Volunteering is a great way to become more actively involved in your community and to meet new people with the same interests as you. Volunteer opportunities at Detroit organizations run the full gamut from arts and outdoor recreation to philanthropy and youth mentoring. Take a look at some of these community groups and nonprofit organizations listed below to see which might be the best fit for you.
5E Gallery celebrates and promotes contemporary hip hop culture as a gallery and live performance space. Volunteers are needed for long-term, short-term, and project-based work in administration, education, development, marketing, and construction.
AIDS Partnership Michigan
Volunteers at the AIDS Partnership Michigan are of all ages, races, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. Prevention volunteers receive training to answer the hotline and counsel people who come in for testing. Development volunteers assist with office work, event planning, and fundraising.
Alternatives for Girls
Alternatives for Girls, which has been empowering at-risk girls for 25 years offering shelter and a variety of human services, seeks help with street outreach, administration, events, and mentors for mothers.
Belle Isle Conservancy
From one-time volunteer opportunities like planting flowers in the spring or fall clean-up, to fighting against invasive species on the island and hosting tours, the city's jewel public park Belle Isle has a variety of volunteer opportunities, especially for outdoors enthusiasts.
Burners Without Borders
Help put together backpacks of needed supplies for the homeless with Danielle Kaltz, founder of the Detroit branch of Burners Without Borders (a philanthropic offshoot of Burning Man, the annual art and community event held in the Black Rock Desert).
Capuchin Soup Kitchen
There are numerous ways to get involved with the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, from helping out in the kitchen itself serving meals, preparing emergency food packages, assisting in special events, mentoring children and teens, working in the Earthworks Urban Farm, and more. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen provides a variety of services to the community beyond addressing hunger and food justice; they also host substance abuse open meetings, children's programs, and assist returning citizens in re-entering the community through On the Rise Bakery.
Coalition on Temporary Shelter
Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and comprehensive support services for homeless and at-risk populations. Volunteers can assist with shelter, events, fundraising, child care, food service, literacy, and education.
CultureSource is a professional association of over 115 regionals arts and culture nonprofit organizations. Let CultureSource connect you to the opportunity that best suits you.
Detroit Free Press Marathon
Volunteer positions for the annual Detroit Free Press Marathon held every October are available for all types of people, whether you want to be in the center of the action or behind the scenes. Positions include course marshal, registration, food distribution, start and finish line operations, and more.
Detroit Historical Museum
The recently-renovated Detroit Historical Museum seeks volunteer docents, gallery guides, and public programs guides. Sign up for their monthly newsletter for all volunteer updates.
Detroit Hunger Alliance
The volunteer-based Detroit Hunger Alliance addresses the issue of hunger in Detroit, serving a weekly meal at the Garden of Hope, the community garden that they also maintain. Volunteers can provide everything from dry goods storage space to skilled labor and other kinds of support.
Detroit Institute of Arts
The DIA's volunteer council is a group of more than 700 individuals who donate their time in gallery service, gallery information, the museum shop, DFT ushers, staff aides, and interpretive programs to provide a great experience for all museum visitors.
Detroit Mower Gang
The Detroit Mower Gang is a fun group that also assists in making the city cleaner and safer by mowing the abandoned parks and playgrounds of Detroit. Bring a mower, trimmer, tractor, or just yourself to one of their events and you're part of the gang.
Detroit PAL uses sports to build character and create opportunities both on and off the field for Detroit's youth. Volunteer coaches must pass a background check and our trained in the IMPACT curriculum to turn youth sports into youth development.
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy hosts a myriad of events large and small on the Detroit RiverWalk, serving hundreds of thousands of guests every year. Volunteers help with community programs, special events, administrative work, and also act as Riverfront ambassadors.
SOUP is a monthly dinner providing micro grants funding for creative community-minded projects in Detroit. Four volunteers are needed each month to make soup and salad to serve to guests.
Detroit Synergy is an all-volunteer organization of people from all over metro Detroit working to build a stronger community in the city. All projects are member-driven: join the efforts of an existing project or take the lead and start one of your own.
Georgia Street Community Collective
Help plant, maintain, and harvest the community gardens at Georgia Street Community Collective as well as work within the community to mentor youth and provide educational services.
Greening of Detroit
The Greening of Detroit seeks help in planting trees, organizing community group efforts, and even being citizen foresters. Help them in their mission to create a greener, healthier urban center.
Habitat for Humanity
Are you handy with a hammer? You don't even need to be. Habitat for Humanity seeks volunteers in a number of categories, from grant researching and writing to on-site volunteers for builds.
Henry Ford Hospital
Volunteer opportunities at Henry Ford Hospital include clerical support, comfort care provider, emergency room volunteer, hospital greeter and information desk, patient transporter, and surgical services volunteer.
Historic Fort Wayne
Historic Fort Wayne seeks "coalition members" to assist with grounds maintenance and restoration, planning and hosting events, and organizing tours at the nineteenth-century historic fort.
Kunsthalle Detroit, the museum of light and multimedia art, seeks volunteer help. Contact email@example.com
Matrix Human Services
Matrix Human Services has been operating for over 100 years in Detroit, providing food, shelter, clothing, education, job skills training, and a support network to Detroiters in need. They describe it as not just a hand out but a hand up. Volunteers can help by becoming ambassadors, advocates, consultants, or simply donate their time.
Michigan Humane Society
Once they receive proper training, Michigan Humane Society volunteers help animals as trainers, foster caregivers, adoption counselors, and more.
Model T Automotive Heritage Complex
The Model T Automotive Heritage Complex was established in 2000 and is dedicated to the mission of preserving the Piquette Avenue Plant. Volunteers assist the T-Plex staff in guest services, membership, safety and security, education, gift shop and more.
Motor City Blight Busters
Motor City Blight Busters has been fighting blight in Detroit (specifically on Detroit's northwest side) for over two decades now. Whether they're tearing down houses, building new community centers, or planting urban gardens, they're always in need of volunteer help. No sign-up required; just show up at the Motor City Java House every Saturday morning at 9 a.m., rain or shine, and get put to work.
Volunteers with Preservation Detroit get involved in a variety of ways, including researching a historic designation nomination, leading tours, planning lectures, digitizing archive images, and simple office work. Volunteer orientation meetings are held seasonally.
Ruth Ellis Center
As the only mission-specific agency in the Midwest dedicated to LGBTQ youth, the Ruth Ellis Center needs help at their drop-in center with food service assistance, clean-up, and mentoring. They also need help in their warehouse sorting donations and packing hygiene kits, as well as street outreach, clerical, and events assistance.
Summer in the City
Summer in the City is a nonprofit organization that brings together volunteers to make an impact in the community. Projects include painting murals, planting community gardens, and mentoring youth.
Tour de Troit
Volunteers are always needed for the annual fall bike ride which now brings in over 5,000 riders, as well as the increasing number of other events Tour de Troit organizes throughout the year (like the Run du Nain Rouge). Opportunities include help with registration the day of the event, ride support, food service and more.
Other great Detroit organizations that could use your help
: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Cass Community Social Services, Detroit Parent Network, Dominican Literacy Center, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, Green Living Science, Iroquois Avenue Christ Lutheran Church, My Team 313, Neighborhood Service Organization, Proliteracy Detroit, VIP Mentoring