Guide Dogs for the Blind's Community Volunteer Program gives individuals 16 and older the opportunity to represent Guide Dogs within their local community. You don't have to live near one of our campuses to play an active role in supporting Guide Dogs. In fact, regardless of where you live, you can volunteer in seven different capacities in your own community:
- Puppy raising
- Alumni Association
- Speakers Bureau
- Canine Community Programs department
- Marketing and Communications department
- Admissions and Graduate Services
Puppy Club Community Volunteer (PCCV)
Guide Dogs for the Blind has puppy raising clubs throughout the eight western United States. As a PCCV, you will support Guide Dogs by volunteering with a Guide Dogs puppy raising club in your area. You will report directly to the leader of the puppy raising club for which you are working, and assist with such tasks as puppy-sitting for club members, organizing club events and celebrations, staffing information booths at events and fundraising. If there is no puppy raising club in your area, you may select one of our other volunteer roles.
Alumni Association Community Volunteer (AACV)
Graduates from Guide Dogs for the Blind live all over the Unites States and Canada. Recently, the Guide Dogs Alumni Association has begun chartering Alumni Association Chapters throughout these areas. The Alumni Chapters give graduates and Guide Dogs constituents within a geographic area the chance to socialize, plan events and further the Guide Dog mission. As an AACV, you can support Guide Dogs by volunteering with an Alumni Association chapter in your area and can assist with such tasks planning chapter meetings, fundraising, and working at events to raise awareness about the services offered by Guide Dogs.
Speakers Bureau Volunteer (SBV)
Are you as passionate about Guide Dogs as you are about public speaking? Then you should join the Guide Dogs for the Blind Speakers Bureau! Our Speakers Bureau Program gives volunteers from all over the country the opportunity to speak about Guide Dogs at philanthropic organizations, agencies, corporations, schools, and many other venues. Using educational tools provided by Guide Dogs, you will identify and book speaking engagements, and present educational speeches about our organization. If you are looking for a way to contribute to the Guide Dogs community independently, becoming a Speakers Bureau Volunteer may be a great fit for you.
Canine Community Programs Community Volunteer (CCPCV)
At Guide Dogs, Canine Community Programs consists of our Breeding Department, Puppy Raising Department, Volunteer Department, Dog Placement Department, and Community Resources Department. As a CCPCV, you can assist Guide Dogs staff in a myriad of community activities that support Guide Dogs, from helping out at youth camps for visually impaired youth, to representing Guide Dogs at local community-building events, to assisting with building relationships between Guide Dogs and other organizations that support the blind and visually impaired community.
Marketing and Communications Community Volunteer (MCCV)
The Marketing and Communications Department uses public relations and marketing strategies to advance the general public, staff, volunteers and prospective applicants from being 'unaware' or engaging in 'passing appreciation' to 'active participation' in the Guide Dogs mission. The Outreach Activities conducted by the Marketing and Communications Department promote opportunities for blind people and their families to learn more about our program, understand the Guide Dog lifestyle, and become referral sources for other potential applicants. As an MCCV, you will assist Marketing and Communications staff in these tasks at the local level.
Admissions and Graduate Services Community Volunteer (AGSCV)
The Admissions and Graduate Services (AGS) Department is responsible for program services related to applicants, students and graduates. AGS staff provides direct assistance to persons considering a Guide Dog and supports active guide dog users throughout the US and Canada after graduation. As an AGSCV, you can support the AGS department in a variety of tasks, some that may directly involve our graduates and their working guides.
Development Community Volunteer (DCV)
The Development Department is responsible for generating a sizable amount of the annual Guide Dogs' budget. Consequently, DCVs help the Development Department by working toward its financial goals. Possible tasks for DCVs include assisting with event planning, building relationships with potential donors and assisting in fundraising efforts.
The Application Process
Starting the process to become a Guide Dogs Community Volunteer is simple:
If you're interested in the Speakers Bureau Volunteer Role:
Simply download the Speakers Bureau Volunteer Application, complete it, and send it back to the address indicated on the application. Once your application has been accepted and approved, you'll receive notice from our staff and can begin speaking in your community! To learn more about the Speakers Bureau program, click here.
If you're interested in a Community Volunteer role OTHER THAN Speakers Bureau Volunteer:
- Complete the Community Volunteer Interest Form (if you prefer not to sumbit your information online, you can contact Sierra Fish at 415-499-4058 to complete the process via the telephone). When completing your interest form, you'll be asked to select a date and time for an initial phone interview.
- During your phone interview, we will take an inventory of your interests and your experience. Based on your interests and the need for volunteer support within particular departments at the time of application, we will work with you to select a particular Community Volunteer position. Just like all other Guide Dogs employees, your Community Volunteer position will have a written position description and you will be assigned to a specific supervisor who will work with you directly to create a productive and valuable Community Volunteer experience.
Depending on position availability, your options at any particular time may include administrative work, hands on work with dogs, event planning, direct work with alumni or other volunteers, research, quantitative work, fundraising, etc. If there are no positions suited to your skillset and interests at the time you apply, you may contact Guide Dogs at a later date to find out if any new positions have become available.
- Once you have selected a particular position for which you would like to apply, we will mail or email you a Community Volunteer Application and a copy of your position description. You will complete this application and send it back to the address indicated on the application.
Note: If you're currently a puppy raiser applying for a Puppy Club Community Volunteer position (PCCV) or are currently and Alumni Chapter member applying for an Alumni Chapter Community Volunteer position, you do not need to complete the Community Volunteer Application.
- During a one day/one task 'working interview', both you and your Community Volunteer supervisor will determine if the Community Volunteer position assigned to you is a good fit. If the role is not a good fit, you may return to Guide Dogs for another job assignment, if available.
Each of these Community Volunteer jobs offers a unique opportunity to work directly with Guide Dogs constituents and make a meaningful impact in your community. So get started today!