Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Policies & Guidelines

We expect our volunteers to comply with the following policies and procedures in order to maintain a high standard of volunteer service, create a safe environment for the clients we serve, and provide you a positive experience. Please contact the Director of Volunteer Relations at 212-228-5000 if you have any questions or concerns.

Download a PDF version of our Policies & Guidelines


Getting Started

  • All volunteers must attend an orientation for new volunteers in order to sign up for New York Cares' monthly Calendar Projects. 
  • New York Cares asks volunteers to comply with the following Project sign-up procedures:
    • Volunteers must sign up for Projects using New York Cares' Web site, or by contacting the Team Leader in advance of the scheduled Project.
    • Volunteers cannot bring guests on a Project unless the Team Leader has given prior approval and the additional volunteer has already attended a New York Cares orientation.
    • Volunteers need to perform the activities as they are described in the calendar or Web site and as instructed by the Team Leader.
    • If volunteers need to cancel their participation in a scheduled project, they must de-register using the link under My Projects or contact the Team Leader. Failure to properly de-register three or more times in six months may result in account deactivation. 
  • Volunteers should arrive on time for the Project and stay for the duration of the Project, including any time necessary for clean-up. Volunteers must promptly leave the site at the conclusion of the Project. 


Expectations of Volunteers during Projects

  1. Volunteers must never be alone with a client or wander away from the group.
  2. Volunteers must maintain the confidentiality of all confidential, personal, or proprietary information to which they are exposed as a volunteer, regardless of the subject matter of such confidential information. This includes, but is not limited to, the names, locations, or images of clients they encounter through their work with New York Cares or the agency at which they meet them, as well as confidential, personal, or proprietary information about the agency made available to a volunteer. Partner agencies may also require that volunteers sign an additional confidentiality agreement prior to volunteering at their sites.
  3. Volunteers may not use their participation in New York Cares projects to promote partisan politics, religious matters, or other affiliations outside of New York Cares.
  4. New York Cares asks that volunteers serve to the best of their abilities, and in a respectful, professional, and cooperative manner while on a Project.
  5. While on a Project, volunteers must not engage in the following:
    1. Discriminatory or racist statements or behaviors.
    2. Sexual harassment, for example, jokes, innuendos, insults, sexist remarks, the display of derogatory or pornographic pictures, leering, touching, or kissing.
    3. The use of any alcohol or illegal drugs.
    4. Any unlawful or inappropriate activity.
  6. Volunteers shall not interact with any client outside of a Project on behalf of New York Cares.


Volunteer Dismissal

New York Cares, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to reassign or dismiss volunteers when such action is in the best interest of the volunteer, New York Cares, the Project, the client, and/or our Community Partner. Reasons for dismissal may include, but are not limited to:

  • Refusal to attend orientation or other required training.
  • Refusal to give suitable references or disclose past convictions for crimes.
  • Missing three or more scheduled projects in six months without proper de-registration.
  • Excessive lateness.
  • Disclosure of confidential information.
  • The use of alcohol or other inappropriate substances while on a project.
  • Involvement in any illegal activities.
  • Failure to adhere to any of New York Cares' Policies.
  • Any inappropriate behavior.


Volunteer Feedback

If a volunteer has any Project-related concerns, questions about appropriate behavior on a Project, or complaints regarding inappropriate behavior by another volunteer, the client, the Community Partner, or New York Cares' staff, he or she should talk with the Team Leader immediately. If a volunteer is unable to speak with the Team Leader or has a complaint concerning the Team Leader, he or she should contact the Director of Volunteer Relations at New York Cares at 212-228-5000.