Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley: A hub for nonprofits


Shawn Bariana is a Lehigh Valley native and the community relations manager for Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley.

The Lehigh Valley has been growing exponentially and, with it, the need for more services and resources. Every day the demand for assistance seems to increase. Nonprofit organizations are stretched to their limits. The City of Bethlehem alone is home to more than 80 nonprofits. And when they reach capacity, the long waitlists kick in.

This is where the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley comes in.

When the Volunteer Center first came into existence 39 years ago, we began as a conduit for nonprofits to connect with more volunteers. Today, we are so much more.

Capacity Builders
Our organization plays a vital role in building nonprofit capacity, driving social change and fostering a culture of service within our region. As capacity builders, our organization continuously assesses and refines our services and deliverables to ensure we are supporting the nonprofit sector. We ask and then we listen.

The Volunteer Center continues to seamlessly connect individuals, service organizations and corporate teams seeking to contribute their time and talents with nonprofit organizations in need of support. Whether it’s tutoring the youth, feeding the hungry or caring for animals, the Volunteer Center effectively facilitates these connections.

Through the Volunteer Center website, the public has access to nearly 400 nonprofit organizations in our directory in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties. There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities, a calendar of fundraising events and nonprofit wish lists at your fingertips. People are just one click away from making a meaningful difference.

In the nonprofit world, resources are often scarce and challenges are multifaceted. Convening and collaboration are not just beneficial — they are essential. Through networking events, workshops and collaborative projects, the Volunteer Center fosters a system of mutual support and knowledge-sharing among nonprofits to create innovative solutions.

The Volunteer Center has become a centralized hub of educational resources and information for our partners. With our training sessions and forums, nonprofit leaders navigate the challenges associated with running a sustainable nonprofit organization. New or potential volunteer board members develop the knowledge to serve on a nonprofit Board of Directors more effectively. Volunteer engagement professionals build a toolbox of skills for successful volunteer program management. By equipping these organizations with education, our community will become stronger and more resilient.

With the help of our community partners, the Volunteer Center envisions a future where Lehigh Valley nonprofits have the support and resources needed to achieve their missions and bring positive change to the community.

It’s essential to recognize that our success is not guaranteed. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Volunteer Center relies on the support of donors, nonprofit memberships, volunteers and community partners to sustain operations and expand impact. We rely on you, our community, for the support we need to continue our invaluable work for years to come.

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