Rosterfy have pulled together a list of 99 community service volunteer project ideas for volunteers to consider and try.
100+ Community Service Project Ideas For All Ages
Community service projects can take many shapes and sizes. Rosterfy has pulled together 100+ Community Service Projects to better connect your community.
What is community service?
Community service is unpaid work performed by a person or group of people for the benefit and betterment of their community without any form of compensation. Community service projects can take many shapes and sizes, and may range from 10 minutes to 10 years in duration.
What are community service projects examples?
An example of a community service project idea during Covid was people offering to collect groceries and medicine for neighbors who were unable to leave home.
Another popular community service project which is popping up across neighborhoods around the world are the Little Free Library and Little Free Pantry projects. These small cupboards or food pantries are placed outside someone’s home, inviting neighbors to share and borrow from each other in a simple and free way.
Even Buy/Swap/Sell Facebook groups are examples of community service projects that help people save money, reduce waste and connect with each other.
What makes a good community project?
A good community project is one that puts the community at the center of your project. Any project that focuses on how it can benefit the community will be worthy and successful.
Obviously, the more people that get involved, the greater the reach and impact will be. But that doesn’t mean small projects aren’t important too. Making a difference in even one person’s life is a great achievement.
To make community projects as successful as possible, consider:
- What does the community really need? A community needs assessment could be useful here.
- Involving artists and creatives to inject new ideas and curiosity
- Building strong partnerships to get even greater reach
- Writing a strong concept and plan so that everyone is on the same page
- Developing clear project management and communication skills
- Prioritizing health and safety at all times
- Evaluating and reviewing the success of the project afterwards
How do I create a community service project?
If you have a great idea for a community project that doesn’t yet exist in your area, why not start it yourself? This gives you greater flexibility and control over what you can achieve and learn. It is important to be honest and realistic about your skills and time availability so you don’t over-commit yourself.
- What are your major skills/areas of interest?
- What do you want to learn?
- How many hours can you devote to the project each week?
- Do I want to start a one-off project or a recurring/ongoing project?
- Who will be available to help you?
- How much money do you need to invest to get the project up and running?
Then look through your list of ideas, and identify which ones fit your criteria. Make a launch plan, recruit great volunteers to help you, create a volunteer management plan using Rosterfy, and get started! You may even be able to get publicity in the local newspaper or radio station by sending them a press release. Don’t forget to take lots of photos so you can continue to promote it on social media.
Keep reading for over one hundred community service project ideas for all ages to help you get started volunteering.
Community service ideas for kids and schools
- Brighten up the neighborhood by writing or drawing inspiring quotes and pictures on the sidewalk with chalk
- Run a non-perishable food drive to donate to a local charity
- Sell chocolates to raise money for a local charity
- Create a recipe book using students favorite recipes and sell it, with part of the profits going to a charity
- Make someone’s day by creating happiness cards and hand them out to delivery drivers, neighbors, cashiers or other people you meet
- Plant trees
- Invite a member of a local charity to come and give a talk
- Organize a clean-up day at a local park
- Start a pen pal program with another school overseas and practice cultural exchange
- Put on a talent or music show at a nursing home
- Start a recycling program
- Start a breakfast club to ensure no one goes hungry
- Paint a mural in a public space
- Sponsor a child as a class
- Participate in a charity day such as Red Nose Day or Daffodil Day
Community service ideas for college students
- Volunteer at your local library
- Sign petitions for causes you care about
- Join the student society and welcome new students
- Help with the clean up after a natural disaster
- Become a certified lifeguard and volunteer at a swimming pool or beach on weekends
- Volunteer with a local nonprofit
- Volunteer at a large scale sporting event
- Take part in a clean-up day
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Donate unwanted clothes to charity
- Donate old textbooks to the library
- Volunteer to do social media for a local organization
- Volunteer as a camp counselor during summer break
- Teach people how to register to vote
- Offer to walk dogs
- Work on a home build for a charity like Habitat for Humanity
- Play music in a public area
- Help clean up graffiti
- Go plogging
- Volunteer abroad during school holidays
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Volunteer at a food pantry
Community service ideas for families
- Host an exchange student and share your life with them as part of a cultural exchange
- Donate unwanted toys or baby items to a women’s shelter
- Ask for donations instead of presents for birthdays
- Volunteer as a family for clean up days, planting days or sports events
- Host a car wash at your house and donate the proceeds to a charity of choice
- Cycle or walk to school or work to reduce emissions
- Grow a vegetable garden in the backyard, or start a community garden
- Deliver groceries to elderly neighbors. Often the bags are heavy, and they need help putting items away
- Go caroling as a family in your neighborhood or at a senior citizens center
- “Adopt” a child or family from a Salvation Army Angel Tree or similar movement, and shop for gifts as a family during the holidays or for birthdays
- Buy a ‘pay it forward’ coffee at your local cafe
- Set up a bird bath at home to feed local birds
- Create a school drop off and pick up roster with other local families
- Care for a neighbors pet, collect mail and water their garden while they’re away
- Donate unwanted sports equipment to sportsgift
- Kids can set up a lemonade stand or bake sale out the front and raise money for a charity
- Next time you’re at the playground, pick up five pieces of litter each
- Organize a book drive amongst other families and donate them to a women's shelter
- Read books that spark conversations about important topics
- Create and send a thank you video to someone who was kind to you
- Go meat free one or two days a week
- Write letters to service men or women or inmates in prison
- Take part in a clothes swap
- Join a toy library to reduce the amount of toys purchased
- Put together care packages for a children's hospital. Fill it with activity books, iSpy books, chapstick, bubbles, colorful pens, nail polish, squish balls and Play-Doh, and a handmade get well soon card
Community service ideas for seniors
- Serve food at a soup kitchen
- Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
- Create a little free library outside your home
- Start a little free pantry outside your home
- Do a First Aid course so you can be CPR certified
- Become a volunteer member at a museum, theater, or cultural institution and share your knowledge with visitors
- Volunteer for a language exchange program to teach new migrants English (or another language you speak)
- Share any extra produce you grow with neighbors
- Knit clothing for NICU babies or animals
- Train a service dog
- Foster a dog or cat until it is adopted
- Become a big brother or sister
- Give blood
- Coach a youth sports team
- Start a book club for other seniors in your area
- Rake leaves or shovel snow for neighbors
- Become a voluntary board member of an organization
- Drive elderly people to appointments
- Volunteer at a thrift shop
- Get involved with outdoor volunteering with Land care
- Recruit other senior volunteers to get involved and reap the benefits of volunteering
- Get involved at local community centers
Virtual community service project ideas
- Share your knowledge by tutoring students online with Learn To Be
- Sign and share online petitions
- Talk to older adults via Zoom to help combat loneliness with DOROT
- Be the eyes for a blind or low-sighted person via the app Be My Eyes
- Respond to student questions to help them find their dream jobs at Career Village
- Translate texts into different languages with Translators Without Borders
- Help support micro-entrepreneurs around the world to grow their businesses via KIVA
- Help conservation efforts from home by identifying animals in survey images and videos with ZSL Instant Wild
- Review historical documents for the Smithsonian Institute
- Be a red cross caller and call people each morning to check they are OK
- Take part in a volunteer fun run
- Read books to a buddy on StoriiTime
- Start a Buy/Swap/Sell group in your local neighborhood on Facebook
- Give away unwanted household items on Facebook Marketplace
- Write positive reviews about local businesses on Google to help them grow their business
- Volunteer as a crisis counselor for a crisis hotline.
- Share your expertise and help solve a problem in a one-hour phone call with a non-profit on Catchafire.com
- Get behind climate change campaigners such as NRDC
- Do your part for climate change by setting up a home compost garden
- Plant trees and flowers that attract bees
Community service is a great way to build connected and happy communities. But it also benefits the giver in a number of ways.
“The results show that giving your time to others can make you feel more ‘time affluent’ and less time-constrained than wasting your time, spending it on yourself, or even getting a windfall of free time,” Cassie Mogilner wrote in the Harvard Business Review on her research into community service.
Volunteering your time can build a sense of social responsibility, and it can help children realize how fortunate they are while building a sense of empathy. It can also help you improve communication skills, build confidence, develop skills and nourish a sense of pride and purpose.
And of course, it can help build social connectedness, promote diversity and inclusion and encourage understanding within communities and community organizations.
So whether you’re a student, family, senior adult or teacher, consider creating or supporting a community project in your area and reap the benefits for yourself and your community.
Read more about volunteering on our blog:
- 12 examples of volunteer work you can try
- Top 22 Virtual Volunteer Opportunities You Can Do From Home
- A guide to virtual volunteering
- 5 places to find volunteers
Rosterfy exists to connect communities to events and causes they're passionate about through our end-to-end volunteer management solution.