We hope you and your loved ones have stayed happy and healthy these past several months.
During these uncertain times, and for the safety of everyone, it is with great sadness that we announce that there will be no in-studio pledge productions for the upcoming August and December 2020 pledge drives at WTTW. Please feel free to reach out to our email: [email protected] regarding any questions you may have. The Pledge team will provide announcements here on our webpage as they develop regarding our future pledge drives.
Thank you for your commitment to WTTW. We hope to see you soon!
Future Pledge Drives:
- August Drive: August 15 - 23, 2020
- December Drive: November 28 - December 6, 2020
Age: All volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. If you are a high school student or would like to bring a school group to volunteer, please consult our FAQs for additional information.
5400 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625
View Driving Directions
Free Parking available
How do I sign up?
All volunteer opportunities are posted on this page and emailed to all volunteers in our database as soon as dates and times are finalized. Just select as many as three dates in order of preference and send us an e-mail at to reserve your spot(s)! All shifts are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
What exactly does a pledge volunteer do?
The majority of a pledge volunteer’s time is spent answering telephone calls from viewers and prospective donors. While taking these calls, volunteers enter callers’ information (name, address, phone number, thank-you gift items, method of payment, etc.) via laptop computer. Basic typing skills and a comfort and familiarity with computers are required of all volunteers. Thorough training is provided so all volunteers are comfortable and confident using our software, laptops, phones, and headsets.
What can we expect during a pledge shift?
Each shift begins at our front reception desk where you’re greeted by a Coordinator and asked to sign in. Next comes a meal graciously donated by a local restaurant or caterer. We typically allot 30 minutes to eat. After mealtime, our pledge supervisor escorts volunteers to the studio to begin training. This training session typically lasts 45-60 minutes -- plenty of time to learn how to take pledges properly and comfortably. Our pledge supervisor and assistant(s) are available throughout the shift to answer any questions that may arise. We are also often able to offer snacks and dessert for all volunteers.
When does WTTW conduct their pledge drives?
WTTW hosts its quarterly pledge drives in March, June, August and December. Live pledge shifts are offered weeknights, as well during weekend afternoons and evenings.
When is the volunteer schedule updated?
Our pledge schedule is updated with specific dates approximately six weeks prior to each drive.
What does “non-live” or “not-live” or “(NL)” mean?
When you see “Non-Live” or “Not-Live” on the volunteer schedule, this indicates that we are in need of volunteers to answer calls, but we will likely not be live on camera in our studios while taking viewers’ calls. This strategy helps us maximize our fundraising efforts and keep operational costs to a minimum. This has proven to be very effective, and groups that have the most fun are oftentimes those who join us for non-live shifts! Plus, this is also a perfect opportunity for volunteers who may be intimidated by live television or camera shy, but still want to volunteer their time at WTTW. We will make special effort to offer studio tours to volunteers who are able to join us for a non-live shift.
After selecting shifts, when do I receive a confirmation?
WTTW receives many requests to volunteer from individuals and groups alike. We schedule on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on group size and production needs. We make every effort to update our posted schedule and assign shifts that are most appropriate for each request. Confirmations and follow-up emails are typically sent 1-3 Days following your application. If you have not heard back on the requested shift, it means that there are no longer available slots.
Do we need to arrive early for training?
There is no need to arrive any earlier than your assigned arrival time, as indicated in your confirmation email. Your scheduled shift includes time to eat and be trained.
Where are the WTTW Studios?
5400 N. St. Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
Is there parking?
Free parking is available in the WTTW parking lot.
What is the minimum age for volunteering?
All participants must be at least 16 years of age. Organizations that have youth members must supply one chaperone for every ten teenagers. Young individuals may volunteer, but should be accompanied by a parent or guardian, especially for evening shifts, per local curfew laws.
If my organization is volunteering, how many people can we bring and will we be recognized?
WTTW’s Pledge Studio holds a maximum of 25 volunteers. Groups can be as small as 5 and as large as 25. We ask group coordinators to guarantee a minimum of 10 people per group, as groups of 10 or more receive our on-air thanks during each pledge program! Your group name will be read verbally on the air, and your group name/logo will appear on screen. Your group can also wear matching shirts with a logo or text, but no white apparel is allowed. Unfortunately, volunteers cannot wear caps or variations of hats, and we cannot display company or group banners on the set.
Can high school groups volunteer?
High school group participation is welcomed! All students must be 16 years of age or older, and school groups must supply at least one chaperone for every ten students. Recent groups have included National Honor Societies, cultural clubs, and broadcasting, journalism, and history classes. We are also happy to sign off on service learning hours for students who volunteer with us.
Is there a dress code?
Business casual dress is preferred, though jeans are permitted. Volunteers dressed too casually or sloppily will be asked to change, so please err on the side of caution and dress professionally, as you will be the face of WTTW when you volunteer here! Shirts and tops with company or group logos are acceptable in all colors except white. Please avoid wearing anything bearing endorsement for a controversial issue or political candidate.
Can we tour the studios?
WTTW will make every effort to offer studio tours during pledge shifts. Tours may be offered between live pledge breaks, but if a pledge shift is extremely busy, tours may not be possible.
Are there other volunteer opportunities available?
At this time, we are only able to offer volunteer opportunities during our pledge drives. However, when special events require volunteers, notification is sent out via our volunteer database. Be sure to sign up to receive email updates on getting involved at YOUR public television station, WTTW Channel 11!