Volunteer abroad implies a wide range of activities. Numerous community organizations exist to facilitate volunteering, some are affiliated with academic organizations, some are corporate, some religious based while others are more socially.
Skills-based volunteering is leveraging the specialized skills and the talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. This is in contrast to traditional volunteering, where specific training is not required.
Volunteering in developing countries
An increasingly popular form of volunteering among young people, particularly gap year students, is to travel to communities in the developing world to work on projects. Activities include teaching English, working in orphanages, conservation, and so on. International volunteering is said to give participants valuable skills, knowledge, and the experience of a lifetime. However, "voluntourism" has been criticized by some as being paternalistic and reinforcing historic power imbalances.
Also called e-volunteering or online volunteering, virtual volunteering is a term that describes a volunteer who completes tasks, in whole or in part, offsite from the organization being assisted. They use the Internet and a home, school, telecenter or work computer, or other Internet-connected device, such as a PDA or smartphone. Virtual volunteering is also known as cyber service, telementoring, and teletutoring, as well as various other names. Virtual volunteering is similar to telecommuting, except that instead of online employees who are paid, these are online volunteers who are not paid.
Micro-volunteering is an unpaid task that is operated via an internet-connected device and completed in small increments of time. It is distinct from virtual volunteering in that it typically does not require an application process or a training period.
Environmental volunteering refers to the volunteers who contribute towards environmental management or conservation. Volunteers conduct a range of activities including environmental monitoring, ecological restoration such as re-vegetation and weed removal, protecting endangered animals, and educating others about the natural environment. The Wildlife Sanctuary program in South Africa is a famous endangered animals protection program. This conservation program attracts huge foreign support and volunteers.
Volunteering in an emergency
Volunteering often plays a pivotal role in the recovery effort following natural disasters, such as tsunamis, floods, droughts, hurricanes, and earthquakes. For example, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami attracted a large number of volunteers worldwide, deployed by non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and the United Nations.
Volunteering in schools
Resource poor schools around the world rely on government support or on efforts from volunteers and private donations, in order to run effectively. In some countries, whenever the economy is down, the need for volunteers and resources increases greatly.There are many opportunities available in school systems for volunteers. Yet, there are not many requirements in order to volunteer in a school system. Whether one is a high school or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) graduate or college student, most schools require just voluntary and selfless effort. Much like the benefits of any type of volunteering there are great rewards for the volunteer, student, and school.
In addition to intangible rewards, volunteers can add relevant experience to their resumes. Volunteers who travel to assist may learn foreign culture and language. Volunteering in schools can be an additional teaching guide for the students and help to fill the gap of local teachers. Cultural and language exchange during teaching and other school activities can be the most essential learning experience for both students and volunteers.
A majority of the companies at the Fortune 500 allow their employees to volunteer during work hours. These formalized Employee Volunteering Programs (EVPs), also called Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV), are regarded as a part of the companies' sustainability efforts and their social responsibility activities. About 40% of Fortune 500 companies provide monetary donations, also known as volunteer grants, to nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who dedicate significant amounts of time to volunteering in the community.
Community voluntary work
Community volunteering refers to the volunteers who work to improve community enhancement efforts in the area in which they live. Neighborhood, church, and community groups play a key role in building strong cities from the neighborhoods up. Supporting these understaffed groups can enable them to succeed in a variety of areas, which connect social, environmental, and economic boundaries.
An international work-camp is an international voluntary project in which participants from different countries can meet, live, work, learn, and exchange with local people concerning issues about environmental conservation, cultural heritage, social justice, rural and human development, etc. The most common international workcamp lasts for two weeks with a group of 10-20 overseas and local work-camp participants.