Type of Volunteer Programs

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With its increasing popularity in recent years, volunteering programs have grown more diverse to fit individual needs. There are currently a wide range of volunteer programs to choose from. We have listed a few types with their strength and weaknesses below.

1. Volunteer programs Based in your home country

There are several perks for choosing this type of organization:

  • It is easy to get help when needed. You don't have to deal with the language and culture barriers.
  • More trustworthy. It is easier for you to do background research on the organization and avoid scams.
  • Working with people from your own background. Most of the volunteers and staff will come from your homeland and share the same culture
  •  Follow up support when you return back home
  •  In general, these kinds of programs are best for inexperienced first time volunteers abroad

2. Volunteer programs based locally

These types of organizations come with more risk and its hard to find out their strength before you actually meet them. However, the experience can be rewarding if you find well-structured and experienced host. Advantages of local volunteer organizations include:

  • They have a better understanding of the country in question.
  • They know the culture and problems.
  • They tend to better allocate their resources.


3. Non-profit

These organization's goals are focused on serving the public. Although these companies do generate revenue, they do not gain profit from their activities. Organizations such as red-cross and disaster relief organizations fit into this category. Some of the advantages of non-profit organizations include:

  • You are working for a good cause
  • The expenses are tax-deductible


4. For profit

Opposite to non-profit organizations, This type of volunteer program is hosted by any normal type of business that operates to gain profit. One strength volunteer programs hosted by for-profit organizations have over non-profits is that you may be able to experience a stronger corporate atmosphere that will prepare you for a real job.

5. Work Camps

  • Work Camps provide short-term volunteer opportunities for interested individuals. Rooms and boards will usually be arranged for the volunteers, but no other expenses will be covered. The atmosphere of these types of projects are casual.

6. Government affiliated organizations

  • These organizations are usually well-funded and likely to cover most of the volunteer's costs. An example of this type of organization is Peace Corps.

7. International organizations

  • International organizations are usually large in size and focus on a broad topic that's not limited to a region specific problem. These organizations provide more flexibility for the volunteer because of their size and spread. Red Cross is an example an international organization.

8. Religious-affiliated Organizations

An example of this type of organization would be when a church perform socially responsible acts as a group. Although the works done by these organizations may not strictly pertain to religion, volunteers of an religious - affiliated organization should share the same religious faith as the organization.


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