You may already have a favourite charity or not-for-profit organisation that you would like to volunteer with. If you do, please ensure they meet the Australian Tax Office's (ATO) intended definition of what a charity organisation is:
- an entity that is also a trust fund or an institution
- exists for the public benefit or the relief of poverty
- its purposes are charitable within the legal sense of that term
- a non-profit, and
- its sole purpose is charitable.
Please note, some organisations charge a fee to undertake volunteering with them to cover any associated costs. As Macquarie University is a not-for-profit itself, it is not possible for the University to pay any sum of money to another charity or not-for-profit. Instead, you may wish to organise a fund-raiser on behalf of your charity and donate any items or money raised.
Once you have decided on which organisation you are going to volunteer with, move on to the next step:
If you need help deciding on a charity type, check out our tips page to assist you further. If you need help selecting a potential charity, here are some suggestions to get you started:
Anglicare provides a wide range of community and aged care services for people in need. Corporate volunteers may be involved in indoor renovation projects such as:
- basic surface preparation and painting
- gardening, planting shrubs, clearing paths
- small scale refurbishment work
- Christmas food and toy hamper packing
- reading or note taking with the elderly or disabled.
Red Cross is a humanitarian organisation that works with the most vulnerable people and communities in Australia and internationally. Whether it's a major natural disaster or a personal crisis the Red Cross is there to provide immediate and practical help. The Red Cross provides a number of volunteer opportunities.
The Charitable Foundation for Books in Homes Australia is a registered not-for-profit committed to providing high quality literature to socio-educationally disadvantaged Australian children-many of whom come from bookless households. The provision of this literature, supported by schools, communities and parents help embed a love of learning and reading.
With your assistance, we can provide these benefits to students and families all across Australia, guiding them to a rewarding, literate future.
See our dedicated page.
CanTeen is the Australian organisation for young people living with cancer. Volunteers can assist with the National Bandanna Day pack-a-thon, events and other activities which arise during the year.
Contact: 02 9262 1022
The Easy Care gardening service assists frail, aged and people with a disability to stay in their own home and help create an enjoyable garden space. Corporate volunteers assist with weeding, pruning, mowing and other garden maintenance. The day is supervised by an experienced team leader who has produced a full scope of works to turn the garden area into an easy care garden. All materials and tools required for the day are provided.
Contact: 02 9983 1644
Email contact: email@example.com
Location: Clients' gardens in Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde or Hunters Hill local government areas.
Mission Australia is a community service organisation that provides support for families, youth, unemployed and the homeless. The organisation has a corporate volunteer program that can offer a variety of team activities such as renovation projects, assistance with celebrations and outings etc.
Contact: 02 9288 0077
OzHarvest is a food rescue charity that collects excess food from function centres, caterers, corporate offices, restaurants, cafes and tourist operators and provides that food to charities. These charities feed those who are disadvantaged or at risk, including homeless persons, youth at risk, single parents with no support, marginalised indigenous men, women and children, refugees, those recovering from addictions, women escaping domestic violence and those with a mental illness and nowhere else to go.
Through its Corporate Volunteering opportunities, staff teams can:
- run a lunch or afternoon tea session at a recipient agency. OzHarvest will organise it, we just need to bring the food!
- host a sausage sizzle for a charity. OzHarvest will organise and promote it, your team brings along the food and enthusiasm.
- make Care Hampers - this can be done anywhere! Put product hampers together and OzHarvest will distribute.
- host a Shout Lunch, Fight Hunger event. This can be run in your own department - employees are encouraged to bring along a dish to share for lunch with their colleagues. The money they would normally spend on lunch is donated to OzHarvest. OzHarvest can provide further details and materials on how to run this campaign.
Contact: 02 9516 3877
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) provides a variety of programs to assist families with seriously ill children. The cornerstone of RMHC are the houses attached to major women's and children's hospitals to provide a 'home away from home'. There is a house in Westmead linked to the Westmead Children's Hospital which provides organises volunteer days.
Note: Due to large volumes of corporate requests a donation of $500 raised from fundraising provides 2 volunteer day opportunities.
Phone: 02 9845 0600
The Salvation Army is one of, if not, the largest and most diverse social welfare provider in the world. The Salvation Army's work is an important part of the Australian community. Since its beginnings in Australia over 120 years ago, the work of The Salvation Army has been immeasurably enhanced by ordinary Australians who have given their time to help those who are in need. The Salvation Army can use volunteer help right across the organisation. Click through for more information on volunteer opportunities.
Sydney Dog and Cat Shelter
The goal of the Shelter is to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, loving, domestic pets, young or old, or with special needs, by re-homing them and giving them a second chance at life. The Shelter services 11 council areas across Sydney: Botany, Hornsby, Hurstville, Kogarah, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Randwick, Rockdale, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra. They receive more than 4000 dogs, cats, rabbits and birds each year. Volunteer days are catered to suit the individual or corporate group.
Corporate Volunteering Contact: Marketing & Fundraising Manager 02 9587 9611 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual volunteering information: http://sydneydogsandcatshome.org/get-involved/volunteering/
The RSPCA runs corporate volunteering opportunities at various shelters in Sydney. It generally involves a shelter tour, animal socialisation and ground or building maintenance.
Contact: 02 9782 4486
For further ideas on volunteering opportunities across a variety of interest areas visit the NSW Government's Volunteering website.
The volunteer leave can be taken as a full day or half day but must fall on a workday. In order to ensure organisational demands are met, staff are to discuss the volunteer leave with their Supervisor (especially if it involves a team of staff being out of the office) and a leave application has to be signed off before the volunteering takes place.
Remember to move onto step three once you've made your decision:
Go on, give a hand and make a difference! Don't forget to take some photos of your volunteer experience and spread the good word amongst your colleagues!