Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about HandsOn
How do I become a volunteer with HandsOn at BVU?
Becoming a volunteer is easy! Simply register yourself by clicking Register in the bar above. Your information will be kept private and secure.
Does it cost anything to volunteer?
No, volunteers are not asked to pay a fee. But did you know there IS a monetary cost to connecting volunteers to meaningful service? HandsOn at BVU is funded by individuals, organizations and foundations. We offer ongoing educational volunteer experiences at no cost to volunteers or partner agencies. Your donation ensures that we continue to offer meaningful volunteer experiences that meet the critical needs of Northeast Ohio through high-impact service. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support volunteerism and help us continue the work of civic engagement in Cleveland.
How much time do I have to commit?
It's entirely up to you! You can volunteer as much or as little as you like based on your time and interest. Each opportunity will indicate the time commitment required.
What kind of volunteer projects does HandsOn at BVU offer?
Each year, BVU organizes and manages hundreds of team-based projects for a variety of community service organizations. We partner with non-profits addressing community issues that impact health, youth and education, hunger and homelessness, seniors and disabled, animal welfare, the environment and more. We offer one-time and ongoing opportunities. We also feature Referrals you can connect to that are posted directly to our site from our community partners.
What is a Volunteer Leader (VL)?
A volunteer leader is someone ready to take their service to the next level. Volunteer Leaders are the liaison between our agency partners, volunteers, and BVU! They help manage volunteer recruitment, guide the project onsite, build their leadership skills, and participate in professional development and social opportunities. They make our programming and our agency partners' missions possible.
What if I don't find what I'm looking for on the Calendar of Projects?
We also offer a searchable database of projects that occur on an ongoing basis. Use the Additional Filters on the left to narrow your focus by what you'd like to do, what issue you'd like to address, or who the project is appropriate for.
What's the difference between a Referral and a HandsOn Managed Project?
Projects posted by our community partners directly to our site are referrals and will have this image on them. You will be communicating directly with the staff there and BVU is not involved with the project details.
Projects and special events posted by and managed by HandsOn are led by our Volunteer Leaders. Volunteers immediately confirm a spot in the project and confirmation details are sent to them. Then, show up!
What if I have an idea for a new project or want to become a community partner?
We are always looking for new projects and partners. If you would like to learn more about becoming a community partner, visit our Partner page.
I don't have transportation. Can you get me to volunteer projects?
We do not have the capacity to transport volunteers to our projects, but some sites are accessible via public transportation.
After I create an account, how do I sign up for a volunteer project?
Log in to your account, and click on the Find an Opportunity tab to find volunteer opportunities that interest you, either by searching or by viewing the Opportunity Calendar for those done-in-a-day projects. Each project's description will indicate how to participate. Search HandsOn Volunteer Managed Projects on the Managed Projects Calendar.
What is my username?
Your username is the email address you created your account with.
How do I change my password or update my email address?
After you log in to our website, click "My Account", then “Overview”, then "Personal Information." Make your changes and click “SAVE" at the top or bottom of the screen.
What if I've forgotten my password?
Click on "Log In" at the top right of the page, enter your username (your email address) and click "Forgot your password?". An email will be sent to you with a temporary password.
What computer standards does your site require?
You should use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari as your Internet browser. Internet Explorer does not work as well with the website and can sometimes cause unusual errors. You can download free, safe versions of Firefox or Chrome or Safari.
Why do you ask for my birth date when I register?
Each project has a minimum age for attendance. Also, we need to protect our younger volunteers who are under age 13. Volunteers under the age of 13 are unable to sign up with their own accounts on our website due to the Federal Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Parents or other responsible adults will need to create a team with their children to volunteer and sign up their children under 13. You must create an account and log in to see how to create a team.
Can I volunteer if I am under 18 years old?
Check the age listing for each project as the minimum age varies depending on the agency and activity. For projects that HandsOn is managing, youth volunteers under the age of 18 must have a youth waiver form signed by their parent or guardian. You will need to bring the signed form with you on the day of the project.
When the minimum age (with adult) is listed on the project, youth must be signed up with a parent, guardian or responsible adult via the team functionality. See how to create a team
Volunteers under the age of 13 are unable to sign up on their own through our website due to the Federal Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). To register a child under the age of 13, parents/guardians simply need to create a team to volunteer with and sign up their children. Visit how to create a team and our Youth Volunteering page for more.
What does the minimum age and minimum age with an adult mean?
If on a project the minimum age is 15, then any volunteer whose account with our site shows they are 15 years or older may sign up. If the minimum age with adult is 8, then any youth volunteers who are age 8-14 must be signed up as a part of a team, so that their parent/guardian/adult signs up for the project with them. how to create and manage teams and visit our Youth Volunteering page for more.
What does the minimum age and minimum age with an adult mean?
If on a project the minimum age is 15, then any volunteer whose account with our site shows they are 15 years or older may sign up. If the minimum age with adult is 8, then any youth volunteers who are age 8-14 must be signed up as a part of a team, so that their parent/guardian/adult signs up for the project with them. Learn how to create and manage teams and visit our Youth Volunteering page for more.
What if I am unable to sign up for a project through the website?
All volunteers who plan to attend must be registered. If you don't have a computer, public computers are available at local libraries. Contact us by email or by phone at (216) 736-7711 x3. We would be glad to assist you with the registration process.
I need to cancel. What should I do?
It's OK, we won't hold it against you. Please just make sure to remove yourself from the project as soon as you know, so you leave space for another volunteer to step in. Log in to HandsOn at BVU and click on "My Account" and scroll down to “Upcoming Opportunities”. Find the project you cannot attend and click “Remove Me.” If it's the day of the project, please also e-mail, call, or text your Project Leader so they know not to expect you.
What is a no show?
If you sign up for a project and do not attend and do not remove yourself or notify the Opportunity Coordinator that is considered a No Show. We will remove you from our system after 3 No Shows in accordance with policy. You will receive a notification email prior to deactivation. Our partners are counting on us to bring them accurate numbers.
What if a project I want to sign-up for is full? Can I get on a wait list?
If a project occurrence is full, you will see that the slots remaining will show as "0". If you click "sign up" or "express interest" you will be asked if you'd like to be added to the wait list. If you say yes, and a space opens, then you will be notified via email. You will then be able to return to the project and attempt to register yourself if the project is still allowing registration.
What if I want to volunteer with a group?
You can create a volunteer team with all the people you want to volunteer together. Visit our Group Volunteering page for more information.