Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I start volunteering?


Before you start looking for a volunteer opportunity, begin by asking yourself a few questions. Why do you want to volunteer? Do you want to give back to a cause, meet new friends, gain professional experience? What skills do you have and which skills would you like to gain? How much time are you able to commit?

Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, use our online database to see what volunteer opportunities are available in the Greater Sudbury community.

Finally, once you found a few opportunities that are of interest to you, follow the instructions for reaching out to those organizations. Volunteer managers are busy people so give them a few days to respond before reaching out again, if you still don’t hear back then move on with your search and don’t worry, there are tons of wonderful organizations that you can volunteer your time with!




What is the minimum age to start volunteering?


Generally you have to be at least 14 to be a volunteer, however some organizations will accommodate younger volunteers so long as they are accompanied by an adult. Some organizations will require volunteers to be at least 16 years old depending on the organization and the type of work volunteers will be doing. For more information search for volunteer opportunities by age group and reach out to individual organizations to learn more about their policies on young volunteers.




Do I need any specific skills or training to be a volunteer?


Each volunteer position will have certain skill requirements, however some will be more specialized than others. Organizations will provide training to ensure that volunteers are able to perform their role. Volunteering is also a great way to learn new skills!




Can I volunteer as part of a group?


Absolutely! Certain volunteer opportunities, such as special events, are able to accommodate groups. Contact the organization in question to confirm that their volunteer position is suitable for groups.




Will volunteering help me get a job?


Volunteering can help you to gain and improve skills for future employment. Many people, especially those searching for their first job, find volunteering to be valuable experience to include on their resume. Be sure to request a reference letter (you may have to wait until the end of the volunteer commitment) and to ask if the organization that you are working with uses the Achieve Ontario volunteer recognition program.




What is the time commitment for volunteering?


The time commitment will vary from position to position. Some will require a recurring commitment on a weekly or monthly basis, others will be a one time commitment, such as for a special event.




If I have a concern about my volunteer placement what should I do?


We recommend looking first to the organizations policies and procedures regarding problem reporting and the treatment of volunteers, you should then voice your concern to a relevant member or members of staff.




Can I leave my position at any time?


Volunteers are essential to maintain the functioning of many organizations. If you are leaving your position for any reason, you should notify relevant members of staff as soon as possible in order to give them time to find a replacement.




What is the process to become a volunteer? Are there any specific documents I will need to provide?


Some organizations may require you to submit a resume, others may just ask you to fill out an application online or in person, or you might not need an application at all, just simply sharing your interest in volunteering. A formal or informal interview may also be required, other times you will simply be invited to an orientation session, or you might be welcomed to start right away. During the intake process, you may also be asked to provide a criminal record check or a negative tuberculosis test. Organizations will typically indicate these additional requirements in their postings on our database.




Can I volunteer virtually?


Absolutely! In compliance with provincial restrictions, Volunteer Sudbury wants to ensure that all of our volunteers feel safe when devoting their time in assisting our community. Our volunteer database contains opportunities that can be conducted from a secure location through video conferencing applications such as ZOOM. If you are struggling to identify available volunteering opportunities that are virtual, please contact our Program Coordinator who can assist in finding the right fit for you!




What should I wear when volunteering?


Respective opportunities may call for specific dress requirements. If an organization expects volunteers to adhere to certain dress codes, this information should be outlined in the opportunity posting on our database. If no dress code is specified, it is best to wear comfortable/casual clothing with closed-toed shoes. If volunteering outdoors, remember to dress according to the weather conditions!




I have been ordered by a court to do community service. Can I fulfill this requirement through Volunteer Sudbury?


Absolutely. Volunteer Sudbury is ready to help all volunteers in the city find volunteer opportunities. First, it is important to check with your probation officer, lawyer or other court representatives to find out what types of activities qualify toward your court ordered service. Next, by visiting our volunteer opportunity database, or contacting a member of our staff, we can help you find opportunities to fulfill your community service requirements. It is worth noting, however, that “high-risk” opportunities - such as working with children or vulnerable populations - may be unavailable to you.




Est-ce que Bénévolat Sudbury offre des services francophones? / Does Volunteer Sudbury offer francophone services?


En ce moment, Bénévolat Sudbury n'offre pas de programmes francophones. Cependant, nous avons des membres de notre équipe qui sont bilingues et qui peuvent vous aider avec vos besoins de bénévoles. While we do not currently have French programs available, there are members of our team that are bilingual and can assist you with regard to your volunteering needs.





Still have questions?