Frequently Asked Questions

For New Volunteers

I'd love to volunteer! How do I get started? We'd love to have you! 

If you're over 13, create a HandsOn Bay Area account, take our online orientation and you're ready to sign up and go! To gain full access to our Project Calendar, we ask for a one-time, tax-deductible Volunteer Activation ($25 for adults, $15 for children), which you can pay online at the end of your orientation. You may also apply for a fee waiver by clicking here.

If you'd just like to try us out for now without paying, First Saturdays are open to all interested volunteers.

I already have an online account. How do I sign up for a project?

Click on "Login" at upper right corner of the page. Once you are logged in, click the "Project Calendar" tab. Browse projects with blue text, meaning there is still space available. Click on the project name, and then click, "Sign Up"

If you have not fully activated your membership by taking the online orientation and donating the Activation Fee, you will only be able to sign up for projects on the first Saturday of the month. If you're still having problems, contact us.

When I try to sign up for a project, it says I've need to take the orientation. But I already did!

If you've finished our Online Orientation and donated the $25 Volunteer Activation, you may have skipped the final slide that marks your account as Active. (It's OK, you're not alone!) If that's the case, contact us and we'll set you up.

If you chose not to donate, you're seeing that message because the project is only open to members with active accounts. All of our projects on the first Saturday of each month are open to you, so that you can try us out before choosing to support us. If you're ready to donate and gain access to all of our projects, click here.

How do I sign up a group?

First, check out our Project Calendar for a project that fits your needs and has enough space for your group. The earlier you can plan ahead, the better – our projects fill up fast!

There are two options for registration of community groups:

Option 1: Sign up as individuals

  • Each member of your group who is 13 or older must create their own HandsOn Bay Area account and sign up for the project you'd like to attend together. Group members can later attend any project on our Project Calendar. 

Option 2: Sign up as a group

  • Have a team member create an account with HandsOn Bay Area. Then, they can register your group by filling out a Group Registration Form.

  • They will then be prompted to donate a one-time group volunteer fee of $5/person.

  • Once the donation is received, â€‹your group members will be signed up. All group members will receive a confirmation email with the project details. 

If you have any questions you may email 

My child is under 15. How can we volunteer together?

We love helping families volunteer together. First, create a HandsOn Bay Area account for yourself. We request a one-time $25 donation per volunteer 18 and over, and a one-time $15 donation for volunteers 13 - 17 years old to gain full access to our 100+ projects per month.

Next, use our Project Calendar to search for projects that allow volunteers your child's age or older. If your child is not old enough to volunteer alone, you can register them for a project by providing their name, birthdate, and registered email in the volunteer confirmation page. 

For Current Volunteers

How do I get proof that I've volunteered?

Your Project Leader can sign a volunteer hours form for your school or court-ordered service at the project site.  If you login to your HandsOn Bay Area account and click on My Account you will see your total hours volunteered listed in the upper right hand corner.

Contact us once you've completed your hours and we can send you a letter confirmation on our organization's letterhead.

I never received my project confirmation e-mail!

First, make sure HandsOn Bay Area has an up-to-date e-mail address for you. It's the same one you use to log in to our site.

Next, check your spam or junk mail folder. To prevent our e-mails from heading to junk mail, add the domain to your "safe list" or address book.

I need to cancel. What should I do?

It's OK, we won't hold it against you. By dropping out in our system as soon as you know, you'll leave space for another volunteer to step in.

Log in to your HandsOn Bay Area account, click on "My Account" and then scroll down to "Upcoming Opportunities" and click on "Remove Me" next to the project you can't attend. If it's the day of the project, please also e-mail your Project Leader so they know not to expect you. (Replying directly to the reminder e-mail won't work -- look for your Project Leader's contact information in the body of the e-mail).

How do I become a Project Leader?

Project Leaders help us coordinate all of the volunteer opportunities on our Calendar. To become a Project Leader, you must attend at least three HandsOn Bay Area projects. You can then fill out our Project Leader Application. For more information, visit our Project Leader page

I need to do community service.  Can I do it with HandsOn Bay Area? 

Yes. HandsOn Bay Area is a 501(c)3 and we are able to document the hours you volunteered at our projects. You will first need to make sure that you have registered with HandsOn Bay Area, signed up for all of the projects correctly, gotten your attendance updated from your Project Leader and followed all the necessary steps to be in good standing with HandsOn Bay Area. Once you have completed your necessary hours and are in good standing, then email to request a letter of hours for your needs. 

Nonprofit Partners

How do I get help from HandsOn Bay Area volunteers?

Visit our Nonprofit Parternship page to see whether you're a good fit and to learn more about what we can do for you.

Can I list my volunteer openings on your site?

No, HandsOn Bay Area does not provide an online listing or posting service. The projects on our calendar are projects that we set up and manage with our nonprofit partners. If you want to list service opportunities, please contact the Volunteer Center or Volunteer Match. To find out about partnering with HandsOn Bay Area, check out our Nonprofit Parternship page.

Can HandsOn Bay Area volunteers help with our fundraiser?

No, our service projects are hands-on, direct-service. For this type of volunteering, please contact the please contact the Volunteer Center or Volunteer Match.

How do I get the attendance from my last project?

Contact the Project Leader who led that project by clicking on "Find a Project" in the Menu Bar and search for the project occurrence on the Project Calendar. The PL's email will be available.

How do I update the description of my project?

You can email Monica Floyd at to update your project's description.

Still have more questions or concerns?

Click here to tell us who you are and the problem you're running into and we'll find someone to help!