Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Volunteers painting

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of answers to some frequently asked questions about volunteering. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please enter your ZIP code to get contact information for your local Salvation Army.


Getting Started

How do I find local volunteer opportunities?

At the top of the page, either enter your ZIP code or use the location buttons (Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota or North Dakota) to navigate to your local community. Once there, find the “Volunteering” page in the community menu on the left-hand side of the page. This page will include a list of local opportunities and contact information for the local volunteer coordinator.

Do I need to apply to be a volunteer?

For specific opportunities, a short application form may need to be completed before you can volunteer. It provides details about things like who to notify in case of an emergency, what type of volunteer work you are most interested in doing and when you are available. You will be notified if an application form needs completed for the volunteer opportunity you select.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Some positions are for adults only, but other jobs can be done by kids or families with young children. Contact your local Salvation Army for help finding an appropriate opportunity.

Are there opportunities for large volunteer groups?

Yes, large groups are welcome, but the number of people is limited by the setting and work that needs to be done. For example, our shelter in downtown Minneapolis serves hundreds of meals each day, but the kitchen can only accommodate six volunteers at a time. Special opportunities like our Christmas toy programs have openings for larger groups. Please contact your local Salvation Army for help scheduling a group opportunity.

Online Sign Up

Can I sign up for volunteer opportunities online?

For some opportunities, an option to sign up online is included in the description. If there is not a link to sign up online, Twin Cities volunteers may use the volunteer interest form to indicate your areas of interest. A Twin Cities volunteer coordinator will contact you to complete your sign up. Volunteers in other areas of Minnesota and North Dakota should contact their local Salvation Army to sign up, when online sign up is not available.

Why do I have to create an account to sign up online?

Creating an account provides us with all of the information a volunteer would normally provide on an application form. It ensures we have a way to contact you and that we have other important information on file. The Salvation Army never shares the information you provide.

I signed up to be a bell ringer online, so why do I have to create a separate account for other opportunities?

We currently have two different volunteer databases – one for bell ringing and another for all other volunteer opportunities. Even if you have signed up for a shift in the bell ringing database, you will still need to create an account for the other database before you can sign up for other opportunities. Thanks for your understanding.

I tried to sign up online, but I don’t know if it worked?

When you are using one of our online volunteer databases, you are not fully scheduled for an opportunity until you receive a confirmation email. If you have a problem completing the online sign up, contact your local Salvation Army by entering your ZIP code above.

Before Your Shift

Is there anything special I should know before I arrive to volunteer?

Yes, please read our volunteer policies and procedures prior to your shift.

Are there special policies and procedures for volunteers under age 18?

Yes, youth under the age of 18 must have written permission to volunteer. Please read our volunteer policies and procedures for specific details about youth volunteering.

What is done to ensure safety of volunteers and those they work with?

The Salvation Army takes safety very seriously. All staff are required to attend an extensive training program called Safe From Harm to ensure safety. Volunteers who will be in a one-on-one situation or will be working with children, seniors or the physically-challenged are required to have a background check and special training as well.

Bell Ringing

How do I sign up to be a bell ringer?

In many areas, you can sign up online. In other communities, it just takes a call or an email. Visit our bell ringing page to learn how to sign up where you live. If you have additional questions specific to bell ringing, check out our bell ringing video and FAQs.