Who We Are


IAVE creates a more just and sustainable world by enabling the leaders, organizations, and environments that empower volunteers.  

An estimated 1 billion people worldwide volunteer each year to make a better life for us all. Volunteers are the world’s advocates, activists, and change-makers. We believe that volunteer leadersindividuals and organizationsare critical to valuing, supporting, and developing volunteering at national and regional levels.  

Our Global Reach

With members in over 125 countries, IAVE is the largest global network of volunteer leaders. Our member network includes volunteers, government agencies, multi-national agencies and institutions, academics, NGOs, and businesses.

Photo: Ruth Lewin, IAVE Board Chair, at the 24th IAVE World Volunteer Conference, Mexico

Our Leadership

IAVE's Board & Staff

IAVE was founded in 1970 by volunteer leaders around the world – and volunteers continue to set its strategic direction and guide the organization’s work. IAVE’s leadership team consists of the Board of Directors and the Secretariat Team. Our Board of Directors consists of 13 members from 9 countries, representing both geographic regions and specific constituent groups. Six of our thirteen Board members are from the Global South, with Ruth Lewin of South Africa serving as Board Chair. The Secretariat Team, consisting of six experienced professionals  from various regions of the world, leads the organization’s key operational strategies.

How it All Started

First established in 1970 by a group of women who were passionate about giving back to their communities through volunteering, IAVE has grown to become a globally recognized network working with thousands of volunteer leaders worldwide.