Do Good: Seattle Works is melting the ‘Seattle Freeze’ through Volunteerism

Making volunteering fun and accessible for Seattleites.

Seattle is booming. Census data shows that Seattle is one of the fastest growing major American cities with a high concentration of young adults. Millennials make up 1/3 of our population. What will Seattle look like if we don’t value community engagement and volunteerism in this time of growth? How do we get millennials involved in building a thriving community of actively engaged individuals? This is where Seattle Works comes in.


Seattle CityClub’s Civic Health Index shows that Seattle has higher than average rates of formal civic engagement. Seattle Works is proud to drive excellent civic health and a strong volunteer community, especially among people in their 20’s and 30’s. In 2015, there were 1,700 individual volunteers and 400 individuals in nonprofit board service through the organization.

How Seattle ranks among 51 comparable metropolitan areas:

  • 1st – Citizens involved in a community, school, or neighborhood association
  • 2nd – Buying or boycotting a product based on moral values
  • 3rd – Volunteering
  • 48th – Talking with neighbors frequently

Despite Seattle’s generally excellent civic health, our city has reason to be concerned. We rank low in neighborliness (is the “Seattle Freeze” real?) and income inequality is growing. Seattle Works has a vision of team-based volunteerism that encourages networking and getting to know one another.

As Generation X volunteers pass the torch to Millennial volunteers, Seattle Works is playing a critical role in getting young professionals engaged with nonprofits via popular programs like our team-based volunteer league (‘Team Works’), board training (‘The Bridge’), and online volunteer calendar. Through the Seattle Works’ Volunteer Opportunity Calendar, individuals looking to get more involved are connecting with nonprofits across the city. The calendar is user-friendly and makes it easy for volunteers to sign-up, show-up and make a difference.


Whether you’re skipping brunch one Saturday (you can also go for a late brunch after you volunteer!) to prep donated shoes for homeless shelters or spending a Tuesday afternoon teaching low-income seniors computer skills, thousands of volunteers are building a better Seattle one volunteer project at time. And they’re doing it together—building friendships and relationships through service.

Let’s give back, meet like-minded individuals who care about the issues affecting our city, and really make a difference while rolling our sleeves up.


The Bridge / April 30th 

Find out more about the work of nonprofit board members, an introduction to financial and legal responsibilities, and learn fundraising strategies and techniques. The next board training date is April 30th. More information can be found here.

Seattle Works Day / June 18

One day. 50 nonprofits. 1,000 volunteers. 1 after party.

Join over a thousand volunteers and local companies as we come together at over 50 nonprofits, schools and parks to get some serious work done. This is your chance to send a ripple effect across our city!

12:00 – 3:30 pm: Volunteer projects around the city
3:30 – 5:30 pm: After party at Pyramid Alehouse beer garden (1201 1st Avenue South)

Registration coming soon. 

Team Works / Registration opens August 1st 

Join a team and volunteer together for one Saturday a month. You can join as an individual, with another friend, or a group of friends. There are more than 10 different organizations to explore volunteering with. Fall enrollment will open on August 1st. Learn more here.

Photos by Seattle Works.