Did you know... 
In  Arkansas , body piercings, pet grooming, and gutter cleaning are all subject to a 6% sales tax? Weird!  ( source )


I write this note in all sincerity, and do hope you will consider reading it. With our new platforms, which are truly intended to improve the volunteer experience, we knew we were going to hit some bumps, but the great news is that this email contains excellent tips for troubleshooting problems and guidance for signing up. We extend our sincere apologies for any inconveniences and thank you for your patience and dedication. I encourage you to read the tips below to troubleshoot any problems, and if you still need help- let me know!

The countdown continues (rapidly)!  SITES OPEN IN 2 WEEKS! Our clients need you now more than ever, so please make sure you have signed up for training and completed your prerequisites. 

We can only serve as many clients as we have volunteers for, so w e always need more volunteers to staff our sites- both on Saturdays and weekdays. Unfortunately, this meansmost days we have to turn clients away. Help us avoid this! 

Sign up for training today to ensure that our sites are staffed and ready to go when we launch! ( Select site "training"- we have a few trainings coming up in Naperville and Buffalo Grove, and lots of available sessions at the Willis Tower)

Sign up for Tax Sessions through the end of the season! 

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at


Anna Phelan
Volunteer Program Manager

And there are only 2 Saturdays before sites open. Make sure you sign up asap. 

"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." 

We have added a daytime Basic Training on January 15- what better way to spend your day of service than preparing for a season of service! 

Keep these words in mind as you start scheduling volunteer sessions!

- Returning Volunteers: If you volunteered in 2016 or 2017 you will still need to register a new account. The system should recognize and ask you to verify your e-mail address. 

- If you have a Private Bank or CIBC e-mail address, email volunteers@goladderup.org to update your profile. 

To find training sessions, use the "Site" feature and look for "training". When you find the level and location you would like, scroll down and click "Work a Shift." This will display the available dates.

- Looking for a  training at your company? If you haven't heard about an on-site training at your company, feel free to reach out and find out if there is one scheduled.  

- You will be required to apply for global credentials upon registration which include the Volunteer Agreement, Photo Release, and the IRS/Ladder Up Prerequisites. 

- Once you apply for the credential you will be directed to our e-learning and certification center to begin your prerequisite course. These are required for all volunteers. Please complete your prerequisite course prior to training. You may not volunteer until this is complete. 

After your first visit, you will likely need to reset your password to the E-Learning and Certification Center.  A note about your password: We hav e a new E-Learning Center powered by thinkific. This is a separate platform from our Volunteer Portal, but they do speak. When you apply for the Prerequisite Credential through the Volunteer Portal, it will create an account and enroll you in the thinkific course. For security reasons, you may need to reset your thinkific password for subsequent visits. While thinkific obtains your information from the Volunteer Portal, it does not ever know your Portal password. 

- Please note that you must pass the Volunteer Standards
of Conduct and Intake, Interview, & Quality Review quizzes  with  at  least 80%. If you fail you will have to contact the volunteer manager for a retest- so please complete the tests carefully.

Check out some of our supplemental training resources and stay tuned as we continue to add more!

Tax 101 : New to taxes? Check out this awesome, nationally recognized, tax video written and produced by Ladder Up!

Intake, Interview, and Quality Review Take a second look! This was part of the prerequisites, but has  GREAT information for  all  volunteers.

Quality Review Training:  Not just for Quality Reviewers! This is a great overview of the process that familiarizes volunteers with the interview process, paperwork procedures, and how to talk to clients! Plus, it includes this delightful little video! 

Money Coach Training: Interested in helping clients save even more money at the sites? Take a look at our Money Coach Training. Sign up as a Money Coach, or better yet, sign up as a QR or TP with Money Coach powers!

That's right- we are holding our second annual, month-long Tax-A-Thon! What does that mean?
February is our busiest month, and we need loads of help!  For every tax return completed on Saturdays during the month of February, $1 will be donated to Ladder Up Sign up today for volunteer sessions today  to make sure we can serve as many clients as possible and to maximize the offer from these donors. And if that's not enough incentive, there wils also be PRIZES!!!!

You can also raise funds through tax-a-thon!  It's too cold in Chicago to run a marathon in February, but you can reach out to friends and family and ask them to make a pledge for every volunteer session you attend in February, just like you would for a walk-a-thon.

We are hosting a daylong event on Saturday, February 3 at Olive Harvey College from 8:00 - 5:00 to kick off Tax-A-Thon. We'll have prizes for clients, a Taxpayer Advocate clinic, lots of food and drink, a kids table, and so much more! We're even inviting local media and some VIPs to stop by. If you are interested in volunteering for Tax-A-Thon, e-mail volunteers@goladderup.org

We are looking for a seasonal, bilingual office assistant to help us through tax season. 

We are also looking for seasonal quality reviewers to help us staff some of our weekday sites. We will train in the QR process.

If you know someone who might fill either of these roles, let us know!
Become a Ladder Up Brand Ambassador. We're
trying to get hip with the program. Help us get there! Like, share, and comment on our posts. Share pictures of  you and your  friends   volunteering.
Tell us your  favorite Ladder Up story. We want to make taxes cool again- and let's be honest- we need your help!
If you'd like to be featured in a Volunteer of the Week post during the 2018 tax season, fill out this handy dandy form!