What is VOAD?

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an organizational concept, created in 1970 to leverage the resources and capabilities of disaster response and recovery organizations through national, state, regional, and local collaboration. The Virginia VOAD is the Commonwealth’s counterpart of and a member in good standing of National VOAD.     


What is the mission of the Virginia VOAD?

The Virginia VOAD serves to support a coalition of voluntary organizations dedicated to providing humanitarian services while working in conjunction with federal, state, and local disaster response professionals to enhance disaster mitigation,  preparedness, response, and recovery services to the citizens of the Commonwealth.  


Our goal is to leverage the volunteer assets of our members to provide efficient, streamlined services to those affected by disaster throughout the Commonwealth.  Our guiding principles are:


Cooperation: National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster By creating a climate of trust and teamwork among our members and by providing channels for sharing plans and information.

Communication: By providing an environment of information sharing between our member organizations to foster effective and efficient dissemination of information.

Coordination: A commitment to work together, to plan, and prepare to deliver needed services in a coordinated fashion and thus ensure that organizations function within their specialty, resulting in higher productivity, resource sharing, cost efficiency, and avoiding duplication of services

Collaboration: Partnering to assist governments with relief, provide resources, and management of resources to meet unmet needs.


What is expected of Virginia VOAD members?

VOAD members and partner organizations agree to participate in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities within the Commonwealth to the best of their capability

  • Provide services without discrimination
  • Maintain current contact information for the notification and activation of their personnel and resource
  • Develop an internal response plan that describes its activities when called upon.
  • Actively engaged in the Virginia VOAD by: 
    • providing representation at the VA VOAD semi-annual meetings
    • serving on standing and ad-hoc committee
    • sharing training and best practices opportunities with members
    • providing annual organizational and resource matrix updates
  • Adherences to the mission and ethics of National VOAD



All Members of the Virginia VOAD have equal voice in, and access to, all programs and activities of the Virginia VOAD.  The Virginia VOAD is not intended to be a competing agency.  Each member organization maintains its own identity and independence, yet works closely with other member organizations and the Virginia VOAD.


Membership Categories & Criteria

The Virginia VOAD has adopted the National VOAD model for membership:


Voting Member

  • Organizations with voluntary membership and constituencies
  • Organizations that have a not-for-profit structure designated under IRS Code as a 501 (c)3 corporation, or those that could reasonably expect to meet such qualifications
  • Organizations that have a demonstrated disaster services program and policy for commitment of resources to meet the needs of people affected by disaster
  • Organizations that have the resources and capability to provide services statewide


  • Community Partners:  nonprofit organizations with disaster planning and/or operations; that do not meet all of the criteria for voting membership
  • Government Partners:  Government agencies that bring resources to the VOAD movement and demonstrate a commitment to support the VOAD mission and its members
  • Corporations, Foundations, Academic Institutions, Association Partners:   Entities that have a demonstrated commitment to support the VOAD members and mission, and/or have initiatives or programs that support those affected by disasters