Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors – Where to Look

April 6, 2018

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With the senior population rapidly growing and the active age being prolonged by significant periods of time, 65+ Americans are looking for new ways to spend their post-retirement years. Besides continuing to work well into retirement, staying active physically and taking up new hobbies, US seniors have also been getting involved in various kinds of volunteer work both domestically and internationally. There are different types of volunteering – pro bono, skilled and virtual among them.

Volunteering is on the rise in all the age groups, but in case of the older citizens it’s a new trend, which is associated with a generally more active old age. Besides being good for the world, it has numerous benefits for the volunteers themselves, both physical and mental. Connecting with new people, in some cases traveling to new places, positive emotional feedback are just a few.

There is a wealth of online information about volunteer opportunities, and we will attempt to provide you with a guide to finding the perfect opportunity. The opportunities vary widely – from local work on event staffing, research assistance, working with homeless and other populations in need of assistance to virtual positions, such as answering distress hotlines, which do not even require leaving the house to overseas options that can change your life.

All for Good

A major hub that aims to connect volunteers with non-profits, founded by volunteers from major tech companies. Virtual and real-life opportunities available. Registration is easy, and the site design and functionality are outstanding. Besides the usual search features, you can filter the results by the distance required to travel and by event.

Volunteer Match

One of the top websites to search for ways to volunteer locally or virtually. Very easy to use, it requires no registration to browse, but if you’d like to contact a company you do need to create an account. There are specific filters that allow to select opportunities by cause and by age group, searching for those specifically suitable for those 55 years and older.

Senior Corps

This website obviously targets only the senior population, and mostly provides positions for helping other seniors. It’s a state-sponsored website, and is somewhat overloaded with information, but if you manage to filter through it, there are plenty of useful articles.

Idealist

This website goes beyond the borders of the United States, offering volunteering opportunities all over the world. The main focus is on social justice, and besides listing the available opportunities, the website also provides resources for those only getting acquainted with the volunteering sphere. There’s no need to register in order to apply, and while there are some virtual opportunities, most of the listings are on the ground.

Over 50 and overseas

For the most active and the bravest, this website has a wealth of information that will help you seek out, plan and implement your foreign volunteer experience abroad. Searchable by region, country or cause type, it is a hub that connects you to other websites, where you can actually apply for certain positions.

Micro volunteering

Micro volunteering is a term that involves project work. It may involve one as short-term as a couple of hours, or a several-month long project, but always with a specific timeframe.

Skills for change

If you possess a certain set of skills, you can list them on this website and whenever an organization needs someone with your qualifications for a short-term mission, they will contact you.

Online volunteering

On the ground opportunities are not for everyone, but in the digital era there are so many more chances for everyone, including seniors looking to do valuable work. Online volunteering is as varied, or maybe even more varied than on-the-ground options. Coaching people via Skype, proofreading, project-building, marketing research, online chat support, and a lot more.

United Nations Online Volunteering

Contains multiple listings from international organizations, involving mostly writing, translating and related jobs.

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