Top Volunteer Opportunities in Berkeley
Want to volunteer or intern at a great Berkeley nonprofit? Whether you’re new to the city and want to learn about its charities, trying to change up your routine with some local charity work, or just want to volunteer or intern at a neighborhood nonprofit, everyone knows that the best way to find the right place for you is from the people who’ve been there!
Here’s a list of volunteers’ and interns’ favorite Berkeley charities. Every nonprofit on this list has earned an overall score of 4 or greater out of 5 on GreatNonprofits.org. If your favorite Berkeley nonprofit or volunteer gig is missing, find it on GreatNonprofits.org, write a positive review, and show your co-volunteers how to start adding reviews and get it on the list!
“Habitot is a wonderful resource for new parents. They provide hands-on learning, imaginative play, and arts and crafts for children ages 1–5. The many cultural and educational events make Habitot a real jewel for the whole community.” –Marcia32
“The Pollination Project is such an amazing organization! Through working with them I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the dedication and care they put into seeding revolutionary projects around the world. Even applicants that aren’t quite ready to be funded receive constructive advice on how to make their project sustainable and effective. It’s such an honor to be a part of their team and to help further the work of so many pollinators of good across the globe.” –GoldenBee33
“OneSky is one of my favorite nonprofit organizations because of the mission it serves. I truly believe there is nothing more important than our children and giving them the proper care they deserve. I took part in the Student Volunteer Trip to Beijing in the summer of 2017 and it was one of the greatest experiences in my life. In Beijing, I got to visit the Chunhui China Care Home and volunteer to help take care of the abandoned infants and children with congenital diseases who needed physical nourishment. Currently, as the financial director of China Care Bruins at UCLA, I work to create fundraisers that raise money to sponsor two children at OneSky and in the future years, I only hope to give back even more to the children in China and Vietnam. Thanks for all the work that you do, OneSky!” –Michelle V.1
“I have participated in the Office of Letters and Light programs since 2005 and have been one of the organizers in Toronto since 2008. This organization has enabled me to pursue my passion for writing, improve my craft, and meet hundreds of other people in my city with similar creative interests. NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy are amazing projects and there is absolutely nothing else like this program or this fabulous organization. I am a volunteer, an annual participant, and a donor because I love OLL and believe in everything they do!” –ollsdragon
“International Rivers is an excellent organization. Their approach to addressing the issues dam-affected people face is multifaceted and necessary, they have strong connections to the communities they work with in all of their campaigns, and they have been scaling up their work carefully. I hope that more people learn about their work and support them!” –anetucha
“I donate to the Ama Foundation because I appreciate that it’s a grassroots organization where my donation really makes a difference in someone’s life — and I can see it for myself when I visit Ama Ghar in Nepal. It inspires me to see these children — who come from very, very difficult situations, including trafficking, malnutrition, and abuse — blossom into happy, healthy, laughing children with the opportunity to lead productive lives.” –Dixpix
“From my experience, California Shakespeare Theater has not only found the most talented people to teach and support the kids, but also attracts only the best type of people. This summer it was rare to meet someone that I didn’t love. Cal Shakes is like that best friend’s family that you meet and instantly want to become a part of. It really is a family — a big, welcoming, talented family that cares about its artistic community. The quality of the shows is only the best, and the people and experiences are unforgettable.” –PIPs20094ever
“I became a volunteer for the Diabetes Hands Foundation early this year and I am blown away by the amazing things that the DHF does not only for the diabetes community but also for its volunteers. They are a top-notch nonprofit!!” –Katrina4
“I joined MESA in 2013 as an intern focusing on the Summer-Peru program. Though a small organization, MESA has cultivated relationships all over the world, each with its own, inspirational story. It was a privilege to spend a week with the 2013 stewards during their orientation in California, and then amazing to meet the program’s alumni in Peru this summer. MESA is truly unique for its full-circle exchange model and its commitment to local, innovative, community-based, and culturally appropriate solutions” –jaclyn.wypler
“I first got involved with NICA as a coach, working to build the women’s program for the Berkeley High team. Such an amazing experience! Their programs help student-athletes gain self-confidence and learn a sport they can continue throughout their lifetime. Their values of inclusivity, equality, and a strong mind, body, and character are clearly visible throughout their programs!” –EmWoj83