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When it comes to volunteering, Gen Z—individuals born between 1997 and 2012—is all in. A survey from August 2023 found that 54% of Gen Z had volunteered within the past three months, surpassing any other generation surveyed.

Taking a closer look at this generational group, these findings may not be surprising. The Pew Research Center found that members of Gen Z, who have little or no memory of a time before connected devices, are more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations. They express concern about the planet and climate change and view inclusive societal change as a positive development. Here are four categories of volunteer opportunities aligned with those values.

1. Sustainability and climate initiatives

The Pew Research Center's survey revealed that more than one in four respondents were concerned about climate change. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to address this issue, ranging from adapting sustainable lifestyle habits to participating in international organizations dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving resources. Simple actions, such as turning off lights and adjusting the thermostat, as well as engaging in upcycling and recycling practices, serve as a starting point. Another way for Gen Z to contribute to alignment with their values is by getting involved with organizations combating climate change. Organizations like the Sierra Club and Kids Fight Climate Change seek volunteers to assist with their initiatives.

2. Mental health

Gen Z is also concerned about mental health. Recent Gallup research revealed that individuals in this generational cohort grapple with mental health challenges more than preceding generations. Moreover, mental health is a significant concern in the U.S., with one in five adults experiencing a mental health issue even prior to the pandemic. Volunteer opportunities in this area include working with crisis or helplines and participating in other organizations dedicated to assisting individuals with mental health, substance abuse, or related issues. The nationwide crisis line, 988, maintains a searchable directory of local crisis centers that may need volunteers. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also offers local chapters with volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

3. Health care

Overall, healthcare is a major concern for Gen Z, especially as the oldest members of this generation are approaching an age where they will no longer be covered by their parents' health insurance. Organizations that help people access the healthcare they need, including local clinics and hospitals, as well as national and international organizations like the Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, and Project HOPE, are crucial in providing support.

4. Animals

Gen Z is a generation of animal lovers. In fact, a recent survey revealed that more Gen Z pet owners would prefer to relocate if their home did not accommodate their pet, as opposed to it not working for their partner. The good news is that it's not necessary to go to such extremes to support animals. Contact your local animal shelter to inquire about volunteer opportunities, or utilize technology to assist pets and wildlife in various ways. This can include advocating for animals, participating as a citizen scientist, or even aiding military veterans in finding companion pets.

To search for more opportunities that align with your specific interests, visit