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6 Great Sites if You Want to Volunteer in Retirement

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I often hear from clients that finding a satisfying volunteer role in retirement often proves more challenging than expected. It can take several attempts before you land the right role at the right organization. So before you begin to search for opportunities, spend some time thinking about what a good fit means to you. A few questions to consider:

  1. What roles appeal to you? In other words, do you want to be involved with policy decisions, advocacy, program design, fund raising, etc. — or do you want to work directly with those in need?
  2. What roles do you want to avoid? Think about the jobs/roles you want to avoid (I don’t want to be involved with raising funds or I don’t want to get involved with anything that could be considered controversial).
  3. Which organizations or causes speak to you? The environment, social justice, the elderly, helping animals, immigrant’s rights, battling homelessness, etc.?
  4. How much time are you willing to devote to volunteering?

Once you’ve mulled over these questions, here are six sites to explore for ideas, advice and links to a great retirement volunteer gig:

  1. Volunteermatch.org: VolunteerMatch is a portal that makes it easy to find volunteer opportunities that match your skills and interests.
  2. Catchafire.org: A service that matches professionals who want to donate their time and talent with nonprofits who need those skills. Projects range from one-hour virtual consults to multi-month commitments.
  3. Gen2Gen.org: If you’re excited by the idea of helping young people, be sure to check out Encore.org’s innovation hub for people 50+ who want to stand up for – and with – young people. There are many ways to get involved including listings of jobs, volunteer gigs, and much more. 
  4. SCORE.org: As I wrote in this NextAvenue.org post, How to Become a SCORE Small Business Mentor, volunteering with SCORE can help you expand your professional network and pick up skills, while giving back to your community. SCORE needs working and retired professionals with a diversity of backgrounds and skills, but entrepreneurs who’ve had expertise running, growing and managing different types of small businesses are especially desired.
  5. Regional volunteer matching services: Many larger metropolitan areas have region-specific volunteer matching services. For example, I can search Volunteer Square for opportunities near my home. To find an encore career matchmaker in your area, ask friends for recommendations, check with your local library or do a Google search using “volunteer opportunities” and “name of your town or geographic region”
  6. National Park Service: Finally, a fun way to give back, travel and enjoy nature is to volunteer with the National Park Service. As I wrote in this post, Fun Freebies for Retirees these positions often come with attractive perks, including discounted meals and lodging.

Get my Free Downloadable Workbook:

25 Questions To Help YOU Identify Your Ideal Second Act. You'll also receive my free newsletter filled with second-act ideas, tools and inspiration.

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