Criteria for Membership

National VOAD membership is divided into National Members, State Members and Partners. National membership is subdivided into three tiers; tier one, tier two and associate membership.

Tier One Criteria:

  • Activated and or deployed to five Presidentially Declared disasters within the last three years
  • Current and actively participating members of 10 State/Territory VOADs

Tier Two Criteria:

  • Activated and or deployed to three Presidentially Declared disasters within the last three years
  • Current and actively participating members of 5 State/Territory VOADs

Associate Criteria:

  • Collaborative desire to grow and strengthen the VOAD movement
  • Provent national disaster mission and capacity
  • Have had an IRS tax-exempt status for at least two years prior to membership application

For more information, contact [email protected]

Why Should You Become A Member?

National VOAD membership is an act of cooperation that provides your organization with communication tools to collaborate with other National VOAD members on disaster relief coordination. With over 100+ members, National VOAD membership will change the way you are able to serve communities in need. If you need more information, please contact [email protected]

Benefits of Membership

Here are a few ways National VOAD can benefit your organization:

Committees/Task ForcesMembers and Partners gather around topical issues and programmatic activities to improve the delivery of services throughout the disaster cycle, and to further create a climate for cooperation. The work of the committees and task forces is supported by National VOAD staff and technology tools. 

ConferenceNational VOAD holds an annual national conference in the spring each year. This is the only time each year when emergency management volunteers and professionals come together from across the country to share best practices, new ideas and develop whole community solutions for building more resilient communities. 

Discounted fees for products and servicesNational VOAD works to leverage discounts and saving opportunities offered by many top companies for the benefits of our members. 

Federal Advocacy and Liaison RepresentationNational VOAD staff in Washington, DC work with FEMA, the DHS, Congress, and other federal agencies on issues of concern throughout the disaster cycle. 

Incident Response and Recovery CoordinationIn support of our member's work to respond to a disaster or help a community recover, National VOAD helps coordinate and facilitate communication and actions among member organizations, emergency management agencies and other organizations. 

Peer to peer networkingNational VOAD offers its members numerous opportunities to share and discuss best practices and partner on common issues.

The National VOAD Logo

In the National VOAD May/June 1979 newsletter a contest was announced to design a new logo. The guidelines for the entries were: the logo should be easily identifiable, easy to reproduce, inexpensive to print, large enough to be visible (but small enough to be worn on your clothes) and must contain the words “National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.” The grand prize was $25, and the deadline for entries was September 10, 1979. The judges for the contest were the Executive Committee at its September 18 meeting.

The January/February 1980 issue of the newsletter announced that Christian Reformed World Relief Committee was the winner of the logo contest. The winning entry was presented at the annual meeting January 28, 1980, and is still in use today.

In the spring of 2010 the logo/signature was revised to standardize it, and is currently interpreted as follows: “Uniqueness of diversity funneled into a cooperative goal.” The logo depicts a narrowing selection and channeling process as member organizations pool their resources. To maximize these resources, the organizations become one, yet distinctive within predetermined parameters. The organizations work toward a defined goal to ensure that the delivery of services and resources are done efficiently and effectively. Through a statement of purpose, these various organizations are brought together under an umbrella organization known as National VOAD.

General History

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) was founded over 40 years ago in response to the challenges many disaster organizations experienced following Hurricane Camille, a category 5 storm that hit the Gulf Coast in August, 1969. Up until that time, numerous governmental, private sector and nonprofit organizations served disaster survivors independently of one another. As a result, help came to the survivors haphazardly.

Unnecessary duplication of effort often occurred, while at the same time, other needs were not met. People who wanted to volunteer to help their neighbors affected by disaster were often frustrated by the variety of organizations competing in some areas of service or the total lack of opportunities to serve other apparent urgent needs. Further, there was only limited availability to training for potential volunteers. Access to information on services available to survivors during disasters was woefully inadequate.

In 1970, seven national disaster response organizations convened for the first time to find a way to better coordinate responses and more effectively serve disaster survivors and their communities. As an outcome, National VOAD was formed as a forum for sharing knowledge and coordinating resources — money, materials and manpower – throughout the disaster cycle: preparation, response and recovery.

Since our founding, many lessons have been learned, skills developed and best practices shared. This resulted in the establishment of a commitment to shared Values, the 4Cs — communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation — as guiding principles for how we operate and resolve conflict, as well as various Points of Consensus and other protocols for guiding the work of individual member organizations and the collective efforts of the collaborative. All National VOAD members agree to adhere to such standards of conduct and service delivery developed and approved by the membership.

Today, National VOAD is a coalition of 56 of the nation’s most reputable national organizations (faith-based, community-based and other non-profit organizations) and 56 State/Territory VOADs, which represent Local/Regional VOADs and hundreds of other member organizations throughout the country.

Recognizing that all sectors of society must work together to foster more resilient, self-reliant communities nationwide, we facilitate partnerships with federal, state and local emergency management and other governmental agencies, as well as for-profit corporations, foundations, and educational and research institutions. National VOAD Members represent a powerful force of goodwill in America. They are the leaders who do the work to make our communities stronger and more resilient. In times of need they deliver hope for a more positive future.


Benefits of Partnership

National VOAD Partners enjoy full access to the benefits, programs and membership activities of National VOAD Members. This includes:

  • Participation on committees and task forces
  • Access to training events and materials
  • Inclusion in pertinent planning discussions with government agencies.
  • Positive national recognition and exposure in the disaster community

Within these venues, Partners have the opportunity to impact the development of policies, standards and program related procedures connected with disaster response and recovery.

To discuss partnership opportunities, please send your inquiry to [email protected]