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

Team Leader FAQ

“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”

- Henrik Ibsen

What is a Team Leader?

Team Leaders are volunteers who make a commitment to help manage a volunteer project for a few hours each week or month (depending on the project). Each New York Cares project must have a Team Leader who volunteers on behalf of New York Cares, enabling us to offer approximately 1,500 volunteer projects every month at locations throughout the city.

What does a Team Leader do?

Team leaders serve as the primary contact for each project. They help sign-up and manage volunteers, attend the project to ensure everything runs smoothly, report attendance, and provide project feedback to New York Cares Program Managers following the project.

How much time does it take to be a Team Leader?

Team Leaders generally spend about 2 hours before each project preparing for the session, and a few minutes after each session to submit volunteer attendance and the number of clients we helped. On the day of the project, Team Leaders show up 15 - 20 minutes early to greet volunteers, ensure that the agency is ready for the project, answer any questions during the project, and thank and debrief volunteers at the end.

What kind of commitment do I need to make as a Team Leader?

This will vary according to the type of project you lead. Some projects may require a weekly or bi-weekly commitment of anywhere from a few weeks to an entire school year, others might be a one-time special event or once per month commitment for 6 - 12 months.

What qualifications do I need to meet to become a Team Leader?

Team Leaders need to be accessible by e-mail or phone, be committed to making a difference, and be comfortable leading a group of diverse volunteers. Team Leaders are also required to have a valid social security number, so that New York Cares can perform a criminal background check.

What are the benefits of being a Team Leader?

Team Leaders truly make a difference in our community, as New York Cares Projects simply could not take place without them. By becoming a Team Leader, you join a group of New York City’s finest leadership volunteers. Team Leaders play a pivotal role in helping New York Cares mobilize more than 56,000 volunteers, to the benefit of 400,000 disadvantaged New Yorkers, thousands of animals, and hundreds of community spaces citywide every year. Being a Team Leader is also a terrific opportunity to work with great people, develop leadership skills, strengthen job applications, enhance your career, or simply to put your gifts to use. Team Leaders are also given the opportunity to take advantage of several enrichment opportunities throughout the year, such as workshops, networking events and an annual leadership conference and celebration.

What support will I get from New York Cares?

Before you begin leading a project, you will complete a comprehensive training. Once you begin leading your project, New York Cares Program Managers will provide ongoing support through regular written and verbal correspondence, as well as occasional visits to your project. The New York Cares Leadership Development staff’s primary responsibility is to ensure that all Team Leaders are getting the tools and resources they need to successfully manage their projects.

How do Team Leaders get matched up with projects?

Team Leader vacancies are comprised of either existing projects, where the current Team Leader is no longer able to commit to the project, or new projects that are waiting to be added to the project calendar. During your one-on-one informal interview, we will discuss your skills, interests and availability to find a suitable project. Sometimes a project will be available right away, on other occasions, it may take more time. While we try to match new Team Leaders to projects that fit their interests and availability as best as we can, we also ask them to be flexible and enthusiastic about filling in where we have the greatest need. Team Leaders can search online for opportunities the same way volunteers search for projects. To view a list of currently available Team Leader Opportunities, click here.

I’m interested. What are the next steps?

New York Cares is committed to providing the highest quality of service to our volunteers and the people we serve. As Team Leaders play such a vital role in this process, New York Cares has a comprehensive process for recruiting and training Team Leaders. This ensures that all New York Cares Team Leaders are equipped with the knowledge and expertise they need to ensure a positive experience for themselves, the volunteers they will be managing, and most importantly, the clients being served.

  1. Complete at least three New York Cares projects of your choice
  2. Complete a short online application.
  3. Schedule an interview with a New York Cares staff member. 
  4. Review the online Team Leader training PowerPoint in your own time.
  5. Attend a two hour Team Leader Training (typically offered three times per month- a weekday, a weeknight and a Saturday).
I have more questions, whom do I call?

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the New York Cares Leadership Development team at:, or call (212) 228-5000.