50+ Ways to Give Back & Volunteer Doing What You Love

Share what you love and make a difference in the world at the same time. There are lots places you can volunteer at that will feed your passion.

Published January 20, 2024
Teenager helping older neighbour with garden

When you love something you're doing and can give back at the same time, it's basically the definition of a win-win situation. No matter what you're passionate about, there are places to volunteer that match up perfectly. From animals to the arts, volunteer organizations can put your skills and enthusiasm to good use.

Volunteer Opportunities for Animal Lovers

If you love animals, you can help make their lives easier and safer in tons of ways. Use your time to help out with homeless pets, wildlife, or even farm animals. Here are some great options:

  • Foster a pet.
  • Help out at an animal shelter.
  • Donate your time for animal rights activism.
  • Fundraise for an animal or bird sanctuary (like Carolina Waterfowl Rescue).
  • Watch for and report sightings of rare species to the state or federal organizations that track them.
  • Volunteer at a zoo.
  • Raise funds for the care of feral cats.

Places to Volunteer if You Love Nature & the Environment

The environment matters to everyone, but if it's a major passion for you, you're in luck. There are a bunch of ways to help protect our world and care for the wild spaces and animals in your area:

  • Measure water levels in lakes and rivers for the DNR (Department of Natural Resources).
  • Work with a bird conservation specialists to tag birds.
  • Remove invasive species is a local organization.
  • Participate in a clean-up day.
  • Fundraise for local environmental organizations.
  • Collect water or soil samples for universities or nonprofits.
  • Plant native species with a group restoring an ecosystem.

Related: 100+ Nonprofit Organizations Making a World of Difference

Ways to Volunteer if You Love the Arts

There are so many ways to give back if you are passionate about the arts. From helping others explore their creative sides to fundraising for arts organizations in your community, you can make a giant difference:

woman teaching art class
  • Volunteer at a community theater behind the scenes.
  • Organize a drive to collect art supplies for kids.
  • Offer free piano lessons, art classes, or craft days.
  • Help out in an art or music classroom at your local school.
  • Fundraise for local theaters and galleries.
  • Volunteer your time at shows and competitions to help make them happen.
  • Offer your own artistic services for those who need them, such as designing a logo for a nonprofit or taking family photos for people who are terminally ill.
Quick Tip

Call up the local galleries, theaters, and other institutions that make the arts a priority in your community. They may have tips about local volunteering opportunities that are related to what you do.

Options to Give Back if You're Into Sports

If you love sports, there are tons of ways you can use that love to do good in the world. These are a few of our favorites:

  • Fundraise for local teams.
  • Volunteer to coach or help out at kids' games.
  • Provide transportation for players.
  • Make meals for local teams.
  • Fundraise or volunteer for organizations like the Special Olympics.
  • Use your time and skills to help with publicity for your local team.
  • Start a fan club to build support for your team.
  • Organize a 5K or a fun walk or run to support a specific cause in your community. 

Related: 10 Charities We Love & the Positive Impact They Make

Ways to Volunteer if You Are a Foodie

Whether you love eating at different restaurants, cooking at home, or a combo of both, there are a lot of food-related volunteer opportunities out there:

woman serves a meal in soup kitchen
  • Donate your time to help write grants or chase down funding for new restaurants and businesses.
  • Help new businesses in your community behind the scenes with logistics, designing logos, publicity, and more.
  • Cook at a community kitchen or shelter to help feed those who are hungry.
  • Coordinate with local restaurants, grocery stores, and farms to reduce food waste and get food to those who need it.
  • Volunteer at a food bank.
  • Help out at a local food festival to coordinate vendors and get the word out about the event.
  • Start a community fridge

Volunteer Opportunities for History Buffs

If you can't get enough of history, you've got a ton of options to share your love of the past with people of the present:

  • Volunteer at a local history museum.
  • Help organize and run a local history association.
  • Research local history and organize your results so people can learn about it at your library.
  • Volunteer at a state or national park to give history tours or lectures.
  • Write grants for the historic preservation of properties.
  • Start a little library and fill it with your favorite history books. 

Related: 13 Ways to Give Back to Your Community in 30 Minutes or Less

Places to Volunteer if You Love Technology

Technology is a huge part of life these days, but some people are better at it than others. You can share your skills and enthusiasm if you volunteer at one of these places:

woman mentoring college students with tech
  • Teach computer skills at a community center.
  • Work with kids at your local elementary school to code a simple video game.
  • Mentor college students who want to get into the tech industry.
  • Design websites or apps for small businesses or nonprofits that could use some help.

Ways to Volunteer if You Love Crafts

If you're into knitting, sewing, or any other kind of craft, you can use your skills (and the things you make) to make a difference:

  • Make baby blankets for newborns.
  • Knit hats and mittens for the local schools to have on hand for kids who might not have them.
  • Organize or volunteer at a craft fair so people can get their work out there.
  • Make scarves or hats for people who are undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Teach crafting classes at the community center or local schools.

Volunteering Opportunities if You Love Kids

It's a special gift to be able to connect with kids, and there are some places where you can put that gift to good use:

  • Read to kids at the local library.
  • Volunteer in the public schools.
  • Organize a club at the community center for kids to play board games together.
  • Mentor kids who could use some guidance through your school system or religious organization.
  • Fundraise for children's health organizations.
  • Help teachers behind the scenes by organizing materials for projects.
  • Coach or help out with kids' team activities.
Quick Tip

When you volunteer with kids, you'll most likely need a background check. Be prepared with the information that's usually requested, such as past addresses and identifying numbers.

Related: Impactful Ways to Make a Difference in Your Community

Tips to Find Places to Volunteer

Don't worry if finding a place to volunteer feels overwhelming. There are so many options, and it's really all about narrowing down the choices and choosing something that matches your passions. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Think about what drives you in your life. What matters most? What do you enjoy? This is where you could volunteer.
  • To find specific volunteer opportunities in your area, consider national and local organizations handling this cause. For example, the American Humane Society has local chapters, and you can find one near you.
  • Contact places in your community that work with organizations and volunteers, such as libraries, schools, hospitals, and community centers.
  • Talk to other people in hobby or activity groups you might already belong to to see where they volunteer.

Share What You Love to Make the World Better

With so many places to volunteer, it's easy to find one that really interests you. When you care a lot about something, it's a natural choice to share it with others and make the world a better place. No matter how you choose to do that, it's a win.

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50+ Ways to Give Back & Volunteer Doing What You Love