About IAVE

It all began in 1970
when IAVE was born with the vision that volunteers from throughout the world could come together to share their experiences, learn from one another, and build bridges across cultural, political, and linguistic barriers.

The early meetings were known as the “LIVE conferences,” shorthand for “Learn through International Volunteer Effort.”

Over half a century later IAVE carries forward the original aspiration of its founders through its current mission, focused on creating a more just and sustainable world by enabling the leaders, organizations, and environments that empower volunteers. At IAVE, we know that when people get involved in their communities, things change for the better. The estimated 1 billion people worldwide who volunteer each year create a collective expression of civic engagement that builds community cohesion and resilience that is fundamental to making a better life for us all.

We believe that volunteer leaders, be they individuals or organizations, are critical to supporting, valuing, and developing volunteering at the national and regional levels. They are the convenors of myriad local organizations in the communities they serve, harnessing the power for collective action, and promoting the role of volunteering at the local and societal level. These leaders – and volunteers in general – are the world’s advocates, activists, and change-makers. Our renewed mission centres on ensuring that volunteers are safe and supported in their work and allowed to become recognized as legitimate and important actors in achieving a just and sustainable world.

IAVE website