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Organizing partners
David Styers
Volunteer Groups Alliance
Organising Partner, Coordinator

Mei Cobb
United Way Worldwide
Director, Volunteer & Employee Engagement

“As we seek to build capacities and to help the new agenda to take root, volunteerism can be another powerful and cross-cutting means of implementation. Volunteerism can help to expand and mobilize constituencies and to engage people in national planning and implementation for sustainable development goals. And volunteer groups can help to localize the new agenda by providing new areas of interaction between Governments and people for concrete and scalable actions” (UN Secretary General Synthesis report on the Post 2015 agenda).

Every day across the world, millions of ordinary citizens give of their time to volunteer, making a vital and often under-recognised contribution to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the last year, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) estimated that one billion people gave of their time and energy to volunteer, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has estimated that volunteering adds 2.4% to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Volunteer Groups Alliance (VGA) is a global coalition bringing together organisation and networks working in over 150 countries that contribute to sustainable development through volunteering in all its forms. It seeks to

  • promote and highlight the contribution of volunteers in delivering the SDGs
  • connect organizations working with Volunteer Groups across the world to help amplify the collective impact of volunteers in national, regional, and global SDG follow up and review processes
  • gain recognition for the crucial role of volunteers in successfully monitoring and ultimately achieving the SDGs

VGA calls for member states to

  • formally recognize the contribution of volunteering to the implementation of the SDGs in their Voluntary National Reviews
  • ensure that Volunteer Groups are fully recognized and supported in the national plans and strategies for implementing the 2030 Agenda
  • supports the participation of non-governmental actors in the SDG follow up and review processes
  • ensure the accountability, transparency and review framework for the SDGs involves community consultation at all levels, including representation of the most marginalised voices, as well as the volunteers that work closest to them

To join the Volunteer Groups Alliance, email the Coordinator at



Member organisations must be organisations with a demonstrable commitment to volunteering, nationally and/or internationally, through their mission, goals and activities. They are expected to support the principles, values and objectives of the Alliance.
Current members can be found here:

Read the Structure for the Volunteer Groups Alliance (PDF)

United Nations