55+ Volunteering Research
New VolunteerMatch study shows how Boomers are changing volunteering.


A large and ever-growing database of volunteer programs affiliated with the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network.

About.Com: Nonprofit Charitable Organizations

"Information about nonprofit organizations, management, fundraising, grant writing, volunteers, nonprofit employment and nonprofit start-ups."

America's Literacy Directory

Provides a directory of literacy programs across the United States, searchable by city and zip code.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

For more than a century this organization has been matching young people with adult mentors. Its site includes a database of local agencies, searchable by zip code.


This organization's site connects "nonprofit boards with new leaders." To search for positions, applicants must register, but there is no fee.

Charity Guide: Promote Reading: Share Books

Provides suggestions and links to other sources on promoting reading in the community.

Civic Ventures

This organization creates programs to honor the skills and work experience of adults. Includes the Experience Corps® program, which at present runs literacy programs in several cities.

Corporation for National & Community Service

A government-sponsored program providing volunteer opportunities. Includes a finding tool for identifying state-sponsored opportunities.

Cross-Cultural Solutions

This overseas volunteer program enables participants to experience other cultures while working on local projects. (A program fee is required.)

Generations United

This organization works to improve "the lives of children, youth, and older people through intergenerational strategies, programs, and public policies." Includes an "Intergenerational Program Directory" listing opportunities around the country.

Habitat for Humanity®

This international "Christian housing ministry" helps build homes for the homeless. Volunteer opportunities are available in both the U.S. and abroad.


Operated by Action Without Borders whose mission is "to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect." Includes a database of worldwide volunteer opportunities, plus a "Nonprofit Career Center" listing internships and jobs.

Internet Public Library (IPL): Pathfinders: Volunteer Service Programs

A list of volunteer opportunities as compiled by IPL, a helpful search directory.


This organization is comprised of a national network of mentoring programs. Its site includes a large database of mentoring opportunities, searchable by zip code.

MuseumsUSA.org: Museum Directory

A comprehensive directory of museums throughout the United States, providing a useful contact list for docent opportunities.

Peace Corps

Official site of this well-established overseas volunteer program.

Points of Light Foundation Volunteer Centers

This locator service allows users to find designated "Points of Light" volunteer centers in each of the 50 states of America. Volunteer Centers are mostly independent non-profit organizations that work to bring "people and community needs together through a range of programs and services. " They provide a variety of programs and services such as "promoting volunteerism within their community, training and assisting non-profit organizations, recruiting and referring volunteers to opportunities, recognizing volunteers, managing local corporate volunteer councils and numerous individual programs designed to mobilize volunteers to solve community problems."

Reading Is Fundamental

This forty-year old organization, dedicated to promoting family literacy, lists volunteer opportunities on its web site.

Senior Corps

Seniors are one of America's most vital resources. Americans over 55 have a lifetime of experience to share, and the desire to make a real difference in their world. They've managed households, been business owners and nurses, farmers and salespeople, artists and executives. Now they are ready to put their unique talents and expertise to work in their communities, and enrich their own lives in the process. This site is a major resource linking individuals to volunteer opportunities in their communities. Includes the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and RSVP.

Senior Volunteer

Volunteer to be an advocate & make a difference for older Americans

Seniors and Volunteering: A Whole New Life

What do senior citizens get out of volunteering? This article from HealthyMe will tell you.


SERVEnet has a database tool called "Volunteer Now!" that was produced to match the skills and interests of volunteers with nonprofits and organizations that need volunteers, as well as serve as a resource for these organizations.

USA Freedom Corps

The federal government's main portal to volunteer program initiatives, such as Senior Corps and AmeriCorps. Includes a searchable database of volunteer opportunities covering all initiatives.

The Virtual Volunteering Project

The Virtual Volunteering Project provides resources to agencies that recruit and manage on-line volunteers, as well as to people who are on-line volunteers. Resources include the On-line Volunteering Handbook, an on-line volunteer listserv, and links to on-line volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Abroad

Opportunities around the globe!


A non-profit organization whose mission is "to facilitate and increase community involvement via the internet. [They] seek to collaborate with and complement existing organizations and build community resources to get more people involved." The site lists volunteer opportunities available through Volunteer America, allows you to search for non-profits in your local area and has a section about the "why and how" of volunteering.

Volunteers of America

This is a faith-based nonprofit organization providing services to various population groups. Includes a description of its programs and a listing of local offices.

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photo by: Wade Byars



“The Desert


Article by Michael Perrault