Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Year’s Goals?…Find Your Place to Make a Difference

By | Book Review, Tips for Volunteering Abroad | No Comments

New Years is traditionally a time of reflection on the past year and a looking forward to the one to come. It is a time of of self evaluation and making goals.

I recently picked up Frommer’s 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference and it got my wheels turning for New Year’s goals. There are so many needs in the world but I am a firm believer that volunteer service can be a force of change in the world and is an important component in combating poverty, disease, environmental degradation and a host of other problems that plague humanity.

If you are thinking of traveling this coming year you might consider picking this book up and taking a look.  The number and variety of projects is mind opening to read through.

The book is divided into 15 categories of service opportunities! I was impressed by the diversity of the categories, some I wouldn’t have even thought about like “Special Events” and “Crossing Generations”.

As far as organization of the book there are, as the title indicates, 500 opportunities listed under the 15 different categories. Each listing fills about a page and includes a heading with a title summarizing the opportunity and the location and then a few paragraphs that provide some detail. At the end of the listing is a ‘Next Step” that provides the contact information for the organization providing the opportunity, details on cost and what else to see in the area.

Visually the book doesn’t provide a lot, only a few black and white pictures but what it lack is photography it provides in breadth. This is a fun book to flip through and get the creative juices flowing. And if you are looking of opportunities in a specific country you can always use the index in the back.

So make 2011 great…get out and be the change.




Ever Heard of Crowd-funding”?: Social Media and Fundraising

By | IVPA Members | No Comments

Recently, IVPA member, Global Citizens Network (GCN) was featured on the site fundraising site Tipping Bucket to raise money for a health clinic in Odienya, Kenya. In just five days GCN succeeded in raising $2,947 for the clinic. One hundred and forty nine people donated to “tip the bucket”. GCN’s Kenyan community host, Mike Agedo had this to say for the effort:

“TO ALL THE G.C.N. team who participated towards this cause, either in kind or monetary, I on behalf of Odienya do thank you. AND indeed I can’t wait to meet and work with the team coming later this year. EROKAMANO!”


The Tipping Bucket is a unique new platform for fundraising. A project is featured on their site for a certain period of time (ex 5-6 days) and a goal for how much money to raise. Social media is then used to raise awareness for the project. People donate through the site and if the goal is reached then the bucket is “tipped” and the project is funded. If the goal is not reached by the deadline, then the project does not receive the funds and those who had committed to donate are not charged.  So it is an all or nothing proposition. What do you think of this idea of “crowd-funding” as a way to raise funds?


International Volunteer Day

By | Genevieve Brown, IVPA Executive Director | No Comments

Happy International Volunteer Day!


International Volunteer Day was December 5th and it is a special day to recognize and thank volunteers for their contributions to communities around the world.  In the US alone, about 63 Million people, almost 27% of the population, said they volunteered in the last year (US BLS).

The theme for 2010’s IVD was “Volunteering for the MDGs”. So as we celebrate volunteers worldwide let us also reflect on what is being done to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and what we personally might be able to contribute.

  • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rate
  • Goal 5: Improve maternal health
  • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.
— Winston Churchill