Who We Are
VolunteerNow® (formerly the Volunteer Center of North Texas) supports all causes that do good. While many nonprofits support one or two critical causes, we recruit volunteers for all nonprofits and all causes that strive to make the world a better place. VolunteerNow connects nonprofits – large and small – with the volunteer workforce needed to fulfill their missions across so many cause areas – in education, health, hunger, homelessness, social services, animal welfare, and the arts – among others.
VolunteerNow is located in both Dallas and Fort Worth:
- 2800 Live Oak Street | Dallas, TX | 75204
- 4137 Stadium Drive | Fort Worth, TX | 76133
In February 1971, four Dallas leaders put their heads and hearts together to form an organization known as the Dallas Voluntary Action Center - Special Effort to Recruit Volunteers (SERV). Helen Boothman, Mitch Jericho, Jan Sanders and Annette Strauss saw the need for a centralized clearinghouse to recruit and refer volunteers to Dallas nonprofit agencies and the Dallas Voluntary Action Center later became known as the Volunteer Center of Dallas County.
In late 1999, board members of the Volunteer Center of Collin County initiated discussions with Dallas to explore merging the organizations to create a regional partnership that would serve Collin, Dallas and Tarrant Counties. Citing the tremendous growth in North Texas and the move towards regional cooperation in other community sectors, it proposed forming an alliance, called the Volunteer Center of North Texas. Governance and policy development would take place through a board of trustees representing the three centers. The umbrella organization would enable the centers in Collin, Dallas and Tarrant Counties to offer infrastructure services to nonprofit agencies and volunteers throughout the region while minimizing administrative costs. As operations were regionalized, it established greater efficiencies in targeting and recruiting volunteers, including, online recruitment services. Since then, the community’s needs have continued to increase and the Volunteer Center has responded over time with many ambitious programs to meet those needs.
The Volunteer Center of North Texas received its 501(c) 3 designation letter from the IRS to operate as a nonprofit entity in Texas. The partnership provides multiple benefits and opportunities by offering more options to individuals, groups and organizations seeking volunteer opportunities. It provides companies with employee and business interests in more than one county funding and volunteer opportunities across the entire region.
In 2005, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Volunteer Center entered into talks with the first responder organizations it had worked with during disaster relief efforts – the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the North Texas Food Bank. Emphasis was on how the four could work together to better serve the community in the event of another large-scale disaster. Over the course of the intervening years, talks intensified until a collaboration unprecedented in any other community in the United States was born, known as the Mass Care Task Force.
In the 1980s, the Volunteer Center began to expand its role in the community beyond volunteer recruitment and referral. In 1981, the Business Volunteer Council, a precursor to our current Corporate Services program, provided companies with networking opportunities and assistance with their community relations efforts. Throughout the 1990s, community needs and opportunities continued to increase and the Volunteer Center responded with programs to meet those needs. Within a decade, Volunteer Center’s program output quadrupled and staff size tripled.
The Center grew geographically as well. The United Way of Tarrant County closed its Volunteer Center in 1995 due to restructuring, but it became evident that an organization providing a volunteer clearinghouse and other services was a necessity. Community leaders in both Tarrant and Dallas Counties, with the support of funders, agencies and service providers, embarked upon a collaboration which resulted in the opening of the Volunteer Center of Tarrant County in March of 1998. Operating as affiliates, the two organizations shared data and resources allowing access to volunteer opportunities in both communities.
A couple of moves and several years later, the Volunteer Center landed just east of downtown Dallas on Swiss Avenue in the Wilson Historic District, thanks to the generosity of The Meadows Foundation. Sustained growth through the years dictated two more moves, both with continued support from Meadows. The last of these moves was made possible through a site provided by Meadows, along with the initial gift to launch the Volunteer Center's capital campaign for construction of a new facility - and its permanent home.
The completion of the Volunteer Center’s impressive two-story building at the intersection of Live Oak and Texas in 2000 was both symbolic and timely. It represented the extent of Dallas’ commitment to volunteerism, and demonstrated the significant role the organization had begun to play in promoting community involvement throughout North Texas.
In 2015, the Volunteer Center of North Texas changed its name to VolunteerNow. Today, VolunteerNow continues to support volunteerism through innovative programs and services for its nonprofit, corporate and municipal members and their clients.