What’s the difference between volunteering as an individual and volunteering as a group?
Our standard volunteer model has prospective volunteers create New York Cares accounts and attend orientation, individually. Once oriented, a volunteer can reserve one spot on available projects and manage their volunteer activity using their account.
Group volunteering takes a different approach to signing up and only requires that one New York Cares volunteer be oriented. However, in order to bring a group (and be designated as the Group Leader), that oriented volunteer must first complete an online Group Leader Training. Once trained, the Group Leader can reserve multiple spots for their group members on designated Group Friendly projects. These members do not need to have accounts or be oriented New York Cares volunteers, but must be at least 18 years of age.
What is the role and responsibility of the Group Leader?
As a Group Leader, you serve as the oriented and trained volunteer who makes a day of teamwork and service possible for friends, family, or colleagues. You are the main point of contact between your group and New York Cares staff and Team Leaders. You are responsible for registering your group for projects and sharing important information, such as project details and Group Volunteering Policies and Procedures, with the rest of your group. Most importantly, as the Group Leader, you are required to be present on the project, ensure all of your members sign the Group Waiver, and have your Team Leader sign off on it. It is your responsibility to return the signed and verified waiver to email@example.com or by submitting it here online.
How can I become a Group Leader? Is there a special training required?
To become a Group Leader, there are a few short steps involved. Simply 1) create a New York Cares account, 2) attend orientation, and 3) complete a Self-Guided Group Leader Training. That’s all it takes to be able to sign up for your first group-friendly project! If you are a current volunteer who has already attended orientation, you can use your personal New York Cares account when you register as a Group Leader. You do not need to create a separate group account.
What are the responsibilities of my group members?
While group members are not required to create accounts or attend a specialized training, we ask that they be in touch with their Group Leader for project logistics, review our Group Volunteering Policies and Procedures and sign the group waiver on the day of the project. Other than that, the main responsibility of group members is to have fun and be actively engaged while volunteering.
Is there an age requirement for group members participating in Group Friendly projects?
Yes. For Group Friendly projects, all members must be at least 18 years of age. If members of your group are ages 14 or older, you might be interested in our Teen Group Volunteer Opportunities. We also have plenty of projects available to parents or guardians interested in volunteering alongside their children. Check out our Family-Friendly Volunteering page to learn more.
Why can’t I reserve my group for all of the spots remaining on a project?
We limit group sign-up to half of the total volunteer spots on the project for two reasons. 1) To make sure that other New York Cares volunteers have the chance to sign up for the project regardless of whether a group has signed up. 2) To ensure we have sufficient volunteers still signed up to support and meet the project goals, if a group needs to cancel or reduce the size of their group.
Is there a minimum or maximum group size?
To be considered a group, you must have at least three members (including the Group Leader). You’ll find that most of our group opportunities can accommodate groups of 5 to 10 volunteers. If you have a larger group, you’ll find less options available. In this is the case, we recommend our large days of service projects! Learn more about those here.
I need to adjust my group size. Can I do that on the website?
Unfortunately, no. If you’d like to increase or decrease your group size, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (212) 402-1108.
Something came up and my group can no longer make the project. How do we cancel?
Please contact email@example.com as soon as possible if you must cancel, so we can notify the Team Leader and recruit more volunteers if necessary. We ask that you cancel no later than 5 business days before the project. To learn more about our cancellation policy, please refer to our Group Leader Policies and Procedures.
I don't see any projects that work with my group's schedule. Can you help me plan a project?
We post our group friendly projects on a rolling basis, so keep an eye out on a regular basis for projects that might interest your group. If your company is interested in creating a more customized day of service and pursuing sponsorship, please contact Adam Lebowitz, Director of Institutional Giving, at Adam.Lebowitz@newyorkcares.org.
My group members need to provide documentation of their service. What is the best way to verify our group’s volunteer work?
The most convenient way to verify your group’s service is by printing out your Project History, which can be found under your My Profile page. Alternatively, we can provide you with a Letter of Service – a document on our letterhead verifying your participation. Simply fill out a request form at least five days business days before the letter is needed and indicate your group name. Please be sure to have submitted your group waiver with the names of all group members listed to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to submitting a Letter of Service request.