International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Frequently Asked Volunteer Questions


1. How do I get started with volunteering at my local office?

Check out our page on How to Apply  to see exactly what you should do to start the process towards becoming an IRC volunteer.


2. I'm not sure if I want to make a commitment yet. Is there a way to get more information?

Each office holds its own Volunteer Orientation for prospective volunteers that explain more about the IRC's work and volunteering opportunities. Check out our Volunteer Orientation Calendar to see when the next session at your local office will be held.


3. Do all of your volunteer positions require a weekly commitment?
At this time, a great majority of our volunteer positions require weekly commitments and occur during regular business hours Monday - Friday. Volunteers fulfill key positions in each of our departments, so therefore weekly volunteer involvement is key to the office. 


If your weekly schedule is constantly changing or your schedule only allows for after work activites, please contact your local office contact listed to see if there are one-time events or additional opportunities that may fit in with your calendar.


4. I am unable to make more than a one-month time commitment. Can I still volunteer?

Occasionally, we are able to make an exception, but most volunteer opportunities require a minimum of a 3 month committment. Please speak with your local office contact if you have a special circumstance.


5. I’m interested in more than one volunteer position. Is it possible to do two?

Although we recommend that you start with just one position, once you become comfortable with that position, you can often pick up another role if there are openings. We have a number of volunteers who are active in multiple departments. This is a great way to learn the full spectrum of services that the IRC provides. It is also possible to transition from one position to another once you have fulfilled the minimum commitment.


6. Is it possible to volunteer with the the IRC in another office or internationally?

The IRC has 22 US Program Offices with several opportunities to volunteer. Visit the main volunteering page to learn more and contact the local Volunteer Coordinator.


The IRC does offer opportunities to volunteer internationally, but the application process is different from our US Programs Offices. Please visit  IRC Careers and search “Volunteer” for more information.


7. Are there any youth volunteer opportunities with the IRC in Northern California?

A great majority of IRC opportunities require that volunteer be at least 18 years old and undergo a background security check. Please email you local areas contact listed about to see if there are any youth opportunities at this time. We often suggest that youth or youth groups interested in assisting the refugee community complete an in-kind donation drive. For more information, please check out our in-kind donations page.


8. I have volunteered with the IRC in the past. Do I need to reapply?

Many volunteers continue with the IRC when they move to a different part of the country. Please schedule an interview with your local area contact so we can get to know you in Northern California. If you have volunteered recently, you may not need to reapply. Thank you for your continued support of the IRC!

Back to Volunteer Opportunities in Northern California