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

Orientation FAQs

Our introductory volunteer orientation is all about laying the ground work for good work. Find out what you can expect upon arrival, who you’ll meet, and why orientation is an important first step in the journey to volunteering with New York Cares.

What can I expect from a New York Cares orientation?

Prepare to be greeted by one of our seasoned volunteer speakers and receive a warm New York Cares welcome as you enter orientation alongside other new volunteers. Orientation lasts for about an hour and is designed to provide you with all of the important information you need to know before heading out on your first project. We’ll explain the New York Cares volunteer model, share examples of exciting projects you can join, show you how to use our website, and tell you all about what to expect as a volunteer. After your speaker updates your orientation attendance, you will be able to register for any of our available volunteer projects.

Is it possible to sign up for a project before completing orientation?

While we make every effort to make volunteering as easy as possible, our introductory orientation is a necessary (and important!) step before showing up to your first project. At orientation, you’ll receive information about our volunteer policies and learn tried and true tips to volunteering with New York Cares. Once your orientation attendance is entered, you can sign up for any available projects.

I signed up for an orientation, but just realized I can’t make it. Can I reschedule?

No problem and certainly! Simply de-register from your scheduled orientation on your My Profile page and reschedule your orientation here

Is my orientation location wheelchair accessible?

If you’re attending an orientation at the New York Cares office, the 47 Trinity Place entrance to our building (located at Trinity Place and Rector Street) is wheelchair accessible between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. To ensure proper arrangements are made, give us a call at (212) 228-5000 or email us at to let us know when you’ll be coming. Many of our other orientations take place at libraries, where wheelchair accessibility is provided. If you have any questions about the accessibility of your orientation location, simply contact us and we’d be happy to direct you to the best location. 

Do I need to bring anything to an In-Person Orientation?

We’d recommend bringing a photo ID, in case you need to sign in with a security desk when you arrive. Otherwise, your presence is all that’s needed! We’ll provide you with a copy of our Policies and Procedures and any other important volunteer documents. 

I’m interested in volunteering with my child. Can I bring him or her to orientation?

Your child is welcome to attend orientation alongside you, as long as it does not disrupt the orientation presentation. However, individuals must be at least 18 years of age or older to create a volunteer account and volunteer through New York Cares individually. We do offer some Family Friendly projects. These are projects which allow parents or legal guardians (who have attended orientation) to participate with their child or legal ward on any Family Friendly project that fits their designated age requirement. Simply sign up and email the Team Leader to let him/her know you’ll be bringing a child to the project and bring a signed Family Friendly Project Waiver with you to the project. 

How quickly can I sign up for my first volunteer project after my orientation?

Our volunteer speakers generally update attendance within 24 hours of the orientation and send an email out afterward notifying everyone that attendance has been taken. If it’s been longer than 24 hours and you’re still unable to sign up for projects, just email and we’ll look into it so you can get started ASAP.

DIGITAL: Can I participate in the Digital Orientation using a mobile device?

You can! Simply download the Adobe Connect app here to access the orientation through your tablet or mobile device. The orientation will require audio, so make sure that’s a capability of your device. We also recommend testing out the app beforehand to ensure everything is in working order. To see technical specs for your device, click here.  

DIGITAL: I’m attempting to log into my Digital Orientation, but my New York Cares log-in won’t work. What’s wrong?

Our digital orientations are hosted by Adobe Connect which is an outside service, so your New York Cares username and password will not work. Instead, you must select the option to “Enter as a guest” and include your first and last name to enter the session. For attendance purposes, make sure to write your name exactly as you had entered it when creating your New York Cares account. 

DIGITAL: How can I make sure I’m prepared for a Digital Orientation?

To participate in the session, you’ll need a computer or mobile device with sound capabilities and an up-to-date Adobe Flash Player. Microphones aren’t necessary since you can ask questions or make comments using the ChatBox. You will receive an email with a link to your digital session after registering for the orientation. If you’re having trouble locating the link, simply log into the Upcoming Projects section of your account, click on your orientation, and scroll down to the Activity Site Information to retrieve the link. We recommend logging into your orientation about 10 minutes prior to the start time to ensure everything works properly. 

I just attended orientation, but I still have some questions. Who should I contact?

Our Volunteer Relations team is always happy to help you find projects and answer questions. Reach out to us at