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Why volunteer? 

Why not?  Volunteering is a win-win for all involved.  Learn what volunteering is all about: Volunteering 101

For you as the volunteer:  it is a fantastic way to learn and develop useful and marketable skills, meet new people in your field, explore new interests, try out or observe potential jobs and careers, gain experience, give back to your community, great experience for your resume and have a great time in the process.  Employers view the skills and experience gained from volunteering very positively – unpaid experience is still valuable experience.

  • It introduces you to the community
  • It helps fill in the blanks on your resume
  • It shows you take initiative
  • It introduces you to a wider network of people
  • It builds your references
  • It boots your experience

Please note:  The list below is not exhaustive and the Student Employment Centre does not endorse specific companies, products or services.

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Gain Experience

On-Campus Volunteer Opportunities

On-Campus – support your school by getting involved


Child, Family and Community Studies - Therapeutic Recreation Program and Recommended Volunteer Sites

Off-Campus Volunteer Opportunities

Off-Campus Volunteer Opportunities: 

  • Check out the Volunteer Opportunities on the Student Employment Centre Job Board
  • Volunteer Canada
  • Charity Village provides volunteer postings, plus profiles of organizations involved in the charitable and not-for-profit sector. Postings are searchable by geographic area
  • – provides volunteer postings by geographical area, with an emphasis on the Lower Mainland
  • – volunteer and participation opportunities in Environment, Sustainability, Conservation and Green Living
  • – Present in 110 countries and territories and with over 60,000 members, AIESEC is the world’s largest student-run organization. Focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development, AIESEC offers young people the opportunity to be global citizens, to change the world, and to get experience and skills that matter today.
  • Vancouver Charity The comprehensive guide to charities, non-profit organizations, fundraising events, volunteering, arts events and charity jobs in Vancouver BC Canada
  • Red Book – directory of health and social services in the lower mainland, including addresses and phone numbers
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S. – volunteer Services recruits and trains volunteers, places them in appropriate assignments according to their skills, interests and preferences, evaluates their performances, and provides recognition of their contributions.
  • Japanese Community Volunteer Association
  • LinkedIn for Volunteers – 246+ opportunities in Canada

Industry Specific

Health Care

International / volunteer/resources section

Competency Development

Both non-profits and workplaces can structure volunteer opportunities to access workplace skills and competencies and meet community goals.  (Adapted from Tools and Resources to Enrich Volunteer Engagement:

Key Transferable Skills of Volunteering Engagement

  • Interpersonal
  • Communication
  • Organizational
  • Increased knowledge
  • Fundraising
  • Technical or office

(Source:  2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, Statistics Canada, Imagine-Canada, Volunteer Canada

Competency Matrix

Below is a list of competencies that can be developed through various types of volunteer opportunities.

  • client services
  • team building
  • collaboration
  • coaching
  • consultation
  • network building
  • supervision
  • cultural awareness/sensitivity
  • fund development
  • event management
  • resource management
  • financial planning
  • interpersonal communication
  • communicate in plain language
  • supportive communication
  • public speaking/presentation skills
  • facilitation and training
  • conflict resolution
  • public and media relations
  • written communications

  • process management
  • computer skills

  • analysis
  • needs assessment
  • plan and co-ordinate
  • manage meetings and groups
  • change management
  • project management
  • systems thinking
  • time management
  • develop others
  • motivate others
  • decision-making/prioritizing
  • strategic thinking
  • creative thinking
  • problem solving
  • thought leadership (innovation)
  • stewardship
  • non-profit sector knowledge
  • understanding diversity
  • community knowledge/awareness
  • self-knowledge
  • sensitivity
  • accountability
  • empathy
  • adaptability
  • respect
  • ethical framework
  • self-motivation
  • flexibility

Source/adapted from:  How Skills-Based Volunteering Can Advance Your Career: and 

International Volunteer Opportunities

International / volunteer/resources section