I am currently on H1B visa, I want to do some volunteer work for a non profit organization on my free time and weekends, helping with some web development. I will not get any monetary benefits from this work. Just a sense of satisfaction alone.
So my questions is, Does this volunteer work is, against the rules of my H1B visa kindly advise ?
I spoke to an immigration attorney about this. The answer is that you cannot do any 'work' even if it does not get you any money. Things like writing free iPhone apps may not really make you money but you can't do it. The reason for this rule probably was that you could do free work that would take away a job from the american worker. This is the reason why there is a concept of 'prevailing wage' that says employees on H1B visa's need to be paid a minimum amount to avoid bringing in really cheap labor from outside US.
That being said, there is no real way to detect this or no really questions on forms to verify this but as per the rule, its not allowed.
You will violate the rules of H-1b visa, but honestly nobody's going to find about this if you do it right. I'm not suggesting you do it, I'm just saying that if you really want to - you can find a way.