Community enagement will challenge you, inspire you, and prepare you are a life of active citizenship.

Volunteer Now is the community engagement platform used by JMU students, faculty, and staff who wish to connect with volunteer opportunities and organizations in our local community. To learn more, click the FAQ topics below. 


Volunteer NOW FAQs

For Volunteers

Use your JMU email address to create an account here. After you sign up, you can view both ongoing (regular volunteering each week throughout the semester) and one-time opportunities using the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

Congratulations! You are now signed up to volunteer. If you signed up for a specific shift, your community partner will expect you to show up at that day and time. Hitting the “RESPOND” button and then “SUBMIT OPPORTUNITY RESPONSE” on a Volunteer Now opportunity automatically generates two emails: one is sent to you confirming the opportunity details and the second email is sent directly to the community partner and includes your contact information so they can reach out to you with next steps. 

If you do not hear from that Community Partner with next steps within 3 business days (excludes weekends), please reach out to for assistance.

Absolutely! Volunteering with a local organization is an important professional experience that can enrich your life while also providing benefits for a community organization. This is both a wonderful opportunity and a serious responsibility - our community organizations and those they serve are counting on you! Please:

  • Let the organization know, as far in advance as possible, if you can no longer volunteer or need to reschedule. Nonprofits typically operate on minimal staffing and they may be counting on you to provide services that day. If your notice is less than 24 hours you should call in addition to email.
  • Introduce yourself! Prior to volunteering, send a professional email to the community organization introducing yourself, letting them know why you are volunteering (is it for a class? What class and how many hours? What’s your major and minor and why did you choose this organization?). Make sure to confirm your start date, schedule, and next steps.
  • Be mindful of a community organization’s time and respond promptly to their communication (within 48 hours). 
  • Review the video below about “Preparing to Partner” with the community.
  • Email with questions about:
    • Volunteer Now (examples: how do I access my user group? I cannot remember my login, where can I find one-time opportunities?)
    • Connecting with service opportunities or community partners (examples: I submitted a volunteer request, but never got a response, what now? I need help thinking through transportation options, or I am looking for a group volunteer project for my student organization) 
  • Contact your Community Partner Supervisor with questions about:
    • I signed up for a shift, but need to cancel or I can no longer volunteer.
    • Something unsafe happened while I was volunteering (in this case please inform both your community supervisor and
    • Changes to your volunteer schedule
  • Contact your professor (for service-learning class) with questions about:
    • I want to volunteer at an organization not in my user group - will it count?
    • I don’t feel like my volunteer experience is connecting with what we are learning in class.
    • I’ve missed the sign up deadline - what do I do?

Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity in the community? You’re in the right place! JMU students, staff and faculty can use Volunteer Now to find service opportunities. These can be for class, for a student group volunteer project, or an individual volunteer. You can use the site to explore Community Partners, find fundraising events, track hours, create a user group for your student organization, and more. Sign up and get started here.

User groups allow a group of students (like a class or a student organization) to curate a list of volunteer opportunities specific to their group. If you are part of a service-learning class and are volunteering for course credit, you may be part of a user group. Please email to make sure you are seeing the opportunities that have been approved for your group or class. Student organizations should also reach out to to create user groups.

If you submitted a response on Volunteer Now and received an automatically generated confirmation email from, and still have not heard back from your Community Partner after 3 business days (excludes weekends), please email or call our office at 540-568-6366.

We recommend that students first check with their community partner to see if they have an existing system for tracking hours. If they do not, students can choose to use Volunteer Now to track their hours (tutorial here), or use our service hours template.

After logging into Volunteer Now, click on “opportunities” on the left hand menu. In the “filter by” box, select “distance” from the drop down, then put in area code 22807 to find opportunities closest to JMU’s campus.

Ongoing opportunities refer to regular, weekly opportunities where community organizations are looking for a consistent and reliable volunteer throughout the semester (or at least over a large portion). Most service-learning class opportunities are ongoing - for example, a student may sign up to volunteer to tutor a 5th grader every week on Monday afternoons from 1pm to 3pm until they reach their 20 hour class requirement (or beyond!). This is the kind of opportunity that requires a consistent presence and would not work if a new volunteer came every week. In general, these are individual placements.

One-time opportunities could be volunteer shifts that happen throughout the semester and require minimal training and commitment - for example, volunteering at a food pantry a couple of times per semester and signing up for specific one-time shifts. This could also look like volunteering to park cars for a local nonprofit’s event or volunteering as a group to wash vans in the spring. These can be both opportunities for individuals and groups.

There may be! The CEVC office has additional community education and service opportunities available to students throughout the year. Please email to learn more and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

See videos below for preparing to volunteer in the community and getting started with Volunteer Now.

The first step will be to create a student profile and make sure you are added to your class user group - email for support.

CEVC_Part One_Service Learning Overview.mp4

CEVC_Part Two_Volunteer Now.mp4

Create a Volunteer Now account and look for “Ongoing Opportunities” in the left-hand menu on Volunteer Now. Find something you are interested in and Respond! Make sure to tell your JMU supervisor where you have chosen to volunteer and be sure to track your hours.

Contact or call (540) 568-6366 and ask to have your student org set up in Volunteer Now. You will be able to track your group's hours and see the impact you all are making! We can also help you find volunteer opportunities specific to your group's needs.

For Community Partners

Community-based organizations are welcome to Create a Profile on Volunteer Now in order to connect with JMU student volunteers. Please note that we prioritize partnerships with local organizations (Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County as well as the greater Shenandoah Valley region). Please email with any questions.

You can find a list of current organizations here. If you are not on this list, you can sign up to create a new Community Partner profile here. Your profile will be reviewed within 3 business days. All questions should be directed to If your organization already has a profile and you would like to be added as a manager please first create an account here, and then email with your information. Has the person who created your organization’s account left and you cannot log in? Please create an account, and email to be added as a manager. You can also use the reset my password feature if you are using the same email that was used to create the original profile but do not know your password. 

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