52% of people in Hamilton volunteer*. That’s higher than the national average!
In December 2017, Volunteer Hamilton closed down due to lack of stable funding. This was a painful loss for our community. Volunteer Hamilton was a hub both for the posting and finding of volunteer opportunities, but also for the development of volunteer programs and practices. Staff at Volunteer Hamilton helped to strengthen public-benefit organizations in our community and increase their capacity and reach through volunteerism.
Despite this loss, Hamilton continues to volunteer. This letter from Flamborough Connects, a member agency of Volunteer Hamilton, shared recommendations for agencies looking for new places to post volunteer opportunities. It was the inspiration for this list of local resources.
Online Volunteer Opportunity Listings
Gigit Marketplace is a commercial social media platform centred around workers in the gig economy. It offers services to non-profit organizations that include online community-building, attraction, volunteer monitoring, promotion, and fundraising. Posting volunteer opportunities is free.
Spark Ontario is a provincial volunteer opportunity database funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Volunteer Halton has extended its database of volunteer opportunities to include Hamilton.
Where to Find Volunteers
If you are an agency looking for volunteers, consider contacting some of the agencies listed above to post volunteer opportunities in their online databases. You may also consider:
- Register a table at the McMaster Student Success Centre Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair in early fall.
- Connect with your city counsellor and neighbourhood associations. They may have newsletters where your volunteer opportunities can be promoted.
- Connect with professional and advocacy groups related to your work (e.g. the monthly Hamilton Brown Bag Lunch for service providers, planning tables for city-wide initiatives, event planning committees) and ask those networks to circulate and post volunteer opportunities.
- Post opportunities to your agency’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Use common hashtags like #HamOnt and #volunteer so non-followers can discover them. Mention or DM other agencies and public officials in the city to prompt them to retweet to wider audiences.
- Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to list your volunteering information page in the Agencies section, below.
Volunteer Development Resources
These agencies provide resources and services that support agencies that are developing or expanding their volunteer programs:
Agencies with Volunteer Programs
This is a slowly-growing list of agencies that post opportunities or information about their volunteer programs on their websites.
- City of Hamilton
- Environment Hamilton
- Good Shepherd Centres
- Hamilton Health Sciences
- Hamilton Public Library
- Mission Services
- Neighbour 2 Neighbour Centre
- Ronald McDonald House
- St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
- YMCA of Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford
- YWCA Hamilton