– Inspirations –

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

- Dr. Seuss

What does the Volunteer Center (VC) do?

It is a resource for individuals, families, and service groups who wish to volunteer their time and help others through nonprofit service organizations. The VC sponsors service days, educational events and a volunteer opportunity clearinghouse through this website.

How long has The Volunteer Center been in existence?

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, school districts in the New Trier Township utilized 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 hundreds of nonprofit organizations.

What area does The Volunteer Center serve?

Volunteers generally are sought from northeast metropolitan Chicago and mostly from 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.

The Volunteer Center refers volunteers to what nonprofits?

We currently list over 200 nonprofits on our website. Our nonprofit partners that have joined us as partners have their contact information listed along with links to their sites.  You can click on one of the Categories to uncover which nonprofits serve those needs. Many are listed in more than one category. You can also search by zip code or keyword, or see an alphabetical listing of organizations.

How do I volunteer?

You can search for a nonprofit or opportunity using the categories or search capabilities on our home page. Please feel free to contact the nonprofit directly through the website once you have found an opportunity. An email message is sent automatically to the opportunity contact person.
Alternatively, you can write about your interests to us at:

The Volunteer Center, 520 Glendale Avenue, Suite 211, Winnetka, IL 60093
or 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.

In what special events does The Volunteer Center actively engage volunteers?

September 11 Day of Service, Make a Difference Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Global Youth Service Day (Kids Against Hunger), The Alliance’s Screen Break Week, Volunteer Recognition Events, Volunteer fairs, symposia, seminars for agency staff, and others.

I am associated with a nonprofit not listed with The Volunteer Center. How can my organization get on your list as a nonprofit partner?

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 form on the home page of our website under the “nonprofit” 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 if any, a description of your agency, and how you use volunteers. Your nonprofit will be listed on our web site and added to our database for future mailings.

Does The Volunteer Center collaborate with other organizations?

The Volunteer Center is a member of the Points of Light Institute/Hands on Network and The Volunteer Centers of Illinois (VCI), and represented on the Serve Illinois Commission.

The Volunteer Center also collaborates on specific projects with many local organizations and businesses as well as with agencies that 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, The North Shore Senior Center, The Winnetka Community House, 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!

How is The Volunteer Center funded?

The majority of the budget is supported by individual donations. We have a small fee for service for our nonprofits and we do various fundraising events.  The VC also receives grants and gifts from New Trier Township, employee campaigns from The United Way, school parent/teacher organizations, businesses, foundations, and employer matching grants.

How can I donate to The Volunteer Center?

Thank you for thinking of us! We do not charge a fee for our services for potential volunteers and 50% of our budget is from individual donations. Click here if you would like to donate.

I would like information on joining your Board.

We are always interested in new board members. The only requirement is that potential members must have a passion for helping others and be willing to assist our various committees and help us with our annual appeal and other fundraising efforts. If you are interested, email us at info@volunteercenterhelps.org.

Any other questions or comments?

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