A volunteer organization database is a great way to find ways to serve your community. It is also an effective way for non-profit groups to network and advertise who they are and what their current needs may be.
What Is a Volunteer Organization Database?
A volunteer organization database can refer to one of two things. First, an internal database of past volunteers is often kept in the electronic records of a particular non-profit. This list may then be used for occasional mailers, to approach individuals about volunteering again in the future, or alerting a community about an upcoming fundraiser.
The second type of database, which is what is more commonly referred to as an organization database is a collection of 501(c)(3) groups on a single website. Web surfers are easily able to browse various charities and obtain a customized search of open volunteer positions that may suit their lifestyle and interests.
The Effectiveness of Databases
Volunteer organization databases can be extremely helpful for those who need to complete non-profit service hours for school or community service assignments. They can also help families network if they are in need of something specific - the Make a Wish Foundation is a great example of this. For every person looking to volunteer, surely there is one looking for assistance or help in a time of need. These databases provide access to many great and reputable charities.
Databases also allow non-profits to network together. An animal welfare group that is planning a fundraising gala, for example, could look up other neighboring groups and invite them to join up to share the profits and put on a much larger event.
Many different types of people use these sorts of databases. Retired seniors often look for volunteer opportunities when they are searching for a fulfilling way to spend their extra free time. Teenagers also seek out volunteer positions to broaden their horizons, make themselves more eligible for scholarships and universities, and also to just plain make a difference in the world around them. In this age of technology, today's young adults utilize the Internet for almost anything, and finding volunteer opportunities starts at the Web level.
Databases to Try
- Idealist.org is a website that lists volunteer opportunities across the nation. On average, they have over 18,000 volunteer positions waiting to be filled, as well as internships and paid positions. You can also find out about various non-profit events and meet up with other volunteers who are currently involved.
- Links 4 Change is another website geared toward promoting non-profit opportunities. It allows those within an organization to advertise their current needs, and uses a customized search to match them with the correct type of volunteer.
- Universal Giving is a global community that recruits both volunteers and donations for a variety of humanitarian efforts. The opportunities are categorized in a simple, readable list, allowing you to browse efficiently and find a match ideal for your life.
When you're ready to volunteer, remember to read the opportunity thoroughly. Some may require a specific amount of time, and you must be careful to not commit to something you are unable to carry out. Like a job, volunteer coordinators rely upon the service that is promised, and so be sure to only seek out volunteer positions you can handle along with the rest of your daily responsibilities.
Volunteering is very rewarding and can provide you with a different perspective on a life you may feel you have all figured out. Using databases is a great way to discover the proper way to help another, and take some time getting outside of oneself and work toward bettering the world.