Create opportunities for others to grow


The mission of Illinois Extension is to serve the residents of Illinois as we work collaboratively to enhance quality of life for families and economic resilience and vitality for our businesses and communities. This work isn't possible without an army of passionate, dedicated volunteers who generously give of their time and talent. From developing curriculum units to working with kids on 4-H projects, and from mentoring families on personal finances to identifying pesky weeds, volunteers play an essential role within Extension. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Choose how you help others.
two potted plants

Get growing by sharing what you know.

Master Gardeners help others learn to grow. We improve the quality of life by helping people find sound management practices for home and urban natural resources, creating aesthetically pleasing environments, promoting well-being through people-plant interactions and horticultural therapy, and  contributing to a safe, abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable production.

Learn more about Master Gardeners

man holding tree

Take your love of nature to the next level.

Master Naturalists provide science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards. We all have a responsibility to protect the natural resources in the places where we live to ensure our world is fit for the future. University of Illinois Extension partners with local agencies to accomplish the Master Naturalist mission.

Learn More About Master Naturalists

three people smiling while looking at tablet

Help others achieve their financial goals.

Financial education and coaching can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Money Mentor volunteers offer unbiased resources and quality information at key, timely moments. Illinois Extension educators provide research-based training to volunteers who want to help others with their personal finances. Your help is needed; volunteer with Money Mentors!

Learn more about Money Mentors

group of 4-H volunteers

The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

As a 4-H volunteer, you can share your skills and experience to help transform a new generation of confident, young leaders. This is your chance to make a change, to be the spark that inspires a generation. You can make a difference in the lives of young people by teaching them skills that they can use the rest of their lives.

Learn more about Illinois 4-H

Requirements for Volunteers

Learn about our selection process.
woman applying online

Volunteer Process

Volunteers are valued members of University of Illinois Extension programs. They contribute their skills, talents, and experiences to strengthen all aspects of Extension programs and support our mission. We take the volunteer selection process seriously and work to recruit the best volunteers possible to ensure the quality of our programs and the safety of all participants, staff, and fellow volunteers.

Volunteer Process: English

Volunteer Process: En Español

call center staff

Background Screening

University of Illinois Extension partners with Sterling Volunteers as a volunteer background screening provider. Background screening is a requirement to provide liability insurance coverage as part of Illinois Extension’s risk management plan. The process includes certain requirements and checks completed as part of new volunteer onboarding, with some repeated annually or every five years.

Screening Requirements: English

Screening Requirements: En Español

kids and volunteers at summer camp

Extension Child Protection Training

This course was developed by University of Illinois Extension staff and follows the University of Illinois Abuse and Neglect Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) policy. All Extension Volunteers are required to take this training as part of their volunteer agreement with the University of Illinois. We hope that by taking this training you become aware of what to do if you suspect child abuse or neglect while acting as an Extension volunteer.

Extension Child Protection Training: English

Training Enrollment Instructions: English

Extension Child Protection Training: En Español

Training Enrollment Instructions: En Español

Required Documents for Volunteers

Volunteers are valued members of the University of Illinois Extension programs. Volunteers contribute their skills, talents, and experiences to strengthen all aspects of Extension programs and support our mission. Current volunteers and those in process can find required documents below.

Illinois Extension Code of Conduct

The opportunity to volunteer with University of Illinois Extension is a privilege and not a right. All Extension volunteers who participate in or attend any activity or event sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Program are expected to uphold the values of the University of Illinois Extension Program and conduct themselves according to the following standards. These standards also apply to online Extension activities, including social media and internet presence.

Access Form

Agreement to Assume Risk Waiver

Access Form

Illinois Extension Program Volunteer Agreement

Please select the form that applies to your volunteer program.


Master Gardeners

Master Naturalists

Money Mentors

Talent Release Form (Photo/Video/Audio)

Access Form

Emergency Medical/Contact Form

This form varies by program, please contact your program coordinator for the relevant form.

Block Reference

Take the Next Step

Volunteer with Extension

Let us know if you want to be contact via phone.