How to Help
If you're reading this, you probably like our organization and what we do. You're also probably curious about how you can get involved. Well there's some good news and bad news on that front and since we're honest, we're going to present both the good news and the bad news before you even get on the road to volunteering.

The Good News is that yes, we do want you to help. We need you to help, in fact. Our organization is the definition of grass roots. We're not some big corporation, we didn't start this site with the idea of becoming what we became... we only became the best anti-predator organization online because people signed up and said "Hey, I want to make a difference." So yes, we want you to help. We have room for you to help.

Each high-ranking member of the website worked their way up. Co-administrator Del Harvey that most of you have seen on the Dateline shows started off on our forums just like you would, and worked her way up. Co-administrator Dennis Kerr did the same thing... the contributors who post convictions on the main page, again, private citizens just like you from around the country that heard about the website, signed up, and worked their way up.

You can do the same. We have no cap on the amount of trained volunteers we can have. None. That's good news if you want to spend your time volunteering with us.

The Bad News for those of you who don't want to work their way up is that... well, you have to work your way up. Sure, you may have a great resume and you might be a wonderful person, but words on paper don't show that to us. Each member of our website has put in work, usually between six months to a year prior to even being considered to be entered into our training program. The training program can stretch from six months to... well, years, for some volunteers. This is bad news for those of you who think you can just waltz in and be trained. We're picky. We have to be.

Each day, our evidence can't be just "good enough", it has to be perfect. We work with law enforcement and media in a way that can't allow for mindless mistakes. We have a system that one has to learn. It might "look" easy to run into a chat-room and have a predator hit on you... and that is easy, actually. But what is far harder is establishing a reputation for quality evidence, evidence that cannot be beaten in a court of law. We have our own in-house created technology that allows us to bring the best evidence and procedures to the table when we work with law enforcement.

How to register for our volunteer center

First, your going to need to register a forum account. Never registered for a forum before? Don't worry, it's not hard. Just make sure to use a forum handle that you don't use anywhere else. Remember, we're putting people in jail for soliciting sex from children, that can sometimes lead to threats against you. Protect yourself by creating a new handle that you haven't used anywhere else. Otherwise, the process of signing up for the forums shouldn't take that long, it's pretty easy. Write down your username and password, the forums will NOT retrieve them for you.

Our forum volunteer center is likely unlike any other forum you may have seen in your life. It is very large, so we try to have an intake process that makes sense. After you register your forum account, you're going to want to visit the First Stop area. The "First Stop" is for you new registered users, there's a litany of important threads to read in there that will go even further in-depth to get you acclimated to the volunteer center experience. After you've read some threads in there, go to a non-important thread and post your "first reply." Once you've done this, your account will then be activated to view the rest of our volunteer center at either the :00, :15, :30, or :45 minute mark. If you get confused over this step, hit up a Forum Buddy and they will try to help you out.

Once you've registered an account and posted a reply in the "First Stop" area, you'll be able to start digging in. One rule we always have is that we let new volunteers find their OWN way. We don't dictate what you should do or volunteer for, we want people to find their own niche. In fact, most volunteer positions that are currently available weren't created by us... they were created by new volunteers thinking of new ways to help out the organization and the goals we work toward each day. The Postions for New Volunteers forum has a listing of all support positions we can use help on. Some of them have restrictions, so read them closely. The list of positions is not all-inclusive, exploring the volunteer center will reveal other areas that you can sign up for or jump straight into volunteering for. While most volunteers want to eventually become a trained chat contributor for the website, the support positions are essential to allowing us to operate effectively. In fact, some volunteers find that their true niche isn't in working chat rooms, but in doing the other volunteer positions we have available.

How to become a "Contributor"

Still, most volunteers want to become contributors. The Good News is that we want you to enter our training program and become one! We want you to succeed, but the Bad News is that you're going to have to put the time in on our volunteer center. It doesn't mean that you have to spend all your time working entry-level volunteer positions, but it does mean that you have to become a part of the community. How do you become part of the community? By visiting, posting and interacting on a good regular schedule. We don't demand people log-in daily, but keeping abreast of organizational happenings and keeping integrated is very important.

Once you have been a member for four months and have at least 200 posts, we ask our volunteers to make sure they send in a Junior Contributor Application to make sure they're being noticed and discussed for possible inclusion into the training program. The application makes sure that each volunteer who is interested is considered. There's thousands of volunteers, so it's important that you make yourself noticed by sending in the application once you qualify.

Remember though, while being a chat contributor is the most "known" position on the website to the general public, there are many other volunteer positions that are just as important. Let yourself find your niche and then decide what you want to do long-term as a volunteer for our organization.

Other ways to support

There are a few other ways to support if you just don't have the time, determination or drive to work volunteer positions with the organization.

- Be active on the forums in other ways
It's a volunteer center, but the area also stores our areas for feedback, some social forums and a general discussion forum where the organization is the focus of talk. Each conviction that goes up has their own "reaction" thread and a "conviction" thread, dropping some words of support or reacting to the files is always appreciated. There are social forums as well, which allow volunteers to take a nice break. Lastly, for those of you who are survivors of sexual abuse, there's a protected and private "Survivor's Discussion Center" for you to apply to.

- Donate your dime if you have no time
Currently we're not accepting donations while we complete the process to become a non-profit, but once we establish ourselves as a non-profit organization we will be opening donations back up. If you don't have time to help out and are too busy, feel free to donate your dime. Our ability to expand and grow is helped by having the necessary funds to keep our organization afloat. Your donation would be appreciated.

- Spread the word
Hey, let your friends and family know about what we do. If you have internet friends, especially parents, point them to the website in order to further educate themselves about the danger to their kids. Spread the word regarding the show "To Catch a Predator" and the showtimes to those you know. Most of all, make sure people know of the problem of internet predators and that there is a way to fight back both against predators and companies we investigate and find to be corporate sex offenders. Your help in keeping the word out there will ensure that we continue to grow and be able to flexibly fight this problem for years to come.

Further Reading

If you have questions about the organization and what we do, please peruse our Frequently Asked Questions page, it should cover almost anything you could be wondering about. For updates on what we've done and are doing, be sure to read the main page of the website from time to time which will have all the important announcements regarding our work. If you're law enforcement or media, please visit the Police Information page or the Media Information page. If you're interested in learning more about our show with Dateline NBC called "To Catch a Predator" visit the official TCAP page on Lastly to contact us, please visit the contact us page.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you in our Volunteer Center soon!