How do I get started?
Start your journey as a New York Cares volunteer by 1) creating an account and 2) registering for (and then attending) one of our introductory orientations. At orientation you’ll meet other new volunteers, learn about available volunteer projects, review important volunteer policies, and find out what to expect when volunteering with us. After orientation, the real fun begins – signing up for volunteer opportunities on the Search Projects page!
What types of volunteer projects does New York Cares offer?
You name it and we likely have it. New York Cares works with over 1,300 nonprofits and schools (who we call, “Community Partners”) throughout New York City to offer thousands of opportunities that make a difference in our city. We offer projects for just about every interest and skill. You can browse some of our upcoming volunteer opportunities on the Search Projects page to get a greater sense of what fits your interests and skill set.
Are there any age requirements to volunteering?
While age is just a number, there is an important distinction when it comes to volunteering on New York Cares projects. You must be at least 18 years of age to create a volunteer account with New York Cares and register for projects on your own. But don't worry, kids and teens! We have a few opportunities for you as well. If you’re interested in volunteering alongside a parent, check out Family Friendly volunteering or if you’d like to volunteer alongside a chaperoned group of teenagers, check out Teen Group Friendly volunteering. To learn more about opportunities we have available for youth, check out our Youth Volunteering page here.
I want to volunteer with my friends, family, or co-workers. Does New York Cares have a way for me to sign up others for a project?
Absolutely! We have plenty of opportunities designed to accommodate those looking to participate alongside friends, family, or co-workers. Check out our Group Volunteering page here or our Group FAQs for more information on ways to volunteer in groups.
I would like to volunteer with my personal support aide. How do I get started?
We’re glad to have you and your personal support aide with us! There are a few important pieces of information we’d like to share with you before you head out on your first project to ensure the best possible volunteer experience. Please email Maggie Bernhard at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on next steps to volunteering with New York Cares.
I want to volunteer around the holidays. How do I sign up to volunteer this season?
We have many opportunities serving the New York City community around the holidays. However, because of generous New Yorkers like yourself, projects on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays tend to fill up pretty quickly. For more information about the programs available and other seasonal resources, check out our holiday volunteering page here.
I don’t reside in New York City, but am planning a visit and would like to volunteer during my stay. How do I get involved?
Volunteering is a great way to explore the city and meet local New Yorkers, even if you’ll only be in town for a few days, weeks, or months. All you need to do is 1) create an account and 2) attend an introductory orientation. You may be interested in attending one of our digital orientations, which can be done on a computer before you arrive in NYC. After attending, you can get right to registering for volunteer opportunities, typically posted about a month in advance.
I’m having trouble entering an international phone number while creating my volunteer account. What do I do?
As you may have noticed, our website won’t accept international numbers in any of the phone fields. This is because we need a local number on file in case an emergency arises. It’s best to list someone in the area – maybe an acquaintance or friend in the US or your hotel or hostel’s number to ensure we have some way of reaching you in an emergency or last minute cancellation.
I’m having trouble selecting a project. Do you have any suggestions?
We recommend using the Filters tab on our Search Projects page to get more advanced with your search. Customize your project based on date range, subway line, specific interests, and much more. You can also check out the Hot Projects filter to find upcoming projects most in need of volunteers. We generally have over a thousand volunteer opportunities posted every month, so the perfect project may be out there waiting for you!
I need to provide documentation of my service. What is the best way to verify my volunteer work?
The most convenient way to verify your service is to print out a copy of your Project History page, which can be found under your My Profile page. Alternatively, we can provide a Letter of Service – a document printed on our letterhead which verifies your service with New York Cares. Simply fill out this request form at least five days before the letter is needed.
I’d like to volunteer with New York Cares to complete a court service. What are my next steps?
We often have volunteers come to us with different service requirements, including court-mandated volunteering. The first step in getting started is creating an account on our website and completing your Volunteer Information Form, making sure to disclose any past convictions or pending offenses in the Legal History section. Afterwards, a member of our Volunteer Relations team will reach out within a few business days to review information and talk about next steps.
I have a specific form that needs to be signed to verify my volunteer hours. Who can I send this to?
Please send all forms and other relevant paperwork to email@example.com before you begin volunteering so our Volunteer Relations team can review whether it’s something we can sign. Please note that Team Leaders are not able to sign documents on behalf of New York Cares, so be sure to send all forms directly to staff and we’ll do our best to help!
I signed up for a project but something’s come up, and now I can’t make it. What should I do?
We understand plans change, so don’t sweat it. However, it's important that you de-register as soon as possible using the “Deregister” link on your My Projects page or by contacting your Team Leader, so another volunteer can take your place. You will only be able to deregister up until 24 hours before the start time of the project, so if you need to cancel within 24 hours, please email or call your Team Leader directly. This will help us ensure all projects have the amount of volunteers needed to accomplish project goals. Please note that failure to de-register or cancel with a Team Leader for three or more projects in a six-month period will result in temporary account suspension. A second violation of this policy will prevent a volunteer from continuing with New York Cares. So make sure to let us know if you can't make it!