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From the GV homepage you have two search choices: volunteer opportunities or social enterprises. These two databases operate independently of each other and they each further the GV mission in different ways.
Which is a good fit for you? Well, the volunteer database displays more traditional forms of long-term international volunteering, while the social enterprise database is intended to supplement traditional travel—you use your time in a new city to patronize restaurants and organizations with an underlying social mission. If the social enterprise database sounds like a better fit, read more on that here.
The GV volunteer database is a collection of free and low-cost organizations offering volunteer placements all over the world. There are many middlemen organizations and volunteer tour companies on the internet that will fully arrange your trip for a hefty fee—that’s not us.
Consider using the GV database for your next volunteer trip if:
- you feel comfortable and confident independently arranging your travel.
- you have weeks and months to give—we have a few “day-trip” opportunities but our database is weighted toward experiences requiring at least a one-month commitment month.
- you have the time and desire to pre-research your organization and take a more active role in choosing a precise project that feels like a good fit for your skills and expertise.
- you are interested in sustainable, grassroots-level enterprises that often have a very low-profile on the internet and are hard to find and support until you travel to a new location.
- you’re flexible and you don’t mind if things go wrong. Independently arranged volunteer trips often have more variables for things that could go wrong—going with an open mind and a flexible attitude is imperative to a successful trip!
GV volunteer opportunities:
- are hand-vetted before being entered into the website. You should still independently research and question each organization before you commit to volunteering.
- are not affiliated with the GV volunteering brand, nor do they endorse this site. We add organizations with a structure or mission we support, and no organization can pay to be listed on the site.
- come with no guarantees. When you contact an organization you take on full responsibility and liability for your travels. You should always conduct diligent research ahead of time and take appropriate precautions once you arrive.
- conform to basic ethical guidelines and industry best-practices to the best of our knowledge. We do not condone any activities that compromise the well-being of a people, culture, animal, or environment.
- are offered freely for your use to assist in your independent volunteer efforts. Only you know if an experiences or opportunity is a good fit for your skills, health, or well-being.
A few other notes about our database:
- We generally do not recommend that you partake in short-term volunteer experiences that involve young children. For that reason, any child-centered volunteering search must include a duration parameter of at least two weeks in order to return relevant results.
- Due to the large nature of our database, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any organization details. We do our best to continually monitor and re-evaluate projects, but it’s up to you to reach out to the organization before you plan your trip and ensure they are 1) in operation, 2) accepting volunteers, and 3) a good, ethical choice for your volunteer experience.
- It’s a work-in-progress, if you don’t find one now then check back soon! We’re always adding a new ones as our GV Ambassadors continue to map their hometowns and the world at large.