FAQ

The Volunteer Center is a resource for individuals, families, and service groups who wish to help others by volunteering their time to nonprofit service organizations. We are a clearinghouse that connects nonprofits and possible volunteers. The VC also sponsors Days of Service, educational events, and training and networking events for nonprofits.

The VC was established in 1960 as The Volunteer Talent Pool (VTP), as a special tutoring project in conjunction with the North Shore Senior Center and the Winnetka Public Schools. Over the years, all local school districts in the New Trier Township began to utilize the volunteers for curriculum support. As it grew, nonprofits soon recognized the valuable volunteer resource and posted their needs with the VTP.  In 1995, the VTP evolved into the Volunteer Center, an organization that helped people of all ages and abilities find ways to make a difference in the lives of others.  Currently the Volunteer Center refers thousands of volunteers annually to 160+ nonprofit organizations in metro Chicago and abroad.

For additional historical information about the VC, please visit this complete History of the Volunteer Center.

Volunteers generally are sought from northeast metropolitan Chicago and mostly from north suburban Cook County. However, we are happy to help anyone looking to volunteer if we can. There are over a dozen VCs in the state of Illinois: click on the ” Volunteer Centers of Illinois” under Resources.

The nonprofit organizations listed on our website are predominantly in the northern suburbs and nearby Chicago, but there are many international programs, as well.

We currently feature over 160 nonprofit partners from every category and size on our website. Our nonprofit partners post individual profiles, volunteer opportunities and contact information, along with links to their websites.  You can sort by category, location or keyword to uncover which nonprofits and opportunities are a good fit for you. Once you find something of interest to you, you can contact the nonprofits directly to volunteer.

You can search for a nonprofit or opportunity using the search capabilities on our home page. When you find an opportunity that is of interest to you, simply complete the inquiry form on the nonprofit’s profile page. An email message is sent automatically to the nonprofit contact for that volunteer opportunity, and they will respond directly to you. Please feel free to also contact the nonprofit directly through the website once you have found an opportunity.

Alternatively, you can email us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org. You also can call us at 847-441-7665. Be sure to include your email address and a phone number where you can be reached during the day.

September 11 Day of Service, Make a Difference Day, Thanksgiving Share Your Bounty, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Global Youth Service Day (Kids Against Hunger, with the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary), The Alliance for Early Childhood’s Screen Break Week, Volunteer Recognition Events, Volunteer fairs, symposia, training seminars and networking events for nonprofits, and others.

Only 501(C)(3) organizations and accredited schools are invited to register. A 501(C)(3) organization must first email its EIN number to info@volunteercenterhelps.org before approval.  When staff at the VC confirm your nonprofit status, then complete the New Nonprofit Registration Form found on our website under the “For NonprofitS” button.

Alternatively, you may email us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org, call us at 847-441-7665, or write us at The Volunteer Center, 520 Glendale Avenue, Suite 211, Winnetka, IL 60093. Be sure to include EIN number, nonprofit name, contact name, phone number, fax number, email address, web site, a description of your nonprofit, and how you use volunteers.

Once you become a partner, your nonprofit will post its own profile page on our site, and you will also be able to add your volunteer needs and opportunities at any time. In addition, your nonprofit will be listed on our website and added to our database for future mailings and invitations to nonprofit partner training and networking events.

The Volunteer Center is a member of the Points of Light Foundation/Hands on Network and The Volunteer Centers of Illinois (VCI). The VC also works closely as a nonprofit member of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary and the New Trier Township.

The Volunteer Center also collaborates on specific projects with many local organizations, businesses and other nonprofit agencies that have included over the years many organizations. They have included New Trier Township and the New Trier Township Food Pantry, The Winnetka-Northfield Rotary, The Alliance for Early Childhood, New Trier High School and many additional north suburban public, private and parochial schools, The Kindness Connection, The North Shore Senior Center, The Community Housein Winnetka, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, the American Red Cross, The American Cancer Society, The Woman’s Club of Evanston, Go Green Winnetka, Do Your P’Art and many more. We welcome new opportunities to collaborate at any time. Contact us!

The majority of the budget is funded by individual donations from loyal supporters in the community. The VC also receives grants from New Trier Township, local businesses, private foundations, and other grant-making organizations. We engage with corporate community partners and hold a variety of fundraising events during the year. We also charge a small administrative fee for service for new nonprofit partners.

Thank you for thinking of us! Because we do not charge a fee for our services to potential volunteers, and the majority of our operating budget is from individual donations, we are heavily reliant on the generosity of individuals in the community. Click here if you would like to donate.

We are always interested in new board members. The only requirement is that potential members have a passion for helping others and be willing to assist our various committees, our annual appeal and our other fundraising efforts. We are a working Board — but we have a lot of fun while we are working!

If you are interested, email us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org.

For any other questions or suggestions: email us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org.

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Donations to The Volunteer Center are tax-deductible.