Drei Freiwilligen in der Natur

Federal Volunteer Service (BFD)

Interested in joining the Federal Volunteer Service in the area of nature and environment? Here you will find information about it and about BUND.

What is BUND?

BUND stands for Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation). We operate at all levels with the support of over 620.000 people: throughout Germany, there are over 2.000 groups of BUND volunteers working directly on-site to address important local issues. Maintaining nature reserves, organising against factory farming or producing awareness campaigns are just some of our many activities.

BUND is committed, for example, to supporting organic agriculture and healthy food, climate protection and the expansion of renewable energy sources, and the protection of endangered species, forests and water. It is one of the largest environmental associations in Germany and is a member of the “Friends of the Earth” alliance.

in pictures:

People demonstrating Demonstration in Hamburg  (Jörg Farys)

Federal Volunteer Service (BFD) with BUND

The Federal Volunteer Service (BFD) is a government-subsidised programme designed to encourage practical auxiliary activities in public interest organisations. It is aimed at people of all ages who want to get involved for the common good, outside of work and school. The Federal Volunteer Service can be carried out in different areas. For us, it is in the area of nature and environmental conservation. Our “places of assignment” are either BUND groups or other associations that are affiliated with us.

BUND is a “central office“. It implements the Federal Volunteer Service for its places of assignment and their volunteers within the framework of their own environmental project, and constitutes a link between the German federal government and active civil society.



Three steps to participating in the Federal Volunteer Service

1. Finding a place of assignment
Our places of assignment and available Federal Volunteer Service positions are listed on our online placement map (in German).

2. Getting in touch
Have you found an interesting place of assignment? Report to the place of assignment directly!

3. Ready, set, go!
You sign an agreement with the place of assignment and can start getting involved in the Federal Volunteer Service at the agreed-upon time.

Handbook for volunteers

All important information in one document

Download our flyer in english:

Requirements and benefits

The only requirement for Federal Volunteer Service with BUND is the age of majority. Gender, nationality or level of education are irrelevant.

Foreign citizens who do not live in Germany and are not EU citizens can also participate in the Federal Volunteer Service. This requires the possession of a residence permit that allows them to be employed in Germany. A Federal Volunteer Service contract entitles volunteers to a residence permit for the agreed-upon duration. You will, however, need a visa to be able to enter the country. Please get in touch with the German embassy in your country about obtaining the necessary residence permit (for example, a visa).




Please note that the working language in our places of assignment is mainly German. Our seminars are also held usually in German. However, we do have a few seminars in English.
Ideally you should have a good understanding of the german language. We recommend at least the B1 level as defined by the European Framework of Reference for Languages.



Duration of the Federal Volunteer Service

The Federal Volunteer Service lasts for 6 to 12 months, which you can freely negotiate with the place of assignment. An extension up to 18 months can be qequested by the place of assignment. Volunteers aged 27 and younger always complete the Service full time; volunteers older than 27 years of age can also join part-time (at least 20,1 hours per week).


Daumen hoch


● Support provided by a skilled employee at the place of assignment

● Free educational seminars

● Pocket money of max. 453 Euro full-time (proportionately reduced in the case of a part-time position)

● Work clothes, board and lodging can be provided or the costs can be compensated

● Complete social security (contributions to pension, accident, health, nursing care and unemployment insurance)

● Pedagogical support provided by the BUND regional office supervisors

● Qualified reference provided upon completion of the Federal Volunteer Service



Seminars during the Federal Volunteer Service

Seminars are a legally established element of the Federal Volunteer Service and must be completed by the end of your Service. All volunteers may choose freely from BUND’s offer of seminars. The number of seminar days depends on the age of the volunteer and the duration of the service.

Our offer of seminars is designed to support the work carried out at the place of assignment, as well as personal development. BUND’s seminars combine nature or environment conservation topics with the acquisition of other skills. Here, you can determine your own areas of focus and obtain proof of your qualification. More information about seminars and qualifications (in German).

You’ll find our seminar programme here (in German): SEMINARPROGRAMME

Short video

Klicken Sie auf den unteren Button, um den Inhalt nachzuladen.

Discover the BFD with BUND in this short film.

Click on the button "INHALT ANZEIGEN" and turn on the English subtitles.


Do you have questions or need advice? Get in touch! (English is possible).

BFD central office in BUND:
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) e.V.
Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 5
10553 Berlin
+49 30 2 75 86-541

You can find an overview of further contact persons for the BFD on the link below: