FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: WHAT IS VOLUNTEER TO SERVE.ORG?

A: VolunteerToServe.org is a comprehensive clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities. Those who are interested in volunteering can use this tool to locate opportunities to serve across the country and around the world.  VolunteerToServe.org is a nationwide service initiative that will help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. With the knowledge that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools, to come together to help lay a new foundation for growth. Volunteer To Serve aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own “do-it-yourself” projects with friends, family, and neighbors. VolunteerToServe.Org is managed by Volunteer To Serve, Inc.

Q: HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IN VOLUNTEER TO SERVE.ORG?

A: There are as many ways to join VolunteerToServe.org as there are needs in our communities. If you’re already doing service, post your opportunities on our website at VolunteerToServe.org so others can join your efforts. If you’re new to service, search for volunteer opportunities in your area or download one of our easy-to-use toolkits and develop your own project with friends, family, and neighbors.

Q: WHAT IF THE SERVICE PROJECTS MY ORGANIZATION IS ALREADY DOING THIS SUMMER DON’T FIT INTO THE SUMMER’S PRIORITY ISSUE AREAS? DOES MY SERVICE “COUNT”?

A: Absolutely. Whether you and your friends are organizing a food drive for your local soup kitchen or you have mentored a child every week for the last ten years, you are part of our movement. Tell us what you’re doing and what you’ve learned. Post your projects and share your stories at VolunteerToServe.Org.

Q: I CALLED A LOCAL ORGANIZATION AND WAS TOLD THAT VOLUNTEERS ARE NOT NEEDED. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

A: Not all community organizations have the capacity to train and manage new volunteers. Take a leadership role. Download one of our “do-it-yourself” toolkits and follow the steps to identify local needs and find partners who can help. You don’t have to work alone. Host a house meeting and create your own service team – click here to get started. And be sure to register your project at VolunteerToServe.Org to find additional volunteers.

Q: I’VE VOLUNTEERED BEFORE BUT I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE MY TIME WAS VERY EFFECTIVE. HOW DO I KNOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE?

A: Volunteer To Serve knows that volunteering is not simply a nice thing to do, but, rather, it is critical to rebuilding our communities. Volunteer To Serve is asking us to devote our time to impactful and measurable service. The projects promoted on VolunteerToServe.Org and by partner organizations have tangible outcomes. If you spend three hours a week reading to a child, you should know that (s)he is then twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading. If you are working to secure food donations for a local soup kitchen you should know that you have directly provided three meals to hungry individuals. Set goals based on these outcomes and track your results. You will be amazed at the impact you can make this summer.

Q: WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET CONNECTED WITH OTHER PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY?

A: When using the search function at VolunteerToServe.org, search by either keyword or location (or both). The listings that populate will include community service opportunities projects in and around your location. Most specific opportunities will include contact information for a local organizer. You can also contact your local chapters of our major service partners and ask how they are participating in VolunteerToServe.Org. Or, if you are organizing a “do-it-yourself” project, be sure to post it at VolunteerToServe.Org so other people can find you.

Q: WHAT IF I SEE OTHER PROJECTS ON VOLUNTEER TO SERVE.ORG IN MY AREA THAT ARE ADDRESSING THE VERY SAME ISSUE AND MIGHT BE DUPLICATING EFFORTS?

A: Try to find ways to collaborate with each other in new, creative ways and bring shared resources to bear on the issue at hand. One of the goals of Volunteer To Serve.org is to foster partnerships on a local level among nonprofits, issue groups, faith based groups, labor, educational institutions, businesses, corporations, foundations, government at all levels, and individuals.

Q: HOW CAN WE GET MEDIA TO COVER OUR ACTIVITIES?

A: Reaching out to local newspapers, television affiliates, and radio stations is a great way to draw attention to pressing needs in your community, highlight successful service projects, and attract more volunteers. Call these media outlets and invite them to cover your activities. Download a media advisory guide here (41 KB PDF). Also, remember that good old fashioned letters to the editor can be an effective way to spread the word in your community.

We’ve also created a sample media advisory and press release for organizations to highlight their participation in the VolunteerToServe.org initiative. Feel free to use or adapt to meet your needs.

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