Volunteer Opportunities in San Francisco

volunteer opportunities san francisco

San Francisco is a wonderful city to volunteer in and you can find lots of opportunities here. You can get involved in a variety of causes, from Education to the environment. There are also opportunities for Legal Aid. These volunteer activities will help you build your skills and knowledge. These opportunities are a great way to give back to the community and meet other like-minded individuals.


Education volunteer opportunities in San Francisco are available in many different ways, including teaching at local schools, preparing lessons for teachers, and providing one-on-one tutoring. At UCSF, you can join the Student Volunteer Corps or become a mentor for the Breakthrough program. Both opportunities provide hands-on experience for students who want to pursue a career in medicine or science.


The San Francisco Bay area is home to a number of nonprofit environmental organizations. One of these is Save the Bay, which works to restore and protect the Bay. Its volunteer opportunities include coastal restoration and habitat monitoring. Another organization, the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, preserves the surrounding landscape. You can help by assisting with invasive species removal and trail building.

Whether you want to help protect the Bay Area’s wildlife, help restore a riparian zone, or help out with community clean-up, there are many volunteer opportunities in San Francisco’s environment. There are so many ways to contribute to the environment and help others, and many of them are free.

You can also join an environmental education program. As an EEC docent, you can gain experience in public speaking and environmental education while leading groups of students through fun activities. These programs are offered Monday through Thursday or as needed. You can also volunteer to become a citizen scientist and learn about native plants and habitat restoration.

Another option for environmental volunteer opportunities is with Save the Bay, which advocates for climate-smart policies and restores wetlands. Save the Bay’s website has plenty of information about volunteer opportunities.


Youth volunteer opportunities in San Francisco can be found in many different organizations. For example, the Friends of the Urban Forest is a volunteer-led organization that plants trees and other green infrastructure around the city. It also offers free bicycle and walking tours. The Friends of the Urban Forest is currently in need of volunteers for several different projects.

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is an expansive 55-acre park that is free to visit for San Franciscans. Its ministry aims to connect people to plants, the planet, and each other. They also welcome volunteers of all skill levels and ages. Volunteering here can be a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.

Another great place to volunteer is San Francisco Women Against Rape. This organization is led by a woman of color and fights against sexual violence. It is currently recruiting for volunteers to serve as Sexual Assault Counselors. All volunteers are welcome, including self-identified LBGTQ+ women and people of color. If you’re interested in becoming a sexual assault counselor, San Francisco Women Against Rape can provide you with a state-certified training.

Another great volunteer opportunity is at the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park. The organization can provide one-day general admission tickets to volunteers who donate 12 hours of their time. Interested volunteers can help with everything from flyer distribution to liaising with sponsors. The organization also needs volunteers to clean up the trash from the event so it won’t end up in the landfill.

Legal Aid

If you are interested in providing legal services to low-income, homeless, and indigent people, there are numerous volunteer opportunities with Legal Aid in San Francisco. These opportunities range from helping with intake interviews to representing clients in ongoing cases. Volunteers can also complete legal research and write legal documents. Many opportunities require a minimum commitment of four hours per week, and last for three months.

Volunteers at Legal Aid San Francisco can make a real difference in the lives of those in need. The organization provides free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families throughout the Bay Area. The organization also advocates for low-income clients to ensure that their rights are protected. Whether they have been abused, denied access to a courtroom, or have experienced discrimination, low-income people need legal assistance.

The Justice and Diversity Center is another organization that provides legal aid to low-income San Francisco residents. The organization provides free legal advice and social services to nonprofit organizations that serve low-income communities in the city. Volunteer attorneys are an integral part of the organization’s mission, and their assistance helps the organization serve more clients than staff attorneys could.

Musicians On Call

Volunteering with Musicians On Call is a great way to contribute to the community and make a difference. This program provides live music to those who are bedridden or ill. Volunteer musicians are called upon to provide a 30 to 60-minute session to patients and their families in need. The program also accepts donations, which help fund the program.

As a volunteer, you will visit hospitals and medical facilities to provide acoustic music to patients in their beds. The music is meant to complement the healing process. Volunteer musicians are accompanied by a trained Volunteer Guide and never left alone with patients. Most performances take place in patients’ rooms, but sometimes musicians will play in small groups.

If you want to volunteer in San Francisco, you can find many volunteer opportunities at Musicians On Call. To be considered for one of these opportunities, you should submit an acoustic sample of your music. Applicants must be professionals or professional-caliber amateurs. Applicants must also be in good health.

You can also volunteer your time with another organization. Shanti Project is an organization that provides peer support to terminally ill people. Volunteering with Shanti Project will provide you with the opportunity to give back to your community while getting valuable experience.

Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden is a world-renowned scientific research center and museum of plants. Its mission is to promote environmental awareness and the preservation of plant diversity. The gardens’ 250-acre grounds feature 28 specialty gardens, a 40-acre forest, and two major buildings: the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the LuEsther T. Mertz Library. Volunteers also serve on committees and help with special events, such as storytimes and children’s crafts. You can sign up for a general volunteer position or choose a special project that focuses on your interests.

Volunteers in horticulture can help maintain the gardens’ outside areas, which are renowned for their gorgeous plants and landscaping. Their work includes weeding, planting annuals, and removing dead leaves from plant exhibits. You can also help the Garden’s educational programs and learn about the different areas of the Garden.

Volunteers in the School Education program can guide small groups of students on two-hour tours. The tours focus on the dynamic plant collections and rich local history. Volunteers must be energetic and have a passion for working with children. Although a background in botany or history is helpful, it is not a requirement. Volunteers must attend a weekly orientation session and complete additional training, which is offered through the Meet the Arboretum orientation program.

Volunteers in the Limahuli Garden can educate the public about the Garden’s rich cultural history and abundant botanical resources. To become a docent, you must attend training classes and have a passion for meeting and interacting with people. Limahuli Valley docents are also involved in the preservation of the ‘aina, the native Hawaiian plants that thrive in the Garden. They help with invasive species removal and restoration projects, and help maintain trails.

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