SWR could not operate without the commitment and passion of our volunteers. In 2012, volunteers contributed 6,273 hours of volunteer service. Using our minimum starting wage of $10/hour, these hours total $62,730 of in-kind service contribution to Aitkin and Itasca Counties.


At SWR we work to match your talents and abilities, passion, and personal styles with our volunteer opportunities to make the greatest impact in accomplishing our mission.


  • Crisis intervention via Crisis Hotline
  • General and medical advocacy through support, options, and resources
  • Internships
  • Support group facilitation
  • Participate in fundraising activities and events
  • Community education through awareness activities and events
  • Administrative support for staff and programs
  • Board of Directors


  • Maintain confidentiality of clients and advocates
  • Respond to clients in a professional and supportive manner
  • Comply with SWR’s philosophy, purposes, procedures, and policies
  • Adhere to reporting requirements for clients

Specific Volunteer Duties

How do I apply to be an after-hours Crisis Advocate volunteer?

  • Review the information below and complete the Volunteer Application.
  • Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for your area to submit your application. For Itasca and Aitkin counties, call 218-326-5008. For Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, or Hubbard counties, call 218-444-9524.
  • Completing a 40-hour onsite training series and successfully passing a background check is required for most volunteer positions.

What does the job entail?

  • Be available to respond to phone calls and calls to emergency rooms, law enforcement interviews, juvenile detention centers, etc. as needed. This includes:
    • Respond to all calls that come in, including the pre-shift check in by SWR staff.
    • Stay in contact with your staff back-up throughout your shift for case debriefing, answering questions, assistance, and to make sure they are aware of the cases you are working on.
    • Contact the office for a post-shift check-in to make sure all case information is turned into the office for us to follow-up with clients by 9 am the following day.
    • Contact office when personal contact information changes.

How many shifts do I need to take per month?

  • Crisis advocate volunteers take a minimum of 2 shifts per month (or equivalent to 30 hours per month).
  • In addition, volunteers take at least one weekend shift at least once every 4 months and one holiday per year.

What kind of ongoing training/meetings are required?

  • Each volunteer is required to obtain 12 hours of ongoing training per year provided by SWR related specifically to sexual violence. This will be a balanced mix of monthly volunteer meetings, internet trainings through webinars and yearly refresher training.
  • 4 hours a year must be attained through monthly volunteer meeting, 4 hours a year attained through mandatory refresher training, and 4 hours a year attained through hands on at office, calls you have responded to while being on call, or other agency events.
  • SWR’s Volunteer Coordinator will maintain a list of each volunteer’s hours in each of these categories and will make sure you are aware of any criteria you have not met.
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times; violation of this policy will lead to immediate dismissal.

What happens if I can’t keep up with the requirements of the SWR Volunteer Program?

  • Stay in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator for your area, as they can assist you in making sure you have ample opportunity to meet all of the criteria. We just ask that you maintain regular contact with our office and meet the minimum requirements for being on call and ongoing training/meeting.

Internship/Practicum Requirements

  • All interns must go through the 40-hour training prior to beginning the internship – training will be offered at least twice a year in the spring and fall.
  • Be available to take on on-call shifts.
  • Follow all volunteer policies including confidentiality.
  • Be in office a minimum of 8 hours per week (Grand Rapids interns must work in the main office 5 hours and the ICC office 3 hours per week).
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times; violation of this policy will lead to immediate dismissal.
  • Take on projects in the office and be able to connect the importance of projects to practicum/internship experience.
  • Maintain communications about progress of assigned projects.

Financial Support

Because SWR receives limited funding for operational expenses, the in-kind donation of volunteer time increases our ability to serve those who have been affected by sexual violence in Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, and Itasca Counties. That means every hour you give powerfully impacts the clients and communities we serve.

Volunteer Forms

Listed below are the agency forms that current volunteers may need.