Understanding the role of paid volunteering

You are looking for a new job. Either you are dissatisfied with where you are now, or you may be unemployed seeking a paycheck. It is possible to find paid work, and volunteering is always an option to find connections and networking. But did you know that you could land a job paid by a volunteer organization? Yes, non-profit organizations do have paid jobs along side volunteers.

The Role of Paid Volunteering

Paid volunteering work is not a contradiction. It is possible to find paid employment in a volunteer organization. Normally these positions are those which are too essential to the operations to allow for the possibility of not having enough volunteers to do the work. There is also an accountability issue with paid volunteering jobs.

Paid Volunteering Jobs

Paid jobs in the volunteering sector are as diverse and far reaching as they would be in the for-profit workplace. Just about any job you would find in a business trying to make a profit, you would find in volunteering work. Paid and unpaid volunteering both exist in numerous non-profits. Here are a few examples:

  • Advising
  • Building and construction
  • Computer and IT
  • Communications or Writing
  • Cooking
  • Counseling
  • Driving
  • Finance
  • Gardening or Grounds Maintenance
  • Lobbyist
  • Management
  • Public Relations
  • Research
  • Restoration
  • Nursing and Health Care
  • Office Management
  • Retail
  • Surveying

With the volunteer sector of the employment market being so large, whatever your skills or interests are you can find volunteering can be a paid job as well.

Options in Paid Volunteering Work

As with any paid employment, volunteer jobs can be found in any size organization from a group with two employees to hundreds. You can find small local non-profit work paying you to volunteer, or you can go with a local chapter of a large organization. Here are a few ideas to help get you thinking about what paid volunteering jobs can be found.

  • Local libraries - many larger towns have more than one paid position here
  • International groups - Amnesty International and the Red Cross are examples
  • National groups - Public Broadcasting or the American Cancer Society are in this group.
  • Political groups - political parties can fall into local and national categories
  • Service organizations - ADA, Association for the Blind, AARP, Negro College Fund and others go here.

There are many opportunities and options when it comes to finding paid volunteering work. Depending on your goals and abilities you can go as far in volunteering as with any paid for-profit employer. So if you are seeking a new career, don't forget to check out the local charities and other non-profit groups for possible job openings.