There are many options to consider, including some that may be less obvious. Some of the big categories to think about are:
• Large Charitable organizations:
-- Salvation Army
-- United Way
• Large Healthcare-related organizations:
-- American Cancer Society
-- American Heart Association
• Local Healthcare-related:
-- Local hospitals
-- Local hospice organizations
-- Local health groups
-- Local Meals-on-Wheels
• Local Charitable organizations:
-- Kids programs
-- Arts programs
-- Soup kitchens
-- Public and private schools
-- Literacy and mentoring programs
-- Art museums
-- Local visitor bureau
-- Local museum
• Religious organizations:
-- Local churches or synagogues
Here again, there are many options, and it helps to think about the range of possibilities so that you find something that is really fulfilling for you and that enables you to feel that you are playing a role that not only helps, but also contributes your unique skills
• Front-line roles: great for people who want to just jump in and help; they are often easier to find, flexible in terms of scheduling, and require less up-front planning
-- Soup kitchen
-- Homeless shelter
-- Neighborhood or park clean-up or painting project
-- Mailings as part of fundraising efforts
• Managerial roles: these can be harder to find and might require greater or more regular time commitment, but are appealing to people who want to lead / organize
-- Manage a chapter of Salvation Army part-time
-- Run regular book sales for a local library
-- Guest lecture for a class at a local college or university
• Advisory or Board roles: for those with the right expertise and interests, this can be an impactful way to share unique executive managerial experiences and passion with a local or national non-profit. Sometimes these board roles require financial donations as well as time commitments. This varies according to the org mission, board role, and supply/demand -- a small organization might whereas a large city’s symphony might be a higher profile role.
-- Education: Private school, PTA, College/University Trustee,
-- Events: Annual galas, charitable sporting events, etc.
-- Healthcare: Hospitals, Hospice, community groups
How do I fit volunteering into my evolving schedule?
It helps to think a bit about the trade-offs mentioned above, as you also learn about opportunities in your community. The answer is different for everyone; just keep in mind that dependability is key in the non-profit world (as it is in your prior career) and that following through on your commitment is something they depend on.
• Your goals for this role
• Realistic time required, balanced against other commitments
• Degree of scheduling flexibility in the role
• Duration of commitment; and whether on-demand, a self-imposed time frame, or inherent to the role’s structure (e.g., a Board term)
Trustworthy non-profits that help match volunteers with opportunities
Retired Brains – a comprehensive independent resource website for baby boomers, those planning their retirements, and active retirees on the Internet. We specialize in helping baby boomers, retirees, and those planning their retirement be happy, healthy and prosperous….
www.volunteermatch.org has over 100,000 positions
www.justserve.org has campaigns for flood victims and many other worthy causes
www.idealist.org has a Volunteers tab
Connect2affect -- many volunteer links
Organizations that rate non-profits on their impact and fiscal responsibility
Following is a list of several organizations that offer great opportunities for retirees to make a difference in the metro Washington, DC area:
• Senior Advisor -- Seniors can share their knowledge and skills within the community by giving their time to help others. Here are a handful of our top picks for volunteer opportunities within the Washington, DC area. Links to Senior Advisor Volunteer Opportunities
• AARP volunteer links -- many volunteer opportunities with AARP DC. Give your time, talent, and expertise to make a difference in your community.
For more information, e-mail DCAARP@aarp.org or call 1-866-554-5384.
• Thrive DC -- serves over 250 homeless and low-income clients a day (Monday – Friday) relying mostly on volunteers – very multi-generational. Types of volunteer opportunities available below. The opportunities below require a brief orientation prior to volunteering.
Women’s Evening Program
Grocery Bag Distribution
Fresh Food Fridays
• Sibley Senior Association -- in need of volunteers
-- www.sibley.org/volunteer | Email: sibleyvolunteer4jhmi.edu | Call: 202-537-4485
• Performing Arts in DC
Kennedy Center: http://www.kennedy-center.org/pages/support/volunteers/
Arena Stage: http://www.arenastage.org/about/volunteer/ushers/
Ford’s Theater: https://www.fords.org/work-with-us/historic-site-volunteer/
• Smithsonian Museums – docent and many other opportunities