About

Our vision 

Imagine a world where short-term volunteer efforts consistently support meaningful and long-range positive impacts in host communities worldwide. 

The increasing popularity of short-term volunteer initiatives conducted abroad represent a grand opportunity. Done well, such efforts could support and augment development efforts worldwide. 

Irresponsibly conducted, volunteer work can represent a notable risk; host communities are at risk of significant burdens and harms if efforts are not conducted with community priorities in mind. 

Our challenge is thus to ensure that the energy and idealism of volunteers are responsibly directed and harnessed; in essence, to match good intentions with good outcomes. 

Our mission 

The 53rd Week is a Brooklyn-based, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank that aims to advocate for responsibly conducted volunteer programs. Through partnership with institutions and organizations that conduct short-term volunteer experiences, we work to: 

Our track record 

The 53rd Week team has worked together for almost a decade with the aim of better harnessing the idealism of volunteers who travel abroad to be a force for good in this world. 

In this time, our experts have: 

To learn more about our current programs, click here.