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I want to volunteer

Are you thinking of volunteering but don’t know where to start? The following list of questions — food for thought — should help you make the best choice.

Type of commitment

  • How much time per week or per month do you want to devote to volunteer work?
  • Are you interested in a short-term or long-term commitment?
  • Would you rather work alone or with a group?
  • Do you want to help a single individual?
  • Do you want to take part in an activity at home or as part of an organization?
  • Are you prepared to travel long distances to the site of the volunteer activity?


  • What are your personal or career goals?
  • Do you want to improve your career prospects?
  • Do you want to contribute to your community’s well-being?
  • Do you want to do you something you feel passionate about?
  • Do you want to be part of a mutual-help network?
  • You want to create a feeling of belonging?
  • Do you have special skills or talents that you would like to share with individuals or organizations?
  • Do you want to master a specific skill?
  • Are you hoping to acquire experience in a specific field?
  • What area would you like to explore? Sports and recreation? The environment? Event organization? Health and social services? Training? International assistance?
  • Do you care deeply about a specific cause?

Your answers will help you identify the most suitable type of volunteer commitment and the specific area where you want to devote your time and energy.

How you can get involved in your community

Many organizations are constantly looking for volunteers in a variety of fields of interest, including international assistance, arts and culture, the environment, sports and recreation, fighting poverty, and family and youth services. The Réseau de l’action bénévole du Québec    can help you pick the volunteer activity that suits you best.

Montréal area: 514 272-4004
Elsewhere in Québec: 1 866 496-4004 (toll free) 

Active and retired businesspeople and university students in the field of business administration are invited to contact Bénévoles d’affaires . The mission of Bénévoles d’affaires is to facilitate professionals’ volunteer commitment within non-profit organizations, in specific fields of interest, through high-quality networking with positive, sustainable effects for the target organizations.

See the Useful links section.

Did you know…?

Did you know that Québec is home to over 2 million volunteers? They contribute in a positive way to Québec’s development and their work deserves recognition. Why not join this huge mutual-help network, by becoming a volunteer?

Apathetic youth? Think again!

Did you know that close to half (48%) of young Quebecers aged 15 to 24 take part in volunteer activities, devoting an average of 116 hours per year to worthy causes? [Statistics Canada, Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians: Highlights from the 2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (Ottawa: 2007), page 85].

Young people want to contribute to community well-being and they see their efforts as a form of citizen commitment rather than volunteer work. Volunteering has a number of advantages for young people. Among other things, it is a chance for them to find out more about themselves, develop their talents and become part of new social networks that can help them enter the labour market.

For more information, see the folder for young people   (447 kb) .

Volunteering: A key to successful integration

For newcomers, volunteer work can be an opportunity to facilitate social integration and to find out about the Québec labour market. It also provides an opportunity to improve language skills. It can serve as a springboard to employment by helping people acquire new skills and develop talents. While the percentage of newcomers who engage in volunteer activities is similar to the percentage of volunteers among the general population, immigrants devote slightly more hours per year to volunteering than Canadians born in the country, i.e., 171 hours versus 163 hours (data taken from the 2007 edition of the CanadaSurvey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating).

For more information, see the folder for newcomers   (671 kb)

Seniors: Champion volunteers

Did you know that seniors are the people who devote the greatest number of hours to volunteer activities? Each volunteer aged 65 or over spends an average of 268 hours per year doing volunteer work. Over a quarter (26%) of seniors are involved in a wide variety of volunteer activities — a chance for them to pass on their skills, discover new interests and socialize with other people. Volunteering makes seniors feel useful to their community and allows them to share their knowledge in a flexible framework adapted to their availability.

For more information, see the folder for seniors   (785 kb).


The following inspiring testimonials are by people who have agreed to describe the benefits that they have derived from volunteering.

Last update: 2016-03-21 Top of Page


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