Volunteer in your community

Volunteers are welcomed and valued in every Ontario community. You can find a volunteer opportunity near you by:

Achieve Ontario certificates

Find out if the organization where you volunteer offers Achieve Ontario certificates. These certificates provide a record of your skills and achievement from your volunteer experience, and may be helpful when you prepare a resume or look for a job.


Your safety and well-being during volunteer activities is important.

Learn how to stay safe while volunteering, whether your volunteer activity has any age restrictions, and what to do if you are injured.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission considers volunteers to be covered under section 5 of the Human Rights Code. Make sure you know your rights when volunteering.


Secondary school students in Ontario must complete 40 hours of community hours to receive their diploma.

Recognize volunteers’ skills and experiences

Volunteering is a great way for people to gain and develop skills, knowledge and experience.

If your organization manages volunteers, you can consider offering Achieve Ontario certificates that provide a record of skills and achievements demonstrated through volunteer work. The certificates are based on Employment and Social Development Canada’s National Occupational Classification system and can be useful when people apply for jobs or other volunteer opportunities.

If you are an employer, you can look for and consider volunteer-based skills and experiences on resumes and applications.

Attract, manage and retain volunteers

To help attract and recruit volunteers, organizations can:

Recognition is also important for managing and retaining volunteers. Learn about:


Organizations are responsible for making sure the services provided by volunteers follow Ontario’s accessibility standards.

Volunteers in your organization can learn about accessibility tools and practices through the Volunteering and Accessibility interactive online training video.

Find out more about the accessibility standards and your obligations.

Research on volunteering

Statistics Canada provides data on volunteering in Canada through the General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating. Explore the 2013 survey results and read the summary report on volunteering and charitable giving.

Ontario’s State of the Sector research provides insight into the province’s not-for-profit sector, including the role of volunteers.

Read the executive summary and the overall report.

Ontario’s Volunteer Action Plan

Ontario’s Volunteer Action Plan is a commitment to partner with the not-for-profit (NFP) and corporate sectors to strengthen volunteerism across the province.

The plan aims to promote the value of, and reduce barriers to, volunteering. It:

  • raises awareness of the benefits of volunteering
  • promotes volunteer opportunities for people across the province
  • encourages the use of employee volunteer programs
  • enhances the volunteer experience by promoting consistent standards for volunteer work, raising the profile of volunteer management practices and supporting efforts to recognize volunteers for their contributions
  • supports research to identify trends and issues in volunteering

Ontario’s Volunteer Action Plan activities and initiatives include: