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Finding Candidate Social Enterprises
This is a list of organizations that support nonprofits and social enterprises around the world in various ways. They are not oriented toward Lean Volunteer / business consulting projects. Instead, they tend to have organizations that need program or client facing volunteer positions, or are hiring themselves. No worries!
As a Lean Volunteer you’re going to be breaking the mold, so use these resources to find organizations in places you want to work, and perhaps working with communities that you want to support. Do your due diligence on a few of them, and then contact a 2-3 candidates through any social network connections you have. If you have no connections, go ahead and contact them directly. Be clear that you don’t want to do a typical volunteer assignment: you want to work behind the scenes on capacity building or business process projects. That should get the conversation rolling.
Use these lists as a source of organizations out there doing the Good Work, and who may want you to come help them! Be creative in interpreting these lists. You may see a job listing for a full time paid Executive Director for a U.S. based organization with operations in your target country. Use that info to get access to doing a Lean Volunteer project in that foreign location. This is kind of like gold prospecting….dig!
Rotary International – Rotary has active chapters all around the world, and the cool thing about looking here is that you can probably easily make friends with someone in your local chapter who can introduce you to fellow Rotarians in your target country. Also, Rotary is big on international volunteering in their own right. From the Rotary Wikipedia entry: “Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 member clubs worldwide. 1.2 million individuals called Rotarians have joined these clubs.”\
Your Church – often churches have existing and active relationships with social enterprises in different countries. Which means you already have at most a “2 hop” connection to the Director (someone in your church who knows someone in the enterprise who knows the Director!)
Volunteer Job Sources
These are databases or sources of hundreds of organizations. I’ve placed them in rough order of how useful I found them for finding potential organizations, without paying a fee.
Rotary International – Rotary has active chapters all around the world, and the cool thing about looking here is that you can probably easily make friends with someone in your local chapter who can introduce you to fellow Rotarians in your target country. Also, Rotary is big on international volunteering in their own right. From the Rotary Wikipedia entry: “Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 member clubs worldwide. 1.2 million individuals called Rotarians have joined these clubs.”
GreatNonProfits.org – a database of many types of US based nonprofits who have operations in other countries. You can’t search by country within this site, however you can create an advanced search request with Google Advanced Search. See how I did it here
International Volunteer HQ – IVHQ has placed over 63,000 volunteers since 2007, and represent many nonprofits around the world. You pay them a fee and they place you with a project where you want to be, sometimes including a home stay. Most of their programs are child care, teaching English, environmental projects, medical care and some construction. They also have have recently started doing NGO support projects which are similar to Lean Volunteer projects. I have used International Volunteer HQ in Peru (teaching English) and Morocco (a Lean Volunteer project).
Moving Worlds – MovingWorlds is a matching service for “experteers”, people who want to offer their expertise to international nonprofits. They have the same mission as a Lean Volunteer, and are well worth knowing. Their tag line: “Volunteer your skills abroad and make a real impact. Anywhere, anytime, for any length of time.” Moving Worlds has a membership fee.
UniversalGiving.org – “UniversalGiving is committed to uplifting world communities by connecting donors and volunteers to top-quality NGOs around the world! To date, more than $1.7 million has been donated and we have made over 17,000 volunteer referrals.” Based in San Francisco, they represent nonprofits in many countries around the world, and – for a fee – will place you in a programs like Children, Education, Environment, Health, Animals, and Food & Agriculture. If you see an organization you’d like to do a Lean Volunteer project for on their list of projects, contact UniversalGiving directly and make your pitch.
Global Giving – Unlike the others on this list, Global Giving doesn’t aim to connect volunteers with service opportunities. Instead, this is a crowdfunding site, like Kiva.org, where nonprofits try to raise money. So, as Lean Volunteers, this site can help us identify nonprofits by country, or sector, that are actively raising money. If they’re growing, they may need our help!
Idealist – A popular “job” board for nonprofits around the world. They offer postings for jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Search by region, language, sector (education, youth, etc.), and compensation (if any).
International Wanderer. Find organizations by work type (job, internship, or volunteer), classification (areas of work like teaching), type of opportunity (seasonal, part time, family stays), or location (country).
Atlas Corps. – “Atlas Service Corps, Inc. (Atlas Corps), started in 2006, is an international network of nonprofit leaders and organizations that promotes innovation, cooperation, and solutions to address the world’s 21st century challenges. Our mission is to address critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals. Profiled as a ‘best practice’ in international exchange by the Brookings Institution.”
Bridgespan – “We work to build a better world by strengthening the ability of mission-driven organizations and philanthropists to achieve breakthrough results in addressing society’s most important challenges and opportunities.”
Volunteer Service Organization – “We bring people together to fight poverty. Our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations so their skills generate the greatest value.”
Work For Good – Another mostly US job board to find paying jobs at nonprofits and social enterprises. Search by job function and sector (focus area).
Learning More About International Development Issues
Devex – “Devex is (a) a media platform for the global development community. (b) The social enterprise working to make the $200 billion aid and development industry do more good for more people. (c) The largest provider of recruiting and business development services for global development.”
Learning More About Social Enterprises
Social Enterprise Alliance – an umbrella group of many Social Enterprise associations around the world.
16 Different Kinds of Organizational Models that “support good”, including social enterprises.