For many reasons, April is one of my favorite months of the year. Not only are temperatures starting to warm and birds starting to produce those bastions of never-ending cuteness— nestlings—but April is also National Volunteer Month. I just love that our country takes an entire month to celebrate those who serve selflessly to support those in need. I love how many great causes there are to support. And I love that, thanks to those great causes, I get to be a part of giving and receiving by serving as a volunteer.

April seems the perfect time to share this new app with my fellow KCLs—whether you’re seeking a project for your child's class, looking for a way to contribute during meaningful holidays, want to learn more about nonprofit work en route to a new career, or just love volunteering, these apps can make it happen. Best of all, many of the apps cost you nothing (corporate sponsors do the actual donating), reward you for giving with freebies, and even encourage you to adopt money-saving life strategies or meet important goals like personal fitness—just more proof that every time we give, we also receive!

Note: Research revealed that there are more free volunteer apps for iOS than for Android at this point—wherever available, both options are listed.

1. Flash Volunteer

Flash Volunteer is designed to do exactly what its name suggests—get you connected with local, convenient, volunteer opportunities at the exact moment when you have time. Just visit the website or open the app and it will use GPS to target your location and pull up volunteer opportunities you can participate in right then and there. If you have a volunteer opportunity, you can also use the website or app to post it and begin recruiting volunteers right away.

2. Volunteer Match

Volunteer Match has connected more than five million volunteers with opportunities since its inception. With the new mobile app, this number continues to grow. The organization itself has nearly 100 thousand nonprofits in their database, so you’re sure to find the perfect match for you.

3. Budge

With Budge, you use the power of your social networks to maximize your giving potential. For instance, say you’re out skiing and you challenge your ski partner to see who can reach the bottom of the slope fastest. Whoever loses has to donate the agreed-upon amount to charity. Cool, right? Charities can also request to be added to the Budge donation database.

4. Charity Miles

Charity Miles has won some pretty weighty awards: "Best Overall App" by Women's Running magazine, "Game Changer of the Year" by Men's Fitness magazine, and the SXSW "People's Choice Award." Whether you walk, bike, or run, the app measures your distance, and you earn money for your designated charity, courtesy of the app's corporate sponsors.

Note: As a bonus, the app can encourage you to meet and even exceed your fitness goals!

5. Donate a Photo

Donate a Photo is a project sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Every time you donate a photo, J&J will donate $1 to the charity of your choice. You can donate one photo per day, and J&J receives permission to share the donated photos in their donation gallery but pledges never to use them for commercial or advertising purposes. Nearly 200 thousand photos have already been donated. Causes include helping kids get medical attention, helping families get clean water, helping students get scholarships and many more.

6. Instead

Instead encourages you to save money by cooking your own meals, brewing your own coffee and making other micro-changes in your daily life. Your reward? You get to donate the savings to a charity of your choice. You can help victims of domestic violence, support families trying to get out of debt, fund meals for a child struggling with serious illness and many more worthy causes.

7. TangoTab

TangoTab rewards you and others when you redeem one of their good restaurant deals. Their slogans, "Good deal, good deed" and "When you eat, they eat," say it in a nutshell. TangoTab offers a wealth of restaurant deals that are free to redeem. When you use one, TangoTab donates a free meal to a needy person being served by a local charity, so you’ll impact hunger right in your own backyard, just by saving money when you eat out. What could be better?


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