Volunteer in the Amsterdam Area

Voluntary work presents an endless list of opportunities, especially if you pick a field where your interest lies. If you like sports, you could volunteer at a sports association, if you're interested in culture, you could work for an institution or an annual festival, if you're an outdoorsy person, you could try working with nature and animals. Working with the youth, assisting the disabled or helping newcomers to Amsterdam find their feet in the city are also popular options.

Amsterdam’s VCA volunteer centre

The VCA (Vrijwilligerscentrale Amsterdam) is the main hub for volunteer work in the city, providing administration, advice and support for non-Dutch speakers and voluntary organisations. Volunteers can access over 2,000 different volunteering opportunities via the online vrijwilligersbank (vacancy listings). If you visit in person, you can ask for an English-speaking advisor who will assist you with any questions regarding placements, regulations and rights. You will be matched with an interesting vacancy based on your skills and interests. Via their website you can also search specifically for roles in English or with 'just a little Dutch' – look for the filters 'Gewenste taal' (preferred language) and 'Taalniveau' (language level). Delve in deeper on the VCA's website.

And of course you can find other volunteer centres in the Amsterdam Area, such as Haarlem voor Elkaar and VMCA in Almere (in Dutch).

The Rainbow Group

The Rainbow Group organises orientation meetings for internationals who are interested in doing voluntary work with vulnerable people in Amsterdam (homeless, poor, drug addicts, those with a psychiatric background, or even victims of human trafficking). The organisation is one of the biggest in Amsterdam for voluntary work and is still searching for new volunteers. Learn more about how you can help and sign up.

Paid and unpaid voluntary work

Opportunities to use your English-language skills are as diverse as the placements themselves. Charity organisations, religious institutions, social institutions, cultural and event organisations, and non-profit organisations are always searching for volunteers. Here are some websites that offer both paid and non-paid vacancies:

  • ACCESS - a non-profit organisation that lists English-speaking services for the international community, including news of events, courses and a helpdesk at IN Amsterdam

  • Amnesty International (website in Dutch) – focuses on humanity and human rights

  • Amsterdam Cares – an Amsterdam-based organisation specialising in flexible voluntary work

  • Burennetwerk Amsterdam – a communication network offering volunteers suitable positions to help others in their neighbourhood

  • City of Amsterdam – volunteer opportunities for City projects, as well as links to other organisations

  • Deedmob – an Amsterdam-based startup that connects volunteers and charities across a wide range of causes

  • Friends of the Earth – a global organisation dedicated to environmental issues

  • Greenpeace Netherlands (website in Dutch) – the largest environmental organisation in the world

  • Humanitasone of the main social services and community building organisations in the Netherlands

  • Impact Matters (website in Dutch) – a volunteer organisation aimed specifically at helping young professionals aged 25 to 40 share their expertise on a voluntary basis

  • Nowhere (website in Dutch) – a cultural organisation for young people in Amsterdam

  • Serve the City – Sign up for a project day and make a difference

  • Stichting Present – an organisation bringing volunteers into contact with people who require assistance

  • Voedselbank Amsterdam – Help this food bank make a major difference to households throughout the region