Volunteering in Greater Des Moines

With a #4 in the nation volunteer rank, Iowans are big on giving back, and there are endless ways for you to do so throughout the DSM community. Lending your time to local nonprofits and volunteer projects makes a difference, whether you sign up to provide help on your own or recruit coworkers to support a favorite local organization. 

Places to Volunteer in Greater Des Moines

image of a town square

Invest in a cause and passion that is close to your heart as you make your home in DSM. Start your search for opportunities on the United Way of Central Iowa Volunteer Hub. The hub provides a list of current volunteer opportunities with local nonprofits and is a great resource as you look for ways to get connected and volunteer in DSM. Volunteer Iowa is a service commission that can help you find mentoring opportunities, take part in workplace days of service and more.

A few other outlets to consider: 

Community Cleanup Volunteers

All year long, Operation Downtown plays a role in keeping Downtown DSM safe, clean and beautiful, but did you know there are plenty of other ways to help keep the region looking its best? Friends of Des Moines Parks supports park and trail cleanup with bike trailers and litter cleanup supplies. April is also Keep Iowa Beautiful month, and businesses are encouraged to organize litter cleanup days throughout the month. When you’re willing to get your hands dirty for a good cause, that hard work pays off in spades through new connections to your community. 

You can adopt-a-stream in DSM with Metro Waste Authority to help keep local streams clean or help the Iowa DNR as a volunteer at state parks and forests and serve as a campground host, a wildlife monitor or as support at special events. 


Volunteering at Events

three volunteers with their arms around each other

Volunteer power makes many of the events and festivals possible and successful. Here are a few options to consider:

Giving Back During the Holiday Season 

The holiday season is a time when volunteering is top of mind. From Adopt-A-Family programs to food sorting with Food Bank of Iowa, you can make a difference to local families this time of year during the months of November and December. Choose to become a Senior Companion with EveryStep — volunteers can help provide transportation and assistance with holiday shopping or volunteer in the Holiday Shop for Children & Families of Iowa where you can also help in the wrapping station. Volunteering with festive events like the Des Moines Turkey Trot or Christkindlmarket Des Moines are a reminder that the gift of giving back is the best way to get into the holiday spirit.