Becoming a Regular Volunteer at NHA:
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Nashville Humane Association (NHA)! We rely on volunteers to help us fulfill many important tasks including socializing animals, providing clerical assistance and running our Community Pet Food Bank, and new opportunities and projects arise frequently. As it turns out, many individuals in Middle Tenneesee are passionate about helping homeless animals, and we love matching great people to meaningful jobs in our shelter and offsite! (See several examples of stand-out volunteers in our Volunteer of the Month archive.)
Before applying to our Volunteer Program, however, please read all the information below.**Please note that the volunteer program is highly competitive and submission of an application does not guarantee placement.
Individuals must be at least 13 years of age to volunteer for NHA, and no exceptions to this policy will be made. In addition, all 13- to 15-year-old volunteers must have a parent or guardian over the age of 21 with them at all times, including training sessions. Young people serving with responsible adults to learn the basics of animal care and shelter operations often become our most enthusiastic and reliable volunteers! Parents and educators, please click here for ways kids under 13 may help fulfill the mission of NHA.
NHA requires that all volunteers commit at least five (5) hours per month during their first six (6) consecutive months of service. Through consistent care by volunteers, we can provide a better quality of life for the animals entrusted to NHA. Volunteers also get acquainted with staff, and with each other, the more often they’re here!
NHA charges a one-time $15 administrative fee to help us offset the costs for our Volunteer Program. This fee covers the costs of printed materials, access to our online volunteer portal, a nifty nametag, and aprons to wear. As long as volunteers remain active (volunteers are dropped after six months of inactivity), the fee covers all volunteer service at NHA. Note: Foster Care volunteers are exempt from the administrative fee.
OK, that sounds good. What now?
Opportunities to serve your time and talent at our organization are always changing and growing, so once you’re part of our team, the ways to give are unlimited! If you have an interest in volunteering a specific skill or professional expertise to NHA, such as dog training or grooming, event planning, photography, graphic design, fundraising, or marketing please make note of this on your application. We will do our best to engage lots of diverse, talented and committed volunteers each month, but the number of applications received always exceeds the number we are able to train. Thank you for your understanding!
How to become a NHA Volunteer:
Step 1: Fill out an application
Please fill out this application. Once NHA receives your application, you will receive a list of upcoming information sessions. Please note, it can take up to two weeks to reply to your application.
Step 2: Attend a Volunteer Information Session
Once applications have been reviewed, a number of potential volunteers will be invited to attend an Information Session at our facility. The Volunteer Information Session will provide pertinent information about our agency’s mission, programming and available volunteer opportunities, as well as include a tour of the facility. This overview will give you insight into whether you are ready to make a commitment of becoming a NHA volunteer, and in which capacities you might serve. A phone interview following the Information Session will confirm volunteer placement and offer upcoming training opportunities for those volunteer positions that fit your interests and availability. **All volunteers must attend the Information Session before pursuing additional volunteer training.
Step 3: Attend volunteer training
All accepted volunteers will attend at least one volunteer training session, in small groups for Animal Care roles, or one-on-one for other programs. Prior to these training sessions, new volunteers review the electronic Volunteer Manual and other role-specific documents. Each on-site session will include hands-on training for the specific position, instructions for using our online portal and payment of the one-time administrative fee. Program volunteers -- those beginning in a position other than hands-on Animal Care -- will meet one-on-one with their supervisors for training at the convenience of staff and the volunteer.
After training, you are officially part of our large and vibrant Volunteer Program at NHA, and will hopefully serve with us on behalf of the homeless animals for years to come!
Interested in a group volunteer activity for your work, social organization, or school? NHA also loves to partner with one-time and recurring volunteer groups of up to 10 adults for fulfilling daily tasks at our shelter, as well as completing special projects. Occasionally, we can place larger groups over several assignments, or days. We’d love to talk to you about scheduling an enjoyable teambuilding activity, which also benefits our four-legged friends!
Please check back here in coming weeks for the electronic group volunteer application, which will establish your areas, dates and times of interest. All group applications need to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the expected date of service, and group volunteering opportunities vary based on scheduled events at our shelter. Group leaders must bring a signed waiver for all participants. Click here for the volunteer waiver.
The Volunteer Program at NHA is not intended for those required to do court-ordered community service, and the Volunteer Coordinator cannot sign off on these hours. For more information on court-ordered community service call 352-1010.