It takes 30 minutes to complete a tax return and change a life. Join CEP and make a difference in your community.

Positions

CEP volunteers make a difference by helping Illinois families move toward financial security. Whether you want to work directly with clients or behind the scenes, there is a place for you!  

We are currently accepting applications for Tax Representatives and Office Volunteers. Registration for Tax Preparers and Tax Site Assistants will open in October 2014.

Tax Preparer

Work one-on-one with tax site clients, preparing federal and state income tax returns and providing basic counseling on tax law and credits. 

Time Commitment 
Volunteers are asked to volunteer a total of 30 hours or more from January to April after completing training. Scheduling is flexible; sites generally operate on weekday evenings and Saturdays.

Training 
Training is mix of online and classroom learning.  Online training is available in November, and classroom training takes place in January.

Required Skills 
No tax experience is necessary. Basic computer proficiency is helpful. 

Next Steps 
We are no longer accepting Tax Preparers for the 2014 tax season.  Registration for the 2015 tax season will open in October.  Contact volunteer@economicprogress.org to add your name to the contact list.

Tax Site Assistant

Aid in the overall flow of tax sites by helping with administrative activities, including client intake and outtake, copying and filing documents and child care. Site managers determine volunteer roles depending on the needs at each site.

Time Commitment 
Volunteers are asked to volunteer a total of 30 hours or more from January to April after completing training. Scheduling is flexible; sites generally operate on weekday evenings and Saturdays.

Training 
Training is a mix of online and classroom learning.  Online training is available in November, and the classroom training is available in January.  View available training and sign up by registering to volunteer.

Required Skills 
No prior experience is necessary.

Next Steps 
We are no longer accepting Tax Site Assistants for the 2014 tax season.  Registration for the 2015 tax season will open in October.  Contact volunteer@economicprogress.org to add your name to the contact list.

Financial Coach

Become a financial coach.

What is the Progress Program?
The Progress Program is a high-impact, evidence-based eight week financial development course that combines financial education, financial coaching, financial behavior modification, and peer learning to empower clients to accomplish specific financial goals meant to help them move from financial uncertainty to financial security. Clients are people living within the metropolitan Chicago area, between the ages of 21 and 65, employed in at least a part-time job, and having an income below $27,500 for individuals and $55,000 for families.

As a Financial Coach, you will help a client identify their short and long term financial goals, identify obstacles to financial goals and strategies to remove them, identify a full employment skill set that will help a client increase his or her income, understand techniques to maximize his or her earning potential, understand his or her tax situation and create a savings plan for his or her 2015 tax refund.

What skills do I need?
We are looking for volunteers who demonstrate empathy, an understanding of the financial challenges facing low-income adults, and a willingness to learn how to coach people on goals relate to savings, earnings and budgeting.

Do volunteers receive training?
Volunteer coaches are trained in both personal finance and coaching based on motivational interviewing, and work with a client for seven weeks. Training and on-site volunteering will take place at CEP Headquarters, 567 W Lake St, Chicago.

Saturday, September 27, 2014
  One 5-hour Coach Training session on personal finance
Saturday, October 4, 2014
  One 5-hour Coach Training on coaching based on  motivational interviewing 

After I complete training, what is the volunteer time commitment?
In addition to 10 hours of training, volunteers will give 17 additional hours of service and must available on the following dates.

Tuesday evenings, October 7 & 21, November 4 and 18, 2014:   Dinner starts at 6pm, Learning Session from 6:30-9pm
  Four 2.5-hour week-day evening client & coach Joint Learning sessions (these include Dinner,   Financial Education, One-on-One Coaching, and  Peer Learning Facilitation)
Between Joint Learning sessions
  Three 1-hour One-on-One Coaching sessions held at CEP or off-site, at a location and time agreed
  upon by the client and their coach 
Tuesday evenings, October 14 & 28, November 11, 2014
  Three Process sessions with CEP staff (volunteers discuss their progress with their
  clients and receive feedback)
Friday evening, November 21
  1 hour completion party. 

There will be two Progress Program cohorts annually.  Pending positive performance, Coaches are encouraged to continue their participation in future cohorts.

How do I apply?
Capacity has been reached and the application is now closed. If you would like to submit your name to be notified when the application opens again, please email Volunteer Engagement.

Office Volunteer

Support CEP’s mission behind the scenes. Projects are available on an as-needed basis and may include data entry, mailings, research and more.

Time Commitment 
Time commitment is flexible and may be as little as 2-3 hours one time; we ask that volunteers complete projects to which they have committed. Telecommuting may be available for volunteers outside the Chicagoland area for certain projects.

Training 
On-the-job training and special sessions are provided as needed.

Required Skills 
No prior experience is necessary.

Next Steps 
Please note that office volunteers must register with an email address to receive any communications from CEP. Sign up as an office volunteer using our online registration system; you will receive our monthly email newsletter, where we share current opportunities. 

Tax Representative

Represent low-income clients on federal and state income tax issues.

Time Commitment 
Time commitment is flexible, and telecommuting is available. Volunteers may complete cases from their home or office and can take on cases according to their availability.

Training 
On-the-job training and special sessions are provided as needed.

Required Skills 
CPAs, attorneys and Enrolled Agents are eligible to take cases.  At most times, experience with tax representation is a requirement.  We are able to provide training and select times of the year.

Next Steps 
Tax Representatives can submit this form to jzhao@economicprogress.org at any time.  If approved, we will keep you on our contact list to receive cases.  When we have an eligible case, we will offer it to volunteers with a matching skill set.


Questions? Contact the Volunteer Engagement department via email or at (312) 630-0288.