Are there any requirements or restrictions to volunteer?
Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older. Volunteers 14-17 years old must use paper applications filled out by a parent/guardian and will then be entered into the computer system, 18+ years old can apply online.
There may be additional requirements or restrictions based upon the Activities requested. For example, you must have a background check performed and a valid driver’s license if you would like to take someone for a ride. Activities that involve face to face contact or entering a Recipient’s home will require passing a background check. Activities that involve contact with a minor or elderly will require passing a sex offender database check.
We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected under the laws of the United States.
How do I know what Opportunities are available?
Each time your community has a new need, your Chapter Leader should send you an email notifying you of activities coming up over the next month or so or last-minute needs. You should then login at http://volunteer.neighborbrigade.org and click on the Opportunities tab.
You can also login at any time to see if there are any needs available. Login at http://volunteer.neighborbrigade.org and click on the Opportunities tab.
Please Note: You may need to update your Qualifications to see some Activities (for example, providing rides will require a valid background check and driver’s license. You can update your Qualifications under the My Profile tab (top right of your home screen after logging in at http://volunteer.neighborbrigade.org) Other times Opportunities may be visible to everyone and you may be required to provide your Qualifications after signing up.
I just want to make a meal for my neighbor, what’s with all the application questions and requirements?
You can make a meal for your neighbor! Go for it! Feel free to bring over a meal to a friend or someone you know in crisis, however, if your friend needs a larger network of volunteers, that’s where Neighbor Brigade can help! We have thousands of volunteers across the country. With so many strangers interacting we need to have some precautions in place.
- Qualifications, waivers and liability forms are required by our legal team in order to provide security for all of volunteers, clients and our organization. If anything were to go wrong, accidents or ill-intentions, we will still be able to help our neighbors and protect our volunteers.
- Demographic questions on the application and in your My Profile settings are optional. However, providing these details not only allows us to apply for grants and funding (almost all of which require this data), but also allows us the ability to examine our practices and outreach to make sure we are succeeding where we intend to, not spending time where we aren’t succeeding and cultivating clients and volunteers from all parts of our communities regardless of gender, race, religion, skin color, ethnicity, culture, language, education or income level. We stand by our organization as inclusive.
- Our volunteer management software is built to cover the needs of many different models and size volunteer organizations. We cannot customize everything and our organization does not use all of the settings and options and features. This may make the process feel more complicated, but it really still is just an online sign-up! Look at some of our tutorials or contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to lead you through signups!
What are some examples of Qualifications?
Here are some examples of how we protect our volunteers, clients and organization:
- In order to volunteer or become a client, individuals must accept our liability agreement and waivers.
- Volunteers age 14-17 must fill out and mail in paper applications with a parent or guardian signature.
- For volunteer activity that requires face to face contact or entering a client home (i.e. rides, friendly visits, household chores), volunteers will require a background check (CORI in Massachusetts, Verified Volunteers in other states).
- For an activity that requires face to face contact or entering a client home (i.e. rides, friendly visits, household chores), any client who is not known personally to a chapter leader or Neighbor Brigade volunteer in good standing (i.e. applies online, cold calls or referred by a social worker), should receive a background check through Verified Volunteers (which requires computer access).
- Any activity requiring face to face contact or entering a client home with children or elderly clients will require a SORB check for volunteers.
- All Meal Preparation task should require Meal Prep training.
What do you do with my information?
Most of your information is kept privately within Neighbor Brigade staff, Chapter Leaders, board members. You will typically be asked first, but on some occasions name and minimal contact information might be share between a recipient you are serving if you are are a volunteer or to volunteers if you are a recipient. Your demographic data is compiled without name attached and used for grant writing and funding purposes. We do not sell or share your contact information and work hard to ensure your online identity, schedule, contact information and any other personal data.
What does money/donations get used for?
Good question, since the majority of our work is volunteering. We have costs associated with insurance, legal fees, software, marketing and outreach, background checks, providing coolers, salaries of our part time staff, etc.
I know someone who could use our help, what is the next step?
You can have the person fill out a Client Application on our website (find the link through your chapter page). If the client doesn’t have computer access, you can fill out the form for them. You can also contact your Chapter Leader or call our toll free number.
I can’t find the Activity my Chapter Leader emailed me about, where is it?
You can see any of the listed Activities by logging in and looking at the Opportunities tab.
- Login at http://volunteer.neighborbrigade.org
- Some activities you might not be able to see if you don’t have updated qualifications in our system. To make sure your Qualifications are up to date by going to My Profile
(tab on the top right) -> Qualifications and updating/saving the appropriate settings.
Click on the Opportunities tab. There is a filter box at the top of the Opportunities page, you may need to adjust your filters if you aren’t seeing Activities that you are qualified for. For example, the Filters may be hiding Activities that have already been filled. Make sure the box next to “Only include activities that have openings available” is unchecked.
- Click on the Activity name. You’ll be brought to the Activity description and signup page.
- Read/scroll beyond the description and you’ll see the available schedule at the bottom of the page.
Click on the Sign Up button to the right of the date and time shift(s) you are interested in signing up for. You should see on the screen a signup confirmation. (Note: You will not receive an email confirmation of your signup.)
What sort of tasks do volunteers perform?
Our volunteers most frequently help out individuals and families in crisis by providing meals, providing rides to doctor’s appointments, walking dogs, and community drives and fundraisers.
We also provide a range of other tasks including things like friendly visits, small household chores, assistance with errands, and occasional snow clearing or yard pick up.
How much am I required to volunteer?
There is no requirement. Neighbor Brigade is flexible. You are welcome to volunteer once a week, once a month or once a year based on your interest and schedule. Some months your chapter may not be helping anyone, others may have multiple tasks every day. You may enjoy helping with meals, but not rides, so volunteering may be based on your availability and Recipient needs at the time.