Volunteer by Cause
There are hundreds of causes you can get involved with. Below are a few of the causes we get the most requests for. Want to find more opportunities? Visit volunteeryourtime.org to search the full local listing, or schedule a personalized appointment with our peer advisors.
You may also be interested in Service Learning courses, which allow you to get involved with a cause through a local community organization while also earning class credit.
We are all working together to help frail and limited income older adults remain independent and in their own homes. And you, as a volunteer, have the unique opportunity to help meet this need. The Home Chore Volunteer Program was developed in 1986 to assist frail, limited income older adults with basic home chores to help them remain independent and in their own homes. Home Chore Volunteers help older adults with light housework such as cleaning floors, washing windows, doing laundry, taking out garbage, minor home repairs, garden work, and even chit chatting.
MTILP, Inc. provides combined long-term support of daily living skills training, mobility training, vocational training and job placement for over 100 adults with disabilities in Dane County. These services are offered through supported employment, mobility training, home support and at our Day Service Program. Consider volunteering with MTILP, Inc. to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by offering your time and talent. Many different volunteer opportunities are available during weekdays including community integration trips in the Madison area. If you are willing to help out, we’d love to have you!
Catholic Charities Aging Services programs are continually looking for compassionate people to share their time and talents with the elderly in Dane County. Volunteers offer assistance, advice, and information to older persons living in their own home. This may include balancing checkbooks, companionship, crafts, recreational activities, shopping and running errands. A volunteer's area of expertise, talent and/or experience is matched with the needs of an elder person. A commitment of two to four hours a month is ideal. All volunteers are screened and trained prior to meeting someone.
The East Madison/Monona Coalition of the Aging provides social services to help area seniors maintain their independence and life satisfaction. EMMCA does this by providing programs and services for senior adults, assisting senior adults and their families in accessing services, and networking with agencies and organizations interested in senior issues and concerns. Volunteer opportunities include from serving lunches, recording attendance, providing entertainment and assisting with games, among others.
Every week, you will meet with either a senior or a person with a mental illness or other disability for approximately 1 -2 hours to interact with them by playing games, crafts, puzzles, cards, reading books, and visiting. You are providing this person with a chance to decrease social isolation, and personal growth opportunities in addition to an opportunity to further develop various communication skills (listening, cooperation, good sportsmanship).
Wheels for Winners gives youth an opportunity to earn bicycles through community service. This organization strives to provide bicycles for those who could not normally afford them and educate youth in the repair, maintenance, and safe use of bicycles. Many volunteers work on bikes, but there are other ways to get involved such as community outreach, computer work, event planning, fundraising and web design. You don’t have to be a bike repair expert to get involved!
Options in Community Living, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides community-based supported living services to individuals who have developmental disabilities. Options is focused on continual learning from the people they support. Support provided is individualized and changes as individual needs and community resources change. Volunteers are always welcome and greatly appreciated.
WORT-FM is a non-commercial, listener-sponsored, member controlled community radio station broadcasting to South-Central Wisconsin. WORT offers quality programming and services to a broad spectrum of the community through promotion of communication, education, entertainment, and understanding. As a volunteer you can contribute to locally produced programming, support the day-to-day operations of the station and assist with fundraising and outreach events. No previous radio experience needed.
Briarpatch Youth Services is a non-profit organization that aims to deliver services that strengthen and improve the lives of youth, their families, and our community. The agency offers a broad array of services to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. Volunteers play a huge role in ensuring youth and their families receive the support they need. Opportunities range from street outreach to peer court assistant to helpline counselors.
Volunteer to provide career/job mentoring to a participant in our "Just Bakery" program. Mentors will have weekly contact with program participants being placed in a job to provide support, guidance, problem solving, and a listening ear as participants start their new jobs in the community. Program participants have experienced significant barriers to successful employment, "Just Bakery" offers them an opportunity to train in a new career field in which they can become successful. Many of the participants have limited employment history and Employment Mentors will support them as they complete the training portion of the program and move into employment in the community.
(608) 256 - 0906
Community GroundWorks connects people to nature and local food through hands-on education for children and adults about gardening, urban farming, healthful eating and caring for natural areas. If you want to develop valuable skills in organic farming, natural areas restoration, environmental education, community gardening and more, then become a volunteer! Volunteers help at the various community farms and gardens as well as with special events and projects.
Midwest Environmental Advocates is a nonprofit environmental law center that works for healthy water, air, land and government for this generation and the next. They work with citizens, other environmental groups, neighborhood associations, faith groups and others to educate and build a grassroots coalition of concerned and empowered environmental advocates. Volunteers provide support in whatever capacity is needed.
Whether you have an hour or 10 to give, Clean Lakes Alliance is happy to place volunteers on projects large and small. Opportunities fall in one of the following three categories: office and administration assistance, special events (often on evenings and weekends), and watershed projects* (i.e. beach clean ups, storm drain stamping). Regular volunteer opportunities and one-time events are available.
Dedicated volunteers ensure the continued success of the Arboretum's ecological communities, gardens, and outreach programs. There are countless ways volunteers can get involved at the Arboretum. We have opportunities for individuals, families, and groups. New volunteers are always welcome to participate. Volunteers can help with ecological restoration, gardening, plant propagation, summer day camps, Friends of the Arboretum sponsored events, citizen science, and Visitor Center services.
REAP’s Farm to School program brings fresh local, sustainably produced food to children, establishes reliable markets for local farms using sustainable agricultural practices, and provides hands-on experience in Madison classrooms. Our volunteer opportunities will center on classroom nutrition education, Chef in the Classroom, CHOW, and educational cafeteria programming.
Friends of the Dane County Farmer’s Market strives to make fresh local food available to everyone. To help achieve our goal we set up the FoodShare Program at the Dane County Farmer’s Market. The FoodShare Program allows families and individuals to buy Farmers’ Market products with their Quest cards (or food stamps). Volunteers are needed each Saturday of the Dane County Farmers’ Market all year-round. Services are available at the Saturday market on the Capitol Square, at the Wednesday market on MLK JR Boulevard, and during the winter markets at the Monona Terrace and the Madison Senior Center. Booth shifts are 2 hours long. Volunteers sign up as often as they would like. It's great if volunteers can commit to helping out on a regular basis.
Volunteers are an essential part of Porchlight. They work closely with our residents, support our programs, and raise awareness and funds in the Madison community. Whether you are looking to help out on your own or as part of a group, Porchlight has a number of meaningful one-time and ongoing opportunities.
We offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities that will match different interests and schedules, including a number of opportunities for family volunteering. You can work directly with homeless families by helping with evening meals or activities for families within shelter, sort donated items at the day center or help around the office with clerical tasks.
We offer unconditional love and support, to those who are homeless. Partnering with any other group who is trying to help and change the perception of homelessness. Volunteers help with street outreach and food run. We are happy to have you volunteer for as little as one hour or one outreach evening, or regularly.
Street Outreach Volunteers work closely with staff to provide an array of services for the community. Opportunities in this program may range from assisting with events and public speaking to connecting with youth who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless. This opportunity is often tailored to the volunteer based on skill-level, interest, and flexibility of schedule.Volunteers in this program must be able to connect with individuals authentically and compassionately. Volunteers must be able to understand and adhere to professional boundaries. An additional interview is required. Volunteers must attend 20 hours of training. Volunteers must be able to share 3 -6 hours per week for the period of a year.
Project Home assists approximately 1,000 households each year with a variety of no-cost and low-cost home improvement programs. Project Home supply vital home repair and maintenance programs to community members in need. They provide an array of programs ranging from home repair services, searches for affordable housing, and free classes on home maintenance.
The TRC is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting positive relations between rental housing consumers and providers throughout Wisconsin. This organization provides information and referrals, education about rental rights, and access to conflict resolution. Volunteers assist clients as housing counselors, mediators help negotiate agreements between tenants and landlords as well as provide office support for the center. Housing counselors help in the main office for 3-6 hours/week for a minimum of one year. We will train you on tenant landlord law and provide lots of support as you assist clients.
Individuals and groups are all needed to volunteer on Habitat construction sites. Volunteers partner with families to build homes. Other Habitat volunteer opportunities include serving as a committee member, helping in the office or working on the Green Team on landscaping projects.
The goal of Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin is to make sure everyone in southwestern Wisconsin has enough of the right kinds of food to live a happy and healthy life. Second Harvest distributes millions of pounds of food each year through their network of partner agencies and programs, helps people understand and apply for government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and promotes awareness in the community. Volunteers are needed to help sort and distribute food, among other things.
The River Food Pantry provides hot meals, groceries, clothing, and household items to Dane County families who are struggling to make ends meet. Volunteers are needed to assist with the food pantry services, mobile lunch program and concession stand for special events. Specific time slots that need volunteers are listed on the River Food Pantry website.
The Catholic Multicultural Center provides free meals every day of the week and operates a food pantry on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Volunteers are needed to help in the food pantry and the garden or to help cook and serve meals.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the world. The organization operates the largest food pantry in Dane County. Last year we helped over 45,000 people with $1,300,000 worth of food. Volunteers are needed to stock the pantry and host our customers.
CAC Gleaners - CAC operates a food recovery program called CAC Gleanders. As a volunteer driver, you will help fight hunger by collecting pershiable foods still safe for human consumption from various restaurants, cafeterias, and delis around town. CAC will try to match your route with geographical locations of your preference and availability. This is a regular, weekly commitment (substitutes can be supplied for illness and vacations). Most routes can be completed in about an hour.
Interested in justice for immigrants? Volunteer with WNPJ’s Immigration Rights Work Group. This group’s mission is “to welcome immigrants in our communities and organizations, while supporting policies that honor the dignity of every human being and recognize the positive contributions that immigrants make to Wisconsin every day.” Volunteer to help with education and advocacy, fundraising and more.
YWCA Madison is deeply committed to many causes, including advocating for comprehensive immigration reform processes that keep families together, provide protection for immigrant victims of sexual violence and trafficking, and create a pathway to citizenship.
Centro Hispano is looking for volunteers to fulfil a variety or roles for outreach programs, immigration services and administrative work. Volunteer opportunities are ideal for those who wish to gain experience in social work, community engagement, and immigration services. Times are flexible, no long term commitment. Commit to a minimum of 3 hours per week for at least a semester (or the summer term) - preferably as a time block one day a week.
The Workers’ Rights Center is a community center dedicated to educating and advocating for worker justice, while empowering workers. The WRC is largely driven by volunteers who dedicate a few hours a week to assist workers in understanding their rights in the workplace and helping them in finding solutions to problems. The WRC holds regular advocate trainings, to educate volunteers on Wisconsin labor law, WRC policies and protocols and strategies that have been proven successful.
GSAFE works with educational staff, families, LGBT youth and Gay-Straight Alliances in local schools to create school environments where all LGBT youth and students thrive. They train educational staff on creating safe and supportive school communities and develop the leadership of LGBT students. Volunteers support this mission by assisting with many of the special events hosted by GSAFE, including the GSA scavenger hunt and youth leadership events.
Fair Wisconsin is a statewide advocacy group that fights for fairness and equality for LGBT Wisconsinites through lobbying, legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing and coalition building. Volunteers make phone calls to supporters, educate community members about LGBT issues and represent Fair Wisconsin at local events.
The mission of OutReach, Inc. is to promote equality and quality of life for LGBT people in the Madison area. OutReach needs volunteers to facilitate and lead peer-based support groups, as well as to provide office support and peer-counseling for any visitors that need someone to talk to. With some training, volunteers can also take part in speaking engagements to talk with schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations and other community groups about LGBT issues.
Volunteer your time being a positive role model for school aged children in Madison. Mentors build positive relationships with area youth between the ages of 7-17. As a mentor you'll meet weekly with your mentee to work on academic and extracurricular pursuits. Mentors and mentees work on homework, practice sports, create art and take field trips throughout campus and downtown Madison. The Neighborhood House is located just a few blocks from Union South on S. Mills Street.
Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, adults are matched with a child to act as role model and help them achieve their full potential. Bigs meet with their Littles 3 to 4 times a month and choose activities they would like to do together during lunchtime, after school or on weekends. You and your Little can share the kinds of activities you already like to do and learn how to do new things together. Bigs and Littles often play sports together, go on a hikes, read books or just give some advice and inspiration to each other.
Boys & Girls Club offers programs and services that promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Tutors can get involved through creative and performing arts, sports and recreation, teen enrichment programs and more.
As a volunteer, you will help positively influence young girls and introduce them to new experiences that show them they’re capable of more than they ever imagined. You can volunteer as a troop leader or co-leader for a group of Girl Scouts or you can help run a one to two-day programming event for local troops.
MAUM seeks volunteers to work with children and families who are impacted by parental incarceration. Youth are matched with an adult mentor who they spend time with each week. MAUM is also seeking volunteers for the Mentoring and Family Connections, Circles of Support and Returning Prisoner Simulation programs. All volunteers are expected to attend trainings, agree to a background check, and make consistent commitment.
The Literacy Network works to improve adult literacy in Dane County. Improved literacy skills mean a better chance at safe, productive life and a stronger connection to the community. The Skills in Computers & Literacy for Employment (SCALE) program provides one-to-one tutoring for adults with low literacy skills, using the computer as a learning tool. During class, each tutor helps their assigned learner build basic reading, writing, and computer literacy skills. No experience needed; tutor training is provided, as well as a weekly customized lesson plan.
The Urban League of Greater Madison recruits, trains and matches tutors with students to ensure that all students are adequately prepared to successfully complete algebra and other academic subjects when they enter high school.
Become a tutor! Volunteer tutors work one-on-one or with small groups of 6th through 8th grade underachieving students. Volunteers will work one or more hours per week, building a relationship with their student(s) while assisting them with homework completion, test preparation, organization, time management and study skills development. Tutoring/mentoring takes place at the school, either during the school day, 8am to 3pm, or after school from 3 to 5pm. As a tutor in the Madison Metropolitan School District, you will be part of a larger community initiative called Schools of Hope. The Schools of Hope Middle School Tutoring Initiative is one of our communities' largest and most sustained efforts to ensure that all students live up to their full academic potential and realize their dreams and aspirations.
Achievement Connections pairs UW-Madison student and other community volunteer tutors with area high school students who are low-performing in math, particularly algebra. Tutors are paired with one high school student for at least one entire semester. Achievement connections is looking for any UW-Madison student who is comfortable as a tutor, proficient in algebra and able to commit up to two hours each week for at least one semester. Comprehensive training will be provided for volunteers.
College Club is a college prep program for 1st through 12th grade students that is built on a foundation of academic monitoring, tutoring and case management. College Club creates a space and a platform that validates students and their life experience and focuses on topics like goal setting, college entry, understanding financial aid, career development and life skills. Providing students with these services and creating a space and a platform that validates The goal of the program is to ensure that every member is equipped with the academic and personal tools to successfully graduate from high school and be prepared for college success.
DAIS volunteers provide crucial, life-saving services to domestic violence survivors and their families and educate the public in meaningful ways. Volunteer program is split into two categories: Client-based and Forte (community-based). Client-Based Volunteers provide direct service to our clients both in the shelter and in the community. Forte volunteers are instrumental in helping DAIS spread its message across the community. Forte for DAIS volunteers often have an interest in marketing, communications, education, community organizing, and/or donations coordination.
The Rape Crisis Center works within Dane County to promote hope, help and healing for those harmed by sexual violence and strives through education and outreach to create social change to end sexual violence. Volunteers are needed to serve many roles, including staffing the center’s crisis line, Chimera self defense class assistants and supporting outreach events.
UNIDOS exists to empower the community to break the cycle of domestic violence, end sexual assault, and promote healthy family systems. UNIDOS provides culturally relevant, advocacy programs for Latino communities that help communities learn skills about developing healthy relationships between intimate partners and promotes healthy family systems. Volunteer opportunities include helping with support groups, fundraising, special events and office tasks.
WCASA is a membership agency comprised of organizations and individuals working to end sexual violence in Wisconsin. Among these are the 50 sexual assault service provider (SASP) agencies throughout the state that offer support, advocacy and information to victims of sexual assault and their families. WCASA seeks a volunteer (or volunteers) who will be responsible for general office duties as necessary.