How to Get Involved

National service and volunteering open the door to incredibly rewarding experiences—both for you and those you serve. But finding the opportunity that best suits your skills and expectations can make all the difference.

As the federal agency for service and volunteering, the Corporation for National and Community Service leads AmeriCorps and Senior Corps as part of our efforts that annually engage more than 5 million Americans in service.

Can't find a fit with one of our programs? Serve.gov is your online resource for not only finding volunteer opportunities in your community, but also creating your own.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you sign up to serve.

Do you have a passion?

  • Do you love sports or outdoor pursuits, or would you rather be involved in issues pertaining to local or national heritage?
  • Do you care deeply about environmental and conservation issues and want to focus your efforts in that area?
  • Are you interested in working in a healthcare or mental health setting?
  • Do you prefer working with children, young people, or older adults?

How much time can you give?

  • Can you serve during the week, or does your schedule limit the amount of time you can commit?
  • Can you make a minimum one-year commitment?

What do you bring, or want to acquire?

  • What skills do you bring? For example, are your skills and interests more administrative and managerial? Would you want to help run an organization?
  • Are you willing to go through a training program?
  • Is service a way for you to get practical training and experience to help you get a job, or to get certification or credentials for a current job or educational pursuit?
  • What do you hope to gain from the experience, building skills, helping people, working on a team, making friends?

Where and how do you want to serve?

  • Would you like to work with someone on a one-on-one basis, such as mentoring a teen or helping an adult learn to read?
  • Do you prefer working in a group—as part of a team—such as helping to renovate a community center or preparing and serving food at a homeless shelter?
  • Are you comfortable responding to situations as they arise, or do you need to know what to expect when you come in?
  • What supports, such as transportation or child care, would you need?
  • Would you like to work independently on issues such as creating community assets or developing local agencies’ abilities to serve their communities better?

Benefits of Service

  • Do you want to acquire qualities of leadership and gain a sense of satisfaction from taking on responsibilities that directly affect peoples' lives?
  • Do you want to learn new skills that can help you prepare for a job?
  • Do you want to earn an Education Award to pay off qualified student loans or to finance college, graduate school, or vocational training?
  • Do you want to help your community, help yourself and make a difference in the lives of someone in need?
  • Do you want to earn a small stipend for your regular service?
  • Learn more about the benefits of service.

Ready to Join?

If you're ready to join and already know what program you want to serve in, visit the sites for our programs:

Not sure which program is right for you?

Use our interactive program selector below to help guide you find the ones that best fit your skills, interests, and circumstances. Please note that this tool is designed to help guide you to programs that may be appropriate. The results should not be viewed as a the only programs that may fit interests. We encourage you to examine all programs to determine the best fit.

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