Finding the perfect place to spend your volunteer time can be challenging. Luckily, there are many great nonprofits out there in the Gainesville/Alachua areas that could benefit from eager volunteers like you. A list of potential service sites can be found through the United Way's Volunteer Select. We hope that you find ways to get involved with the local community by utilizing and learning about these sites.
NOTE: the University of Florida does not have any ownership or control over any agency on this list. The University of Florida relies solely on information provided by each agency for the information published on this website. Should you have any questions about the agency or the nature of service offered by each agency, please contact the agency directly.
Working with a nonprofit organization to volunteer takes some preparation. Make sure you have the best experience possible and do so as effectively as you can by working WITH the agency not creating more work for them. Remember that agencies first priority is to serve their mission. Help them serve that mission properly by being a good volunteer.
Finding the Perfect Fit
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin to consider working in community service projects and placements. These questions could form the basis of your volunteer interviews.
- How much free time do you have available to do community service or social justice work?
- How many hours a week would you like to be involved?
- How much of a commitment are you willing to make? How many months are you able to commit to a volunteer job?
- Can you follow through with your commitment? This is a quality that agencies look for in volunteers.
Skills, Interests & Experience
- What are you passionate about? How do you feel you can make a contribution to the community and, very importantly, to yourself?
- Have you done community service work before? What did you like/dislike about it? Do you want to do something similar again?
- Do you have any hobbies, interests, or paid work experience that you could use in your job?
- Are there career skills or experience you would like to develop through your community work?
- Do you have a geographic preference? How far are you willing to travel to do volunteer work? How would you get there? Do you have access to transportation?
- What kind of atmosphere would you like to work in? Quiet? Fast-paced?
- Do you want to work inside or outside?
- Do you want to work independently or with others in a team effort?
- What age group do you want to work with? Infants, children, teenagers, adults, the elderly?
- Do you want to work with a community action or social justice program, a school or educational program? Would you like to work with recent immigrants? Would you want to work in a program that addresses physical, mental or emotional disabilities?
- Do you want to work one-on-one or with a group of people?
- Do I know someone who could provide a reference for me if I need one? Have I asked that individual in advance so they will know that they may be contacted?
- If I am under the age of 21, do I understand that there may be certain volunteer opportunities that have minimum age limits for which I do not qualify?
-Provided by Smith College
There are many ways you can keep up to date on what is going on in the nonprofit world. Here are some news sites and organizations dedicated to community engagement.
Brush up on knowledge and learn more about social change, volunteersim and taking action!
- Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times - Paul Rogat Loeb
- Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins: How Absolutely Anyone Can Pitch in, Help Out, Give Back, and Make the World a Better Place - David Levinson
- The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism – Robert Coles
- Voluntarism, Community Life, and the American Ethic – Robert S. Ogilvie
- Volunteering Worldwide- Govaat, Munz, Keesom
- Big Citizenship: How Pragmatic Idealism can Bring out the Best in America – Alan Khazei
- Toxic Charity- Robert Lupton
- Exploring Leadership for College Students Who Want to Make a Difference- Komives, Lucas, MacMahon
- Ashoka: A Student Guide to Entrepreneurship
There are many ways you can further engage in the community and professionally develop as an individual. Check out some of the conferences available that all center around community, service and having a social impact.
- Continuums of Service Conference
- IMPACT National Conference
- Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values
- National Conference on Volunteering and Service
- National Service-Learning Conference
- Net Impact
- Ignite Conference
- Virginia Volunteerism Conference
- Faces of Leadership
- United We Serve
- Service Unites
- Serve Ohio
- Mandela Day
- North Carolina Volunteer Services Conference
- Starting Bloc
- National Collegiate Leadership Conferen
- National Conference for college women student leaders