The site grew to help travellers access ethical and sustainable service-minded projects that fit their definition of giving back. For some travellers, this means long-term volunteering, while others prefer to support locally run initiatives (like restaurants and boutiques with underlying social missions). No matter what service means to the traveller, GV facilitates meaningful connections between travellers and local causes and communities.
A husband-wife team from Utah offered the coding and website design work that brought the site into reality in 2011, and Hannah donated logo design work to round out the website. O’Donnell solely vetted the organizations in the GV database until 2013, when GV Ambassadors began mapping the world and expanding the project into every country and continent.
Since then, Grassroots Volunteering is a resource to connect travellers to causes and communities in the places they travel. The site consists of a dual database of organizations all over the world: Volunteer Opportunities: Independent volunteer organizations all over the world. Travellers with weeks and months (years even!) use this search engine to locate local level community-based organizations in need of their skills. Social Enterprises: These small businesses operate with an underlying social mission. All businesses are geolocated, so travellers can easily support grassroots initiatives in the places they visit.