Deciding to Volunteer

How much time do you want to give?

Everyone has different expectations of volunteering. We want to make sure we know and meet yours. Before you contact us, try to think through your responses to the following questions.
  • What kind of a time commitment can you make?
    • Do you want to try something one time?
    • For a few weeks?
    • For a few months?
    • Six months?
    • More?
  • Do you want a regular schedule – once a week, every two weeks, once a month? Or do you want to be on call? Or be able to set your own schedule?
  • Do you want to come in person to serve or are you interested in an online assignment that you can do on your own time online?
  • What hours are you available? Usual office hours? The opposite of that? Something in between?

What you should expect

For you to give your time as a volunteer, there is a process to go through – set up for your benefit and for CNIB's:
  • An application process. It is easy and we'll help you with it. We've streamlined our application and screening process to make it as quick and comfortable for you as possible.
  • A role to select. There is a lot to choose from – it is up to you – we will help with that, too.
  • Training to ensure your success! We provide you with an orientation to CNIB, and specific training for those roles that require it. Some roles do and some don't.
  • Carrying out the role itself – whether it is a one-time commitment of an hour or a long-term commitment to spend several hours a month or a week.
  • Being supported. We will be checking in with you frequently to answer your questions, make sure you are enjoying your role and to give you feedback about your impact.

The application process

You can list your expectations and preferences on an application, or you can talk about it with us over the phone or by email, or come to a meeting/interview or an orientation/information session (see contact information listed under Volunteer Information Sessions and Contacts).
  • It begins with an application form. Most volunteers fill these out. You can fill out our online application form or you can fill out a form in person if you come to one of our locations.
  • You may be asked to meet with us so we can get to know you and learn about your skills and interests. That way we will be more likely to line you up for a role that really suits you and you can get a better idea of what we have to offer. This can be conducted over the phone or in person in one of our offices.
  • You can attend an orientation/information session. We hold these sessions for potential volunteers regularly in our offices and in the community. They allow you to learn more about the cause, meet some people who use our services (as well as people who share your values and also want to volunteer) and hear about the various volunteer roles available. Orientation sessions are usually held in the early evening.
  • Personal and professional reference checks are sometimes required if you are taking on a position of trust. It depends on the role you choose. You provide us with some names and contact information and we make the contacts.
  • In some cases, a Police Record Check is required, for example, if you will be handling money. Vulnerable Sector Checks are required for volunteers who will have close contact with a vulnerable person, such as a consumer of our programs. In addition, there are specific requirements and policies for volunteers who have access to corporate technology and who drive as part of their duties.
  • Once you are all ready to begin, we will work with you to give you any training you might need. This can include formal training sessions for some roles, or it might be informally explained to you on your first day. But rest assured, you will receive the information you need in order to handle the role you have chosen.
We are delighted you want to volunteer with us and we welcome you with open arms. Come on in!