What is a Volunteer Centre?

A Volunteer Centre (or Bureau) is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to advocating for and supporting the needs of volunteers and agencies that engage volunteers. While Centres offer several common services, each has a unique mix of programs and services shaped by the needs and resources of the community it serves.

The first Canadian Volunteer Centre was founded in Montreal in 1937. During the 1960s and 1970s, volunteer activity increased and Volunteer Centres were established in many urban areas. Today, there are 26 in Ontario and approximately 200 across Canada.

To strengthen their individual efforts, Volunteer Centres often affiliate with provincial and federal organizations such as the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN) and Volunteer Canada.

Many individual managers of volunteers enhance their professional standing and expertise through membership in professional organizations such as HAV (Hamilton Administrators of Volunteers); PAVRO (Professional Administrators of Volunteer Resources Ontario); and VMPC (Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada).

Volunteer Hamilton is an independent, nonprofit charitable organization incorporated in the Province of Ontario. Serving the entire community, Volunteer Hamilton is an advocate and catalyst for volunteerism, providing leadership and support for volunteer efforts and operating as the central clearing house for all things related to volunteering. 

What does a Volunteer Centre Do?

  • Promotes Volunteerism
  • Offers consulting on volunteer programs
  • Recruits, refers, and interviews volunteers for community agencies and organizations
  • Trains volunteers and volunteer managers
  • Tracks trends in volunteerism
  • Advocates for issues related to volunteerism and volunteer programs

Why do people volunteer?

  • To gain experience or practice new skills
  • To explore your strengths
  • To become familiar with a new language or culture
  • To build your resume
  • To gain information about a career path
  • To be involved and practice good citizenship
  • Over 96% of volunteers do so because they belief in the cause

Who volunteers?

  • Anyone can volunteer.
  • Approximately 13.3 million Canadians volunteer
  • Volunteers contribute over two billion hours annually
  • The ‘Social Profit Sector’ employs about 1.1 million Canadians
  • Voluntary sector ‘equivalent value’ estimated at approximately 26 Billion dollars annually
  • Average service over 160 hours per year
  • Youth aged 15 to 25 comprise the largest volunteer group
  • Seniors aged 60+ collectively donate the most volunteer hours
  • Hamilton has one of the highest per capita averages for volunteer participation in Canada. 56% of Hamiltonians volunteer (260,000+ volunteers)

How do I find a volunteer opportunity?

Volunteer Hamilton is committed to engaging Hamilton in volunteerism regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, or physical ability.

Volunteer Hamilton has approximately 200 member agencies who post their volunteer opportunities on our online database.

Interested volunteers can search the database by category, organization, or keyword search.  If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to pay for a Police Record Check there is an option to search only those volunteer opportunities where a Police Record Check is not required.

Once you find an opportunity to suit your needs, you can simply click on “Apply Online”. This will take you to a brief application form.

If you require assistance with your search, please call Volunteer Hamilton at 905-523-4444 or visit our street-level office during drop-in hours at 140 King Street East, Main Floor Unit 20 in downtown Hamilton. We are happy to help you find your meaningful volunteer opportunity. Weekly drop in hours can be found on our homepage.