Independent & Skilled Volunteering Sites

Last Updated on May 19, 2020

Though we’re working on mapping the entire world here on Grassroots Volunteering, we’re not there yet. And we know you might be left searching for that perfect-fit service opportunity in your country or region of choice. With that in mind, below you’ll find a list of other organizations and websites collecting free or low-cost volunteer opportunities. There’s also a section for skills-based volunteer—if you’re a professional with hard-learned experience, there may be a specialized organization to place volunteers in your field. Scroll to the end for those sites.

As always, we recommend you use these sites as a starting point for connecting with potential organizations, but it’s up to you to vet the project and understand the ethical impact of your actions. We have a primer guide here to help you through each step of the independent volunteering process, and a review of the best (and worst) volunteer travel insurance companies. We also share detailed responsible travel guides for select destinations, which highlight projects as well as the issues you should know about before traveling.And please keep in mind, many projects run on low budgets, so only email those you’re seriously considering working with overseas.

Lastly, if you’re interested in supporting social enterprises but you can’t find any in our database, consider searching local artisans and activities through Backstreet Academy, they have a good number of projects all over the world.


Omprakash: Great interface and heaps of projects for certain regions of the world.

NGO Abroad: A organization helping volunteers keen to enter or advance in international humanitarian work. There is a strong emphasis on custom-fit, skill-based programs but you will have to pay for any programs offered.

Moving Worlds: The site has a registration fee to view the opportunities, but we love their model of experteering and they guarantee they’ll help you find a skilled volunteer placement somewhere in the world. It seems reasonable to me and the listings are quality.

Idealist: The organizations you find here vary wildly, some are free, others are quite expensive.

Volunteer Base: Global opportunities, and a good base of recommendations for Eastern and Western Europe, which is unique.

Experiential Learning International: Recommended by the GV community, this organization operates as a placement organization and thus has some (sometimes hefty) fees associated, but is doing great community-based work with projects globally.

Other Regional Sites

Volunteer South America: A very basic site, but lists out heaps of free and low-cost opportunities throughout Latin America.

Free Thailand Opportunities: A great list of animal shelters, schools, and other projects within Thailand.

Volunteer Africa Opportunities: Lists out free opportunities across the continent, as well as ideas for how to best be of service. Projects vary in scope and fee, but all listings link directly to organizations you can work with.

Hands: All Hands is a disaster response organization with free projects if you have the time to commit to help.

Skills-Based Placement Organizations Start here if you have a specialized skill that doesn’t appear in this list. They offer a wide range of niche projects.

Child Family Health International: Places health science students on two- to eight-week global health education programs. Farmer to farmer programs for those skilled and trained in agriculture. Accomplished doctors compete to work within this organization. Acceptance is highly competitive.

Engineers Without Borders: A wonderful way for engineers to train and empower communities with a highly useful skill set.

Financial Services Volunteer Corps: Ideal for professional accountants, financial advisors, and anyone in this specialized niche.

International Senior Lawyers Project: Requires volunteers to have roughly ten years of experience in law.

International Executives Service Corps: Places volunteers with businesses and projects that benefit from highly experienced leaders.

Kiva Fellows: Practical, hands-on experience in microfinance; highly selective long-term programs.

United Nations Volunteers: Provides competitive and skill-based volunteer opportunities for volunteers from more than 160 countries.

Winrock International: Skill-based volunteer placements in a wide range of areas (agriculture, business, livestock, gender, governance) for American volunteers all over the world. Competition is high, and programs are funded in partnership with US Aid.