilizers or manure, plant harvesting, and weed removal. Farm activities also extend to caring for farm animals. This includes milking cows or goats, fetching and storing eggs from the poultry, spotting dead fish in a fish farm, or generally feeding animals. You can incorporate several sustainable practices into your farm activities for optimal volunteer experience.

Volunteering in ecovillages

Ecovillages are ecological alternatives. They are small, self-sustaining societies that make their living from and for their natural surroundings. You can extend your volunteering activities to ecovillages to appreciate the wonders of living in tune with the natural, undiluted environment. Ecovillage projects are diverse, and they include projects like permaculture, educational centres, and ecological farming. Volunteering in ecovillages can help you expand your consciousness and connect with nature. It can also help you discover the benefits of resource management and respect for the environment.

Volunteering in environmental conservation projects

Several projects seek to conserve the earth's finite resources. You can volunteer with many of these projects, especially if you have an interest in preserving the environment. Conservation projects specialize in implementing and improving environmental standards and practices. They also focus on reducing the negative effects of human activities on the environment and preserving environmental diversity. In these kinds of volunteering activities, you can learn the importance of ecological biodiversity and contribute to protecting several natural and pristine environments.

Volunteering at animal farms

Volunteering at animal farms is another fulfilling option, as you can create bonds with several animals in the volunteer process. Animal farm volunteering includes feeding the animals, animal photography, animal transportation, and doing administrative work for the animal farm. You can also help in nursing ill animals back to health.

Volunteering with wildlife conservation projects

Wildlife conservation is another animal-themed volunteering opportunity that combines the benefits of animal care and animal conservation. Wildlife conservation involves protecting and preserving wild species and their natural habitats. The opportunities and activities in wildlife volunteering are diverse, and it includes activities like setting up workshops to educate people on the importance of wildlife conservation. It also includes working for several wildlife conservation non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, in several capacities. An important benefit of volunteering for wildlife conservation is that it provides an opportunity to learn much about several wildlife animals and their habitats.

Volunteering with animal care

Volunteering with animal care involves caring for and rescuing animals. Animal shelters care for stray animals, and there are several ways to volunteer in this activity. You can also be of additional importance if you have experience in animal health fields, as it gives you a wider volunteering scope. Regardless, you can still be relevant without experience in animal health. For example, you can help identify stray animals, process their adoptions, or transport them to their new homes.

Related: Top Extracurricular Activities to Improve Your Resume

Volunteer as a teacher for kids

There are several opportunities to use your skills as a child educator in volunteering. Some of these opportunities include teaching at schools or workshops for children. Working with kids can be very rewarding as it allows you to impact society through the kids. It's important that you teach only topics you understand to ensure you pass on the right information. Beyond teaching formal subjects, you can also teach kids' activities like swimming, cycling, baking, or the importance of volunteering.

Volunteer at healthcare institutions

Volunteering in this field requires that you have medical background or experience, unlike in other volunteer fields. Volunteering in healthcare is similarly rewarding, as it provides an opportunity to help nurture the weak and vulnerable. There are also opportunities to provide comfort for the sick. You can volunteer in this field by engaging in activities like helping with blood donation activities and obtaining medical information from patients. Despite the medical background requirement, you can help in other general ways, like preparing meals for the sick or helping with the institution's laundry.

How to choose the right volunteer work

Selecting a volunteer opportunity that suits you is important to ensure you can dedicate enough time and energy to it. Follow these steps to make the right choice:

1. Define your aspirations and goals

The extent to which you can enjoy your volunteering experience depends on if it aligns with your personal goals and values. This makes it important to highlight what you intend to gain from such experience. After identifying your goals and values, you can search for a volunteer opportunity that caters to them perfectly. For example, if you intend to learn a new language, you can select an opportunity that takes you to a country or region with a different language than yours. Taking wildlife conservation volunteer opportunities is also helpful if you have biology-related aspirations.

2. Select opportunities that are perfect for your skills

Volunteering allows you to make a positive impact by engaging in activities for which you have the skills. This means that you can opt for teaching activities only if you're certain of your teaching skills. Also, it's necessary that you have a background in the medical field if you intend to take a health-related volunteer opportunity. Nevertheless, several specific or technical institutions have volunteer openings that allow for general or soft skills. For example, you can volunteer to prepare meals for the sick and vulnerable at a medical institution.

3. Select a volunteer opportunity that you enjoy

Selecting a volunteer opportunity that you enjoy doing is necessary to make the most of such an opportunity. You can only make a positive impact in a field if you have a passion for it. For example, you can volunteer at an animal farm if you love animals, at a school if you love teaching or kids, and at a swimming pool as a lifeguard if you are a good swimmer and enjoy swimming.

Benefits of volunteering

Here are some benefits you can get from volunteering:

Satisfaction of helping others

Volunteering allows you to help people, animals, or plants directly or indirectly. You can help directly by administering your services directly to the recipients. Alternatively, you can provide indirect help by assisting the persons or organizations that directly help the recipients. The satisfaction also multiplies if your volunteer experience is in a field you love.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Volunteering?

Career advancement

Taking on volunteer opportunities can help you develop experience in a particular field. For instance, volunteering in a medical institution improves your qualifications as a medical officer. It also provides you with an opportunity to develop your soft skills like teamwork, problem-solving, task management, organization, and communication skills. When you volunteer in a technical field, you can also develop your hard skills in that role.

Related: Tips for Listing Volunteer Work on Resume (With Examples)

Meeting new people

Volunteering gives you the chance to meet and connect with different people from different regions and backgrounds. These opportunities provide a chance to bond and create meaningful relationships with prior strangers. Meeting new people also comes with the added advantage of learning about different cultures, values, and beliefs. In addition, it's a great place to network and build positive professional relationships.

Happiness and a sense of purpose

Volunteering often helps combat depression and reduce stress levels. This is because the social connections you make during volunteering helps in increasing your feelings of happiness. It can also help you develop a sense of purpose and direction, especially if it's in a field that revolves around your passion.

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