Frequently Asked Questions About Volunteering

    Volunteers provide service in many areas throughout Dana-Farber, including serving lunch to adult patients, locating information and resources for patients in resource rooms, volunteering in the Friends Corner Gift shop or Friends' Place, and providing support in administrative offices. Other placements may be available. Please refer to the Volunteer Opportunities section for more information. 

    We will place you in a volunteer placement that meets the needs of Dana-Farber and our patients. We take into account your skills, abilities, schedule and interests when considering you for a placement. 

    You will be in a placement that meets our needs and your interests, skills and abilities. There are opportunities to volunteer in office environments or working directly with patients. Volunteers are flexible to assist wherever help is needed. We will determine your placement at the time of the interview. 

    Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, from students, working professionals, retired individuals and many others with connections to Dana-Farber and the surrounding community. Cancer has touched many volunteers' lives, whether through a family member, friend or personal history. Our students volunteer to gain valuable exposure to a healthcare environment. We have patients, too, who give back for the compassionate care they received while in treatment. 

    Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer at Dana-Farber. We do offer a summer Junior Volunteer Program only for high school students, 16 to 18 years of age. We do not accept students less than 18 years of age during the academic year. 

    We invite high school students, ages 16 through 18, to consider a summer volunteer placement at Dana-Farber in the Junior Volunteer Program.  Learn more about the program.

    Yes, we do have volunteer opportunities for the summer. Junior volunteers, 16 to 18 years of age, volunteer one full day or two half days for a minimum of six weeks beginning the first week of July. Refer to this site for further information. All other volunteers can volunteer for one full day or two half days for 10 weeks. 

    Dana-Farber is an outpatient facility, primarily operating during normal business hours. Volunteers commit to one, four-hour weekly shift per week, during our business hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

    There are currently no evening or weekend placements. 

    We ask all volunteer applicants to commit to a four-hour weekly shift for a minimum period of one year. Summer placements are available, with an expected commitment of eight hours per week. 

    You can apply directly online through this website. We will then review your application and contact you for an interview. Please complete the application in its entirety. We cannot consider incomplete applications. 

    All volunteer applicants interview with a Volunteer Services staff member before attending a volunteer orientation. The purpose of the interview is to assess your interests, skills, availability, as well as have an opportunity to get to know you while understanding your motives to volunteer. We encourage you to learn more about Dana-Farber through our Web site. We ask that you come prepared to discuss your interests to volunteer for Dana-Farber and how you wish to volunteer your time. Volunteering at Dana-Farber is a major commitment in your life, so we suggest learning about our organization and the array of volunteer opportunities by visiting this site. 

    Hundreds of people volunteer annually for various fundraising events, like the Jimmy Fund WalkScooper Bowl, and various golf tournaments. To learn more about these events, refer to the Jimmy Fund website or contact them at 800-52-JIMMY (54669).

    To volunteer for the Pan Massachusetts Challenge, refer to their website or contact them at or 800-we-cycle.

    Contact Volunteer Services