Understanding: Episodic Volunteering

Many Singaporeans have probably experienced episodic volunteering in their life; either through school or their workplace. Episodic Volunteering, which is often short-term or project-based, is a popular option for those with busy schedules. Episodic volunteering, as the name suggests, is more often than not a one-time thing. Volunteers are given specific tasks to complete rather than set roles or responsibilities within the organisations they are volunteering at.

There are various benefits to episodic volunteering. Chief among which is the flexibility it affords. One of the biggest barriers to volunteering is the time required from volunteers. Episodic volunteering is good for people with inconsistent schedules who still want to give back as you are able to sign up for opportunities based on your available time. It is also non-committal to engage in the short term with a specific start and end date.

Another reason for episodic volunteering is for people who are not certain of the volunteering role or cause they are passionate for. Episodic volunteering allows you to find out about different causes, organisations and missions so you have a better understanding of what these organisations do. For example, some organisations will conduct outings for the elderly. Signing up for such an opportunity allows you to experience interacting with seniors so you know if you’re suited to such a role. If you are interested, you can opt for longer term regular elder befriending sessions.


Every year, there are many arts and culture festivals organised around Singapore and these festivals often require volunteers to help with administrative work. Examples of such festivals include the Singapore Writers Festival and Singapore International Film Festival. Volunteering at festivals sometimes gives you free access to festival events and allows you to interact with like-minded individuals.


If you have a particular skill or love for performance, you can volunteer as a performer at various homes and hospitals. This is an opportunity for you to spread joy to the community through your talents. The Institute of Mental Health currently has openings for birthday party performers.


Many organisations will have outings for their beneficiaries during special holidays like Christmas or Chinese New Year. During these outings, the organisations would need extra help in assisting their beneficiaries. These include ensuring the well-being of the beneficiaries, accompanying them during the trip, or even assisting them to the bathroom. During the outings, you get to interact with the beneficiaries while at the same time, you get to enjoy the outing.

There are many episodic volunteering opportunities in Singapore. RSVP frequently organises such opportunities which you can check out here. Alternatively, you can search for these opportunities at Giving.sg. Don’t let commitment or time stop you from giving back.

Sources: RSVP, Community Door