How to Volunteer in the United States

You can find opportunities all around the USA from big cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles to more rural and less-developed places like the Yosemite National Park. If you are after sun and are passionate about animals we have placements at rescue and rehabilitation centres in beautiful Florida. Or if the West Coast appeals, there are projects in California and even in exotic locations like Hawaii. 

If you are applying from overseas, the United States is often overlooked as a country to spend time volunteering, some people tend to think as it is developed and modern there isn't any need for assistance. But there are lots of local organizations and charities who offer opportunities to help for local Americans and also international participants. It's never too late to volunteer, all ages, cultures and backgrounds are welcome to apply.

View our guide to volunteering in the USA and search programs today.


Top Reasons to Apply 

  • The projects we have listed are an incredibly rewarding experience and is ideal for anyone interested in doing something in service, all projects are different so please research all before applying
  • This will be a cultural exchange, you will live and work alongside local and international participants gaining an insight into the country, people and way of life
  • There are a lot of options available so whether you are passionate about animals, people or the environment you will be sure to find a role to match your interests
  • You will get to do something rewarding and beneficial to others, not just sightseeing!
  • You can join short and long term placements throughout the year which can fit around your schedule


Find Opportunities By State:


Top Rated Organizations

Innisfree Village

Innisfree Village is a residential, lifesharing community with adults with intellectual disabilities near the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. Residents and volunteers work together as a model therapeutic environment emphasizing empowerment, interdependence, and mutual respect of all community members. 

Benefits include a private room, all meals, a $315/month stipend, 15 paid vacation days, access to community vehicles, an onsite fitness facility, WiFi access, and two consecutive days off per week. Fifteen to twenty people, all with various backgrounds and nationalities, are needed each year. 


Types of Programs

There are lots of volunteer programs available to join throughout the U.S.A. - these are open all year round.


Conservation & Environmental Volunteer Programs in the USA

The United States has some world famous outdoor locations like the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. A popular program include working to protect nature on the Appalachia trail on the East Coast from Maine to Georgia. You can work in teams run by locally employed staff helping nature and working to protect areas with high tourist visitor numbers. Tasks can include creating and cleaning trails, constructing buildings, cleaning rubbish, planting trees and vegatation. Please note some conservation projects can be hands on and include physical labour - this is not a relaxing lazy holiday. 


Community Development Volunteer Programs in the USA

The USA is the third biggest country in the world and there are lots of local organisations working on the ground to help disadvantaged people. The US has a huge population of around 300 million people but not everyone is lucky enough to be living the American Dream and poverty is high especially in urban areas. You can apply with a charity or local organisation working directly with people who need assistance - there are so many different roles and positions available.


Volunteer with Animals in the USA

We have some fantastic programs where you can work to help, rehabilitate and rescue injured wildlife. You could help wolfs, horses, monkeys, dogs and other animals at centres throughout the country. Some placements are very hands on where you will have daily contact with animals but please note you will need to be willing to get involved with all aspects of programs e.g. cleaning, collecting/preparing food, washing encolusures, gardening, helping with admin and being an extra pair of hands for the daily routine.

Education is a big part of these programs too, you might be working with local communities and children explaining the need to help animals and get people involved. Every placement is different, there are specific roles for experienced vets but most programs allow everyone to apply irrelevant of experience as full training will be provided on arrival. Sometimes you might be required to have a tetanus vaccination.



  • Programs are open to native US citizens and also internationals - to apply you will need to be aged 17+ for most projects although this vary
  • You will need to be eligible for a USA tourist visa
  • If you are an American citizen you might want to search our featured organisations to arrange a placement, or you could also seek out opportunities locally
  • If you apply through an agency / organisation they will usually arrange accommodation for you, this can be in a shared house, hotel, hostel or guest house. Homestays are also available whilst there is also the option to book this separately.
  • Every program is different but usually you will work around 5-8 hours per day Monday to Friday. Evenings and weekends will be free to explore your new surroundings. Please note sometimes you might be required to put a lot of effort in, if you are just after a relaxing experience we recommend you just join one of our tours.


How to Apply

Most organisation which offer placements to internationals charge a fee which includes placements, transfers, housing and in-country support. You can apply or read more information via our website today. If you need any help organising a program please get in touch. You might also like to search volunteering programs in Canada.


Free, Low Cost & Paid Volunteer Opportunities in the USA

All placements are different, some might require you to pay a fee if you are applying overseas but some local projects offer free housing, food and also a weekly living allowance. A lot of charities and community based projects offer free opportunities. If you get hired for a full time positions you will usually get a full time salary whilst other companies sometimes offer a stripend salary or help towards transport and meals.


Reviews & Testimonials

If you have ever been to volunteer in the USA and would like to add a review, write about your experience or share any recommendations please contact us. You can find reviews of the best USA volunteer programs on our directory.


Advertise Here

If you provide volunteer programs in the USA and would like to be featured here please contact us.