Become a Member

Join Forum

Since 1964 Forum has been the sole global network representing and strengthening the volunteering and development sector. Forum’s member organisations recognise the power of volunteering to achieve sustainable development. 

Forum is a global network of organisations that work through volunteers to achieve sustainable development. We have a diverse group of member organisations encompassing non-profits and government agencies, and organisations that support volunteers at the local, national and international levels. Forum also has an Associate Member category for organisations that work in the volunteering and development space, but that don’t mobilise volunteers.  

Forum is at the forefront of researching, promoting and supporting responsible and impactful volunteering. We promote inclusivity and reciprocity, foster knowledge sharing, and create spaces for critical debates amongst our members and the wider volunteering and development sectors.  

To apply for membership click ‘Join Now’ button and fill in the application form.

Why Your Organisation Should Join Forum

Through Forum, our members stay abreast of new developments, innovative approaches and good practice. As a Forum member, you will have the opportunity to connect with like-minded organisations, engage with researchers, share best practice and support continuous improvement within our sector. All our members take part in the same member groups, events, and research projects, and engage with the Global Volunteering Standard. Forum members face similar challenges and opportunities, and Forum offers a way for them to explore these together, share information and approaches, and make better decisions.

Forum’s vision is a global movement of volunteers working effectively for a world where no one is left behind. We realise this vision through convening, , and research and standards.


We create spaces for our members to connect and network. Each year, the IVCO conference brings together the leaders of volunteering organisations from around the world, and throughout the year Forum hosts engaging webinars and Heads of Agency meetings. Forum members connect through active working groups and communities of practice. These groups are focused on research, standards, security, diversity and inclusion, and climate action. In 2013, with the Ottawa Declaration, Forum founded the Volunteer Groups Alliance, the voice for volunteers at the United Nations.


Through our Research, Practice, Policy and Learning (RPPL) group, Forum coordinates research across our member organisations. The RPPL Group leads research to address issues that concern our community of organisations. It hosts monthly presentations on cutting edge volunteering research and members can access a register of ongoing research projects from across the sector. The RPPL Group commissions research on areas of common interest to our members, and hosts an annual research day at the IVCO conference.


At the heart of Forum’s work is the Global Volunteering Standard. The first standard of its kind, it is a framework developed by Forum to support organisations that work with volunteers to better understand good practice, and to become more responsible and impactful in their work. To support members in using the Standard, Forum created the Global Volunteering Standard Platform, the ultimate global online resource which includes a set of practical tools to assess, monitor and improve programmes and practice, as well as the largest global library of volunteer resources.

Membership Criteria

  • Membership of Forum is open to non-profit organisations, including NGOs and state bodies, that are actively engaged in one or more aspects of volunteering for development service, whether directly or in terms of coordinating such work on the part of other organisations.
  • Private businesses are not eligible for Forum’s membership.
  • All Forum members commit to the Forum Charter, and pay an annual membership fee to Forum. 
  • Forum Membership is open to three categories of organisations listed below. 


Forum Membership is open to three categories of organisations: international, national and associate members.

These profiles will give you a sense of where your organisation might fit in Forum.

International Members

Forum’s International Members work to achieve sustainable development by mobilising international volunteers. They are a mix of non-profit organisations, INGOs, and government bodies that support volunteers to work overseas. Many of our International Members also support local and national volunteering in the Global South, and some have online volunteering programmes. Within Forum our International Members form a vibrant community engaging in events, member groups, and research projects around the challenges and opportunities faced by international volunteer cooperation organisations.

National Members

National Members are organisations in the Global South that work through volunteers at the community, local and national levels. They can be non-profit organisations or government bodies, and they mobilise volunteering in a variety of ways. Some of Forum’s National Members also host international volunteers in their own countries. As well as engaging in Forum’s events, member groups, research and standards, National Members self-organise through a coordinating group that works with the Forum team to develop training and capacity building opportunities.

Associate Members

Associate Members of Forum are organisations that work in the volunteering in development space, but that do not mobilise volunteers. They could be research institutions, consulting or advisory organisations that support volunteer-involving organisations, or entities that provide training to volunteers. Associate Members enjoy all the benefits as International and National Members including access to all of Forum’s member groups and events, but they cannot vote at the Forum Annual Meeting or join the Forum Board.

How to Join Forum

To apply for membership click  ‘Join Now’ button and fill in the application form.

For more information about becoming a Member, please contact  and to apply, fill out the form by clicking the above button.

Join a movement of global citizens working for a world where no one is left behind.