Connecting with others is a basic human need. But beyond that, truly stepping into someone else’s shoes is crucial for growing your empathy, a skill that can help you in every area of your life—including at the office.

The good news is that empathy can be learned, and one great way to start is by volunteering and helping those in need. Here are a few ways tech can help you get started.

Golden Volunteer Opportunities

This app makes it easy to find opportunities to volunteer near you. You just select the type of activities you’re interested in, like art or the outdoors, and then provide the dates and times that you’re available. The app will then show you matching opportunities, explain what your role would be and how it would help people and let you sign up to volunteer to help when the time comes. You can also invite your friends to join by sharing volunteer listings over email or any social networking site.


Catchafire is a website that helps pair your existing skills with good causes. Nonprofits in need of help in a wide variety of areas, from logo design or organization to naming a new program, will post volunteer opportunities on the site. Skilled volunteers (that’s you!) sign up for the website and browse through a variety of projects until you find one that matches your skillset and interests. You can search for projects by cause or by time commitment and organization needs.

Cheerful Giving

Cheerful Giving is an app that makes it easy to donate to causes around the world. All you have to do is link your profile to your bank account and start exploring to find the organizations you want to donate to. The app does more than send you money to worthy causes though—it helps you learn more about the cause you’re donating to and the people it will help. When you select a charity or cause, you’re prompted to read more about where your money is going and learn more about the situation you’re helping by reading related headlines.