Consult with NGOs
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are public organizations whose primary function is to serve the public good over the pursuit of profits.
The expansive focus areas for NGOs and NPOs cover fields such as education, public health, and civic engagement, both domestically and abroad. Examples of NGOs and NPOs include advocacy groups, professional associations, academic societies, and charities. If there is an issue you care about, there is likely an NGO or NPO who spends time focusing on that issue.
Those involved in science and/or policy can make significant contributions of their service and expertise to these organizations. For instance, scientists and specialists can carry out research and surveys to assess the progress of the organizations; likewise, they can use the latest scientific research to plan future directions for the organization. Similarly, scientists and policy experts alike can provide relevant and timely information to employees and service recipients of these organizations. And if a researcher has recently conducted a scientific study relevant to that organization, that researcher can share the study’s findings and data.
If you are interested in learning more about sharing your skills and expertise with an NGO or NPO, consider identifying and inquiring with those NGOs or NPOs whose mission you support; you can find those organizations by searching online or browsing through a database or organizations such as the one offered by ProPublica. Additionally, science or policy associations to which you already belong may have affiliations and contacts with other relevant NGOs and NPOs.
Interested in finding an internship or career with NGOs or NPOs? Check out this post by AAAS on Careers at Non-Profits and NGOs.