Have Heart, Will Travel: 5 Organizations Using VolunteerMatch to Find Vacationers with Values

488352536_c747cb3681Judging from the response to Haiti’s earthquake, it’s clear that people are willing to travel for a good cause.

However, while the current situation’s urgency provokes quick action, many organizations have already been using VolunteerMatch to get volunteers to travel halfway around the world for them, with or without the push of recent disaster.

As more people look to combine their recreational travel plans with opportunities to help others, the voluntourism industry is seeing more interest than ever. And for many organizations, being part of VolunteerMatch’s network helps them connect with prospective volunteers first—and for free!

Using VolunteerMatch’s Advanced Search options makes it easy for do-gooders to find opportunities that match their preferred destinations and interests, which means not only increased numbers of volunteers for travel-related organizations, but also high-quality matches, each and every time.

Here’s a look at five nonprofits—big and small, educational and environmental—that are finding voluntourists through VolunteerMatch right now:

crossculturalCross-Cultural Solutions: A recognized leader in the field of international volunteerism, Cross-Cultural Solutions was founded in 1995. Over 4,000 people volunteer with them each year in various programs located in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. They’ve received over 37,000 referrals from VolunteerMatch so far , and they reported a 99% overall volunteer satisfaction rate for 2008.

broaderviewA Broader View Volunteers: Based in Pennsylvania, A Broader View allows volunteers to choose from about 130 different programs in 13 different countries throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. Volunteer work consists of orphanage work, day care, community development and teaching. They work with about 150-200 volunteers a year, with 150 referrals from VolunteerMatch to date.

adoptionadvocatesAdoption Advocates International: A newcomer to VolunteerMatch, this international adoption agency finds adoptive families for children living in Ethiopia, China, Thailand, Ghana, and Washington State. For a small organization such as AAI, using VolunteerMatch gives them the chance to connect with many more excellent volunteers.

greenheartGreenheart Travel: A division of the Center for Cultural Interchange, Greenheart Travel provides opportunities for volunteers to make a difference in areas of environmentalism, fair trade, social transformation, and cross cultural understanding. They have programs in 35 countries, and also offer internships, teaching opportunities, and group programs.

wavesWaves for Development International: Based in New York with additional programs in Peru and Switzerland, Waves for Development International provides Educational Surf and Surf Voluntourism programs in coastal communities. While developing and empowering young adults, they also engage travelers and transform their world view.

For information on how your travel-related nonprofit can use VolunteerMatch more effectively, visit our Resources page.

By the way: We also have tools for for-profit travel businesses. If you are promoting volunteering for the travelers you serve, you can embed our SearchLite widget on your site to make it easy for your socially responsible tourists to find a cause they can write home about. Here’s an example.