Volunteering is the backbone of any community organization, and OUTMemphis is no exception. Whether it is helping to navigate the community by working the front desk, assisting with on-site event support, working with HIV testing, helping to organize and manage our emergency services, or any of our other areas of service, we need YOU!
Volunteering at OUTMemphis
Volunteerism is in OUTMemphis’ roots. We stand on the shoulders of Memphis’s first queer organizers; families, couples, and individuals who sacrificed countless hours and dollars to bring our organization to life. Since our humble beginnings in 1989, the heartbeat of OUTMemphis has always been carried by the city’s own community members and allies, who came together in the hopes of creating a more affirming Memphis. And as a true grassroots movement, the first paid positions of any kind at OUTMemphis were called Volunteer Coordinators.
Today, volunteers have a hand in every branch of our programming, services, and advocacy/education efforts. From managing the reception office, renovating the community center, facilitating peer support groups, or interning in the administrative office, volunteers are the foundation of our work. While volunteering at our facilities is restricted to individuals 18 years of age or older, one of our goals is to expand family-oriented service opportunities in the near future. As OUTMemphis continues to show tremendous growth, we will strive to put the focus on fostering lifelong partnerships, sustaining our volunteer legacy, and nurturing the community pride that was planted here 33 years ago.
Volunteer With Us
Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 surges, OUTMemphis is currently accepting new volunteer applications but will offer opportunities to volunteer on a limited basis. Please visit our volunteer portal for the most recent status and upcoming opportunities.
All volunteers are required to attend a one-hour training to familiarize them with the organization’s policies and internal culture. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to sign up. If you are between the ages of 13-17 and would still like to help, please reach out to our Youth Services team about opportunities.
Where can I find volunteer opportunities?
Anyone who’s interested in volunteering can view our project catalog, the list of volunteer opportunities that OUTMemphis currently offers. The catalog can be accessed here or by clicking on the Volunteer button on our home page.
When am I allowed to advance to a mid-level or professional development role?
Entry-level positions (Day Chair, Donation Center volunteer, and Special Events volunteer) require a commitment of 10 hours before mid-level opportunities (Night Chair, OUTLast volunteer, Peer Facilitator) become available. Professional development opportunities (like internships, HIV Testing, or YEC peer/overnight positions) will be offered on a case basis depending on the volunteer’s interests, relevant previous experience (at least 50 hours through OUTMemphis or elsewhere), and the needs of the department in question.
How do I sign up as a group?
Groups of 5 or more interested volunteers can sign up for volunteer opportunities through the project catalog. When completing the registration process, be sure to define which organization you are volunteering through (a college, religious organization, another non-profit, etc.) Additionally, make sure that the project you’re signing up for has enough spots for the number of people in your group.
If you’d like to customize your own service day with OUTMemphis, please contact Anu Iyer.
How often do I have to provide a negative COVID test?
If you have not been vaccinated, we ask that you provide a negative COVID 48 hours prior to your scheduled shift. If you are volunteering on a weekly basis, you may provide a negative test once per month.
Can I volunteer at all three facilities?
Absolutely! We strongly encourage involvement at each of our facilities. The exposure and experiences will greatly differ, and you may find a different role more challenging or appropriate for your interests.
Why is volunteering at OUTMemphis restricted to 18+?
OUTMemphis provides critical direct service work to vulnerable communities across the city and Mid-South region. In light of the sensitive nature of the work as well as the intensive orientation process, we ask that volunteers meet the age requirement before applying.
A great way to gain exposure before volunteering is by joining PRYSM or We Are Family. These engaging youth groups offer a space to gather and discuss a wide range of topics relating to sexual health/wellness, advocacy, and building queer pride.
What is the commitment that comes with safety/technical trainings?
OUTMemphis encourages both staff and volunteers to pursue trainings in professional development. This includes CPR/first-aid and trauma-informed care trainings. We are happy to take on the expenses of the trainings upon the understanding that the volunteer will commit at least 50 hours of continued service in their respective role following the training.
If a volunteer fails to meet the 50 hours, they will be expected to cover the expense of training payable to OUTMemphis.
Where can I provide feedback about my role, my supervisor, or the work of another volunteer?
We encourage and celebrate the feedback process, especially from our volunteers. Anyone can provide comments on their volunteer experience through the portal, and volunteers will occasionally get follow-up survey emails from us asking about their shift. Additionally, there is an open-door policy for any volunteer who wishes to share grievances, report their successes, and provide feedback on their work.
How much of my work can I share on social media?
We strongly encourage volunteers to re-post any OUTMemphis posts on your personal socials. When attempting to post your own content in regard to your service with us, we expect adherence to the confidentiality of all staff, participants, and other volunteers.
Cover faces with emojis or blur them, do not personally identify or tag anyone, and consult with a staff member before tagging OUTMemphis.
Unintentional out-ing of another member is highly possible when posting on personal social media, so please exercise extreme caution while you are volunteering with OUTMemphis.
How can I bring OUTMemphis to my own school/business/organization?
We are extremely enthusiastic about tabling and outreach at local organizations! Feel free to inform the Volunteer Coordinator or Director of Community Services of your interest to host OUTMemphis at your organization. We encourage you to be a part of the process of planning, promoting, and executing the event.
Coming Soon: Become a Facilitator
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We Are Here
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