Summer is a lovely time at VolunteerMatch, and I’m certainly not talking about the San Francisco weather. No, summer is the season when a new crop of volunteer interns joins the team, working for a few months to make our lives easier and make your work stronger. We love summer here.
We just welcomed our own summer interns here at VolunteerMatch, and it reminded me what a great opportunity summer presents for nonprofits that use longer-term volunteers. Specifically, if you’re an organization that recruits volunteers to travel internationally, or “voluntourism,” as it’s often called, you should definitely be taking advantage of summer.
School is out, work is slow, and there are currently millions of excited and dedicated people of all ages looking to use the summer months to experience new places and gain new skills.
VolunteerMatch is a great tool to help you connect with these potential volunteers and get them involved in your organization’s volunteer travel and service experiences. Many similar organizations already use us, and there are currently more than 1600 voluntourism opportunities in the system.
And people are finding these opportunities, and they’re volunteering. For example:
- In 2010, Chris Hartridge joined Global Vision International on a trip to Kedong, Kenya to support a community of ex-poachers who were working to develop new, more sustainable, means of existence. “We lived alongside villagers who have given up poaching and charcoal burning to conserve their natural heritage and wildlife,” she says. Chris still talks about how as much as the volunteers gave to the community of Kedong, the community gave them back something very important in return: humility.
- As part of her 80th birthday activities, Darlene Grieger spent 12 weeks in Costa Rica on a volunteer expedition organized by Cross-Cultural Solutions. In addition to working with the local Women’s Empowerment Group, Grieger assisted English teachers at the Teachers Conference with their pronunciation, and helped out at both the Senior Day Care Center and the Children’s Day Care Center. “There are so many memories,” she recalled. “Did I do enough or is there still something else I can do?” When her trip ended she immediately began planning her next one with CCS.
How will people find you?
To give you an idea of how easy it is to find your opportunities in the VolunteerMatch system, here’s what a potential volunteer might experience in their search for a rewarding travel and service experience:
- Go to www.volunteermatch.org
- Click “advanced search”
- Type “USA” in location box, “travel” in keyword, and check off “international” as an opportunity interest.
- Click “Submit.”
That’s it. Your opportunities will show up, in order of most recently updated.
So head to VolunteerMatch now and post some great voluntourism opportunities. Help make it a summer of service, community impact and fun for you and your volunteers.