Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Northwestern University

Rethink Learning

BECOME A VOLUNTEER!

Volunteering with OLLI offers opportunities for enjoyment beyond participating in class experiences. You need not have prior experience or expertise in a particular field, although it is always welcome. Everyone has the talent to help in some capacity, whether it's as a study group coordinator, on a committee, helping to plan and execute one of OLLI's annual or special events, or as a greeter. OLLI depends on its member volunteers to help defray costs that would otherwise have to be covered through member dues, so consider lending a few hours to help OLLI become ever more dynamic, creative, and welcoming.

OLLI Advisory Council

The OLLI Advisory Council is always looking for volunteers. The council advises the director with respect to establishing policies, practices, and guidelines for the program, and coordinates the plans and activities of OLLI. The council is composed of 28 members, 14 from Chicago and 14 from Evanston, who each serve as chairs or vice-chairs of committees on their respective campuses. Council members are elected for a two-year term, and vice-chairs succeed to chair in their second year.

Volunteers play a number of crucial roles, and their responsibilities can be minimal or extensive, depending upon the committee and task at hand. Responsibilities may include reviewing study group proposals, organizing training programs for coordinators and new members, creating flyers, greeting members, and implementing academic enrichment and social events. To learn more about the OLLI Advisory Council, campus committees, and volunteer opportunities, click here.

Ad-Hoc Committees

A number of ad-hoc committees play a vital role in advising and supporting the director. Current ad-hoc committees include: the Technology Committee, which organizes and implements technology training for members, providing members with the tools, support, and assistance they need to navigate at OLLI; the Hearing Committee, which is working with Northwestern faculty to identify hearing issues that OLLI members experience in the classroom, and investigate educational and technological remedies; and the Development Committee, which is working to implement a robust, ongoing fundraising campaign to secure OLLI’s future. All three committees are comprised of volunteers.

How to Volunteer

Don't wait to be asked to volunteer; take the initiative! OLLI committee chairs and council members are always on the lookout for help. If you're interested in joining a committee, send an email to the committee chair using the link provided at the end of each committee's description. Whether you are a returning member or are joining OLLI or the first time, please invest in OLLI. This is your OLLI and OLLI will be stronger because of your efforts!

What is expected of volunteers?

Volunteering with OLLI should be a fun, rewarding experience. Following these simple guidelines will help you get the most out of your time and effort:

  • Please arrive a few minutes early for all meetings and events to help ensure the most efficient use of your time.
  • Expect to attend all scheduled committee or event meetings. If a conflict arises and you will be late or absent from a meeting or event, notify your committee or event chair as soon as possible.
  • OLLI thrives because of its members' creativity and new ideas. Share your ideas with your chair or leader, and be ready to follow up if you've been given a green light!
  • No matter how large or small your job, take pride in it. OLLI's success depends on you!

What you can expect:

  • Your leader should be organized and communicate their ideas and expectations clearly, consistently, and professionally.
  • Any necessary training will be provided.
  • Talk with your leader about any areas that you feel could be improved, and feel free to speak with the director or any council member if you notice something that needs to be addressed.
  • Expect appreciation! Your time and effort are a wonderful gift, and OLLI's many programs and events couldn't happen without your help.