What is the Volunteer Lab?

The Volunteer Lab was made by community for community. It’s a peer-to-peer digital learning space for non-profit staff, volunteer managers and anyone interested in forward-thinking community building. Through high-quality video-based courses designed and led by passionate instructors, the Volunteer Lab aims to inspire and drive change to build resiliency in volunteerism.

The creation of the Volunteer Lab was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation through a Resilient Communities Grant. The Lab is owned and maintained by Volunteer Toronto, Canada’s largest volunteer centre.

Why is the Volunteer Lab needed?

The Lab inspires innovation, drives program changes, and provides a platform for peers to connect and learn from one another.

The community building sector in Canada is a wellspring of expertise that rarely gets the platform or recognition it deserves. More so, COVID-19 has upheaved the volunteerism sector in every way possible.

The Lab will evolve volunteerism, community engagement and the people involved . We need new perspectives to help re-engage our communities in resilient and anti-oppressive programs . The Lab features diverse and passionate Instructors, offering insightful ideas about inclusive community building through their lived experiences.

What is included in a Volunteer Lab subscription?

Learn from Instructors through a $120 annual subscription with un limited access to all courses, downloadable materials and any new releases. Each subscription provides access for one individual learner to self-navigate the topics at their own pace.

Learning content on the Volunteer Lab is delivered through high-quality videos. Each course also comes with downloadable resources authored by each Instructor. Each course featured on the Lab averages 45-minutes for completion and includes up to 12 tailored lessons. New courses will be released on an annual basis. All courses, new and existing releases, are available with a one-year subscription.

Review Terms of Use.

How much does the Volunteer Lab cost?

Access to the Volunteer Lab costs $120 for one-year of access. You will need to renew to continue accessing your subscription after one-year. The Volunteer Lab is a non-refundable annual purchase. You will not be able to cancel once your subscription has been purchased and you will have access until your subscription expires in one-year.

Discounts to the Volunteer Lab are available through Instructors, Volunteer Lab Ambassadors and a Volunteer Toronto subscription . Contact to find out if you have access to a discount code.

Can my organization purchase a subscription?

Organizations looking to purchase a subscription for multiple members of their team must purchase individual subscriptions to the Volunteer Lab.

Discounts for subscription quantities of 5+ for organizations are available. Please contact to further discuss your organization’s needs.

How are instructors selected and what is involved in course development?

Every year, the team behind the Volunteer Lab curate Instructors to speak to timely topics in community building and volunteerism. We also accept course ideas from the community. You can submit an outline for consideration here.

Course development starts by brainstorming a topic. Instructors develop an outline of their topic which focuses aims to drive positive change for the future of community building. For selected courses, the Volunteer Toronto team then supports course development through a media coaching session and a script editing process. The goal is to ensure Instructors are comfortable with their content and prepared to be on camera. Instructors then work collaboratively with the Volunteer Toronto team to source a filming location and move through the filming process. Leave the editing to us, but all Instructors have final approval on their course video and downloadable resources.

Instructors are paid for their involvement with a $500 honorarium to reflect the co-development of course materials between community members and Volunteer Toronto. Each course costs between $2,500-$3,500 to produce.

When will new courses be available?

The Volunteer Lab aims to release 2-3 new courses on an annual basis.