Civic Engagement Toolkit


Becoming engaged in your community may also mean spending time as a volunteer with an organization or a cause-related activity. Volunteer activities can range from participating in a 5K run, helping out at a nonprofit’s event, sorting donations at a food pantry, raising money for your child’s school, serving on a nonprofit board of directors, or any number of other worthy activities.

Here are a few places to start your search for volunteer opportunities in the St. Louis region:

Neighborhood Associations

If you want to improve your immediate community, a good place to start is your neighborhood association. A neighborhood association consists of neighbors and business owners who work together to address issues such as neighborhood safety, beautification and social activities.

Nonprofit Boards

Have a cause you care about deeply? Nonprofit organizations are always looking for individuals who are willing to be advocates and supporters for their missions and who have specific skills or expertise that can help them achieve their goals.

BoardSource has a useful primer on board service, including a short quiz to help you determine your readiness, and a summary of what you can expect.

Local & State Boards and Commissions

Every state and municipal government has civic boards and committees that advise and provide useful input to elected officials on issues ranging from zoning matters, police, and city planning to public art, parks, public works, health and safety, and more.

Appointments to serve on these boards and committees are typically made by the local mayor and may be approved by the City Council. Terms of service may range from one year to several years. Committees typically meet on a monthly basis, and meetings are open to the public.

To learn about the committees in your area, check the website of your local municipality and search for Boards & Committees.

At the state level, many boards and commissions have specific eligibility requirements, including education, specialized knowledge, political affiliation or geographic location. Learn more about boards and commissions at the state level:

Next up: Organizing Community Meetings

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