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Volunteer Opportunities Often Deliver Unexpected Benefits

When we give of ourselves through volunteer opportunities, the gifts we provide are often returned and multiplied.

According to the 2018 Volunteering in America report, 77.3 million volunteers altogether gave nearly 6.9 billion hours of their time to organizations of their choice.1 For the most part, individuals choose to spend the majority of their time volunteering for community, or social change organizations that align with their own passions and interests.

Popular Volunteer Organizations by Category2


Volunteer Opportunities Often Deliver Unexpected Benefits


Sport, hobby, cultural, or arts


Educational or youth service


Civic, political, professional, or international


Public safety


Hospital or other health organization


Environmental or animal care




The organizations and individuals fortunate enough to receive volunteer assistance are not the sole beneficiaries. By dedicating your time and effort toward volunteer opportunities, you can reap a number of unexpected benefits as well, including:3

  • Developing new skills and professional experiences as you volunteer your time—potentially enhancing your résumé in the process.
  • Making social connections during volunteer opportunities, helps you bond with others, creating a supportive personal network, which can help you handle stress better and enhance well-being.
  • Setting a good example for others, including your children or other young people in your life.
  • Enjoying a sense of achievement and motivation as you donate your time and energy to social change initiatives.
  • Discovering hidden talents as you engage in various volunteer opportunities, especially in activities that are new to you.
  • A noticeable rise in your self-esteem and sense of achievement as you receive positive feedback and see that you’re valued.
  • Meeting like-minded, motivated people who share your priorities, values, and dedication to social change.

If you’re looking for a way to fit volunteer opportunities into your busy schedule while also continuing your education, consider applying to one of Walden University’s online degree programs. Walden’s mission to effect positive social change includes our annual Global Days of Service. Becoming a Walden student is an ideal way to pursue your passion, continue your education, and advance your career goals as you earn your degree in a convenient online format that fits your busy life.