Make Your Moment. Help us Fight Poverty.


Whether reading to children, stocking shelves at a food pantry or delivering meals to home-bound seniors, there are many volunteer opportunities available every day.

Volunteers are vital to the strength and mission of United Way of Central Ohio, as well as to the strength of our community.

We know that in order to create opportunities for a better life for all, we have to mobilize and engage individuals, businesses and organizations. Find an opportunity that appeals to you and get involved today.

columbus Volunteer challenge

The Columbus Volunteer Challenge is an annual city-wide volunteer event hosted by United Way of Central Ohio and the City of Columbus. Each September we challenge community volunteers, corporations, non-profits, schools, universities, faith organizations and other community groups to come together in service to help build a community that is more inspired, proud, and engaged.

Pride Gives

Advancing the Common Good in the LGBT Community

LGBT community in central Ohio repeatedly has demonstrated the power of people coming together to make change happen. Because when people unite, we accomplish more.

If you’re interested in actively working for long-lasting social change in central Ohio, joining PRIDE Gives is a way for you to help. At United Way of Central Ohio, we know that Columbus is a welcoming and thriving city – a city that supports issues important to the LGBT community—and we want to make it an even better place to live.

PRIDE Gives offers members of the LGBT community the opportunity to come together to make a difference through volunteering in the community and through giving to United Way. There is no minimum financial requirement—all LGBT United Way donors qualify.*

In addition to connecting with others in the LGBT community, PRIDE Gives members participate in numerous volunteer service projects and advocacy opportunities that help make the community a better place for ALL to live.

For many years, United Way of Central Ohio has supported diversity and inclusion as we have worked to address the root causes of some of the most persistent problems that we face in our community. We do the work to make sure gifts go where they will make the most impact.

In the last year, United Way has:

  • Graduated 13 individuals in Cycle 4 of Pride Leadership, an initiative of United Way, bringing our total to 50 PL graduates
  • Provided funding through the fundraising efforts of Pride Leadership to support Buckeye Ranch LGBT programming
  • Hosted community conversations at Kaleidoscope Youth Center

By supporting United Way, the LGBT community can stand up and be part of the change – by improving lives and strengthening our community. Because when individuals thrive, neighborhoods improve. And when neighborhoods improve, our entire community prospers.

* United Way of Central Ohio also offers PRIDE Council membership to those individuals who invest $1,000 or more annually.

Tips on volunteering

We are led by a dedicated group of volunteers who give generously of their time and talents to create lasting change in our community. Here are a few tips to ensure you get the most of your volunteering experience:

Be Selective

Think about what matters to you, and be selective about where you spend your time. By choosing opportunities that make you feel good and also help others, you will help build stronger communities and enrich your own life at the same time.

Chose Carefully

United Way and community volunteer centers work with volunteers and local nonprofits to develop the best opportunities for youth, busy working adults and seniors to serve. When you work with your local United Way or Volunteer Center, you can feel confident about the quality of the opportunity you choose and about the organization you donate your time to support.

Research Causes That Are Important To You

Whether it’s helping children achieve their potential, helping families become financially stable, or improving people’s health, find out what cause is closest to your heart and make a difference.

Consider The Skills You Have To Offer

Would you like to write an agency’s newsletter? Or would you rather build a house? Find something you enjoy doing and enhance your skills through volunteering.

Volunteering can also teach you valuable new skills that you can use in other parts of your life. For example, learning how to handle crisis calls may help you communicate better.

Don’t Over Commit Your Schedule

Stick to a volunteering schedule that makes sense for you and leaves you time to enjoy the activity.

Consider Volunteering As A Family

Group volunteering is a wonderful way to bond with your family or co-workers; not only will you create lasting memories, but you will help someone in need.

Volunteering with your company

Volunteering increases morale and spotlights a company that cares.

Whether it is important to you to solve a community problem, advance a worthy cause or to develop as a person, volunteering offers many benefits when you give of your time and expertise.

Volunteering with co-workers will help you develop insight into community needs and resources, while directly impacting your community’s quality of life.

For more information about volunteering with your company, please contact our volunteer engagement team at

Volunteer for Tax Time

Are you pondering your goals, plans and hopes for 2018?  Considering if you want to give back more or volunteer in your local community?

If you are, Tax Time has GREAT opportunities for you coming very soon.  The tax season is quickly approaching and we would love to have you VOLUNTEER at one of our tax sites in 2018.

We are currently preparing volunteers to help operate our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.  We will need volunteers to greet clients, prepare taxes for clients and provide special events assistance at these sites.

If you are interested in being a Tax Preparer or Greeter, please read our Volunteer Guides for each position.  These will show you the training and certification levels required for each volunteer position:

If you are interested in volunteering at a special event only, please contact us for more information.

Once you have read the appropriate Volunteer Guide, check out our upcoming in-person training opportunities listed below.  These in-person trainings are geared toward the Tax Preparer volunteer role and are optional (See Volunteer Guides for more details).  If you are interested in in-person training for other volunteer roles, please contact us.

Interested in an In-Person Volunteer Training?

New Volunteer Training (Tax Preparer) – Only register for one of these sessions:

January 13, 2018, Saturday:  9am-2pm  Register HERE
January 20, 2018, Saturday:  9am-2pm  Register HERE

**Location:  Goodwill Columbus – 1331 Edgehill Rd, Columbus, OH 43212

Open Lab (Tax Preparer): 

January 27, 2018, Saturday:  9am-2pm  Register HERE

This will provide an opportunity to complete the online volunteer certification testing in a supportive environment.  We will have several experienced VITA volunteers there to help get you through any tough questions or tax scenarios you are having trouble with.

**Location:  Goodwill Columbus – 1331 Edgehill Rd, Columbus, OH 43212

Returning Volunteer Training (Tax Preparer) – Only register for one of these 2 sessions:

January 23, 2018, Tuesday:  6-8pm  Register HERE


**Location:  United Way of Central Ohio – 360 S. Third St., Columbus, OH 43215

We look forward to seeing you at our training or out at the tax sites. If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to contact us at any point!

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