FAQ for Volunteers
What happens now that I’ve submitted my application?
After an initial meeting to get to know you, Companis staff will carefully match the talents and skills that you would like to bring to your volunteer experience with the current needs of our partner organizations. When we believe we have a placement that is a good mutual fit, we will contact you and decide together if we should move forward to introduce you to the agency. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. It all depends on what organizations need, and what volunteers want to offer, and the timing of both!
How is Companis different from a temp agency, job placement firm, or websites like VolunteerMatch?
Our first priority is placing compassionate, caring individuals in volunteer or stipend-supported, time-limited positions. Our mission is to make our community healthier, safer, and more just by fostering skilled volunteer service. We build nonprofits’ capacity -- sometimes that’s helping nonprofits get through a staff transition, and sometimes that’s a specific project like board orientation or strategic planning. We build relationships and bridge the gap so that nonprofits can succeed in delivering vital services.
Do I get to choose the agency where I’m recommended for placement? How does Companis make the match?
We will ask you what your areas of interest are -- what makes your heart sing -- and where you would most like to make a difference. We then work with the partner agency requests we have, and when we see a possible match, we’ll ask if that possible placement fits your interest before introducing you to that agency. You will never be randomly assigned to a placement, because people and relationships come first.
Could I serve as a Companis Worker from my home/remotely?
Each agency has different needs, and we customize placements for both the volunteer and the organization. Some placements can be done remotely, and some roles need an in-person presence. This is something that would be discussed before making a placement, so everyone’s needs are met.
What region does Companis serve?
Companis primarily serves the Seattle – King County area, but we are expanding our footprint throughout the greater Puget Sound region.
What does ‘Companis’ mean, and why is that your name?
From Latin: Com (with) + pan (bread) means to break bread together. Beautiful things happen when friends share a meal together. Our Worker Support Program is centered around meals together (when we are not navigating a pandemic, that is). Companis is in the business of creating service matches between volunteers with big hearts and the agencies that need them, done in the spirit of mutuality.
I work full-time. Is it possible for me to have a meaningful service commitment?
Every agency has different needs. It is possible to have a meaningful placement that will not interfere with your work schedule -- and that’s why we meet individually with every volunteer and every agency, so we can find the right match.
FAQ for Nonprofits
Is there a cost for Companis’ services?
There is no cost to an agency to work with Companis. If a placement includes a stipend, 10% will be added to the stipend and is retained by Companis to fund the Worker Support Program. This program helps our volunteers connect with one another, reflect on their personal and professional growth, and ultimately ensure they have a meaningful, positive experience that helps them complete their full placement commitment.
How long will we have a Companis Worker? What if circumstances change? Can we extend our time or end the agreement?
Companis generally asks its volunteers for a 1-year commitment that may be extended upon agreement by both parties. However, we meet individually with both parties to make sure we create the best fit, and sometimes that means a shorter placement, or a project-based role. A placement may also be terminated by either party with a two-week notice.
How soon can we expect to meet a potential volunteer?
There’s no set timeline -- the placement process is a thoughtful, personalized process. Companis’ strength is in making placements that last and will honor the talent and time of the volunteer while helping the agency fulfill its mission.
Where do you find your Companis Workers?
Companis workers are everywhere, in our neighborhoods and communities. Most often, they find their way to us through word of mouth, because our worker support program and thoughtful approach to building relationships create high-quality experiences that people want to share with others. We recently began an outreach program to more proactively create new connections, too.
Are all of your Workers retired people?
Many Companis Workers are retired, but not all. Some are students seeking experience in the nonprofit world, others are working in the for profit sector wanting to give back to their community, and others are in between jobs or staying home with their families. Companis Workers come from all walks of life!
Does Companis make placements beyond King County?
Yes. Most of our placements are in King County, but we have received many requests and applications from the greater Puget Sound region. We are currently growing into Snohomish County.
Can we have more than one Companis Worker placement at a time?

Companis makes our community healthier, safer, and more just by fostering skilled volunteer service. We match volunteer professionals and nonprofits to bridge the gap in delivering vital services in the greater Puget Sound.

The magic is in the matchmaking — but how does the matchmaking work?

Everything we do starts and ends with relationships. That means getting to know our volunteers and our nonprofit partners personally. Here’s the secret: we listen.

We listen closely. For the things that you say loudly, and the things that are a little bit quieter. The things we learn from you, about you, are how we make the right connections at the right time.

Here’s what you can expect after you click the “apply” button:

  1. Companis program staff review your application.
  2. We schedule a time to get to know you.
  3. We listen and gather important details about who you are and what you’re looking for.
  4. We connect the dots in our Companis vault of community knowledge (figurative of course, we don’t have a literal vault).
  5. We make introductions between volunteers and nonprofits that we think will be a great mutual fit.
  6. Companis facilitates the written agreement between the nonprofit partner and the volunteer, which outlines the kind of work, hours, length of time, and stipend if applicable.
  7. We provide monthly support meetings for all volunteers, and as-needed support for nonprofits, for the duration of the placement, plus ongoing professional development for both.

Of course, not everything is instantaneous.

There’s a little bit of luck and a dash of community synergy that’s always in the mix too.

Why it works – Companis supports our volunteers throughout their service

Our mission to foster skilled volunteer service begins with the matchmaking, and is delivered beyond that through personalized volunteer supports that sustain a Companis Worker during their service commitment. The Companis Worker Support program offers one-on-one and group meetings, one-day and multi-day retreats, opportunities to experience and take part in exciting cultural events, Companis Connects professional development workshops and webinars, picnics and and other gatherings that help us live into our name: “To share bread and sustenance together.” Companis events are an ‘ala carte’ menu for our placed Workers to choose from, and Workers always receive direct assistance, advocacy and check-ins from Companis staff. 

The difference this makes among our volunteers is outstanding: On an average annual basis, 96% of Companis Workers complete their placements, compared with a national volunteer average of 60 to 65% annually. Supported volunteers are fulfilled volunteers, building healthy and resilient community, and have a lot of fun along the way. That’s why so many of them continue their service year after year.