The East Tennessee Community Design Center flourishes on the commitment of its volunteers. We are continually seeking new professional volunteers willing to donate a few hours a month to make East Tennessee a better place by strengthening our communities and enriching the lives of our citizens. Time commitments are allocated based on requirements of the project and the individual volunteer’s available time.

Professional design service providers needed include architects, landscape designers, landscape architects, land use planners, developers and contractors.

From time to time we have needs for meeting facilitators and attorneys.

If you would like to volunteer with the East Tennessee Community Design Center, please read the Volunteer Selection Process below and fill out the Volunteer Interest Form at the bottom of this page.

When new projects come to the design center we will send out a Project Specific Interest Form along with project information to all interested parties.

Contact the design center at 865.525.9945 or email Duane at [email protected].



The East Tennessee Community Design Center is able to provide low/no-cost design services to non-profit and community-based organizations because of generous pro bono assistance from area design and development professionals. Without their help, we could not accomplish our mission. Professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, interior design, planning, real estate development and construction, who express their willingness to volunteer, will be notified of available projects based upon their self-defined areas of expertise. ETCDC will periodically conduct recruiting/marketing campaigns across our sixteen (16) county service area in an effort to expand our base of volunteers.

Interested professionals are asked to complete a volunteer interest form indicating their qualifications and areas of volunteer services. While not required, we gratefully encourage our volunteers to consider becoming members of ETCDC to help underwrite our work and allow us to continue serving the region. Membership information, and on-line payment options, can be found here.

In order to help move projects forward without competing with local design professionals, we produce only "conceptual presentation drawings" to be used by the client in raising public awareness and to assist in their fund raising efforts. We do not prepare design development or construction documents. In many instances, our work spurs new projects for construction and helps the client organization find funding to move from dream to reality. If funding is secured and the project proceeds, the client will contract with appropriate design professionals to complete the work. While not required, when projects become reality we encourage clients to contract with the volunteer who has helped make their dream a reality. It is understood that volunteering builds strong relationships with the client and offers the professional a door to potential contract work. ETCDC’s work would not be possible without the generous contributions of the professional design community, and we hope that the client’s dream being realized will result in privately contracted work.

Volunteer Selection Guidelines

We have a long history of volunteers serving again and again, to help achieve our mission. This loyal commitment is an honor and has been key to our success. At the same time, we are always interested in involving new volunteers, and providing them with opportunities for public service and inroads to potential new markets. As such, volunteers will not be permitted to provide services on two consecutive projects unless they are specifically requested by the client or no services on two consecutive projects unless they are specifically requested by the client or no other qualified volunteer is available during the required timeframe. With respect to disciplines offering licensure, we will give preference to licensed professionals. In some instances, however, interns or unlicensed volunteers will be best suited for the project scope, and their assistance will be welcomed.

Where two or more volunteers offer services on a specific project, the ETCDC staff will consider qualifications, ETCDC membership and frequency of participation, in order to find the best match. The selection will be reported to the ETCDC DesignWorks Committee at its next meeting and the advice of committee members will be sought if a decision is not required before that meeting date.

Selection Process

When projects arise, we check to see if the client group has an established relationship with a design professional or firm. If so, they are given the option to continue working with the client. If not, we will look for the volunteer best suited for the work. To do this, ETCDC will email a request for volunteers to all firms and individuals having expressed interest in volunteering. If two or more equally qualified volunteers offer services, the first one to reply will be selected.

If you are interested in being on our volunteer list and receiving notice of upcoming project solicitations, please complete the interest form below.

When a volunteer opportunity becomes available, you will be notified, via email, and asked to complete the “SPECIFIC PROJECT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION." A link to the form will be in that email.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

The ETCDC design philosophy has always been that the more people who are brought to the table to share and discuss their ideas the better. With this in mind, many of our projects benefit from the ETCDC hosting a Design Charrette, which is an intense period of design with input from designers and users to develop a solution to a defined problem. ETCDC invites volunteers from all design professions to attend and facilitate break out group discussions.

For Suffix, please list any professional accreditations (AIA, LA, etc)
Select the option that best describes your primary professional experience
Please let us know a little more about you! Why you wish to volunteer with us and if there are any specific types of projects (parks, schools, etc) that you are interested in, as well as any other general ways you may want to volunteer with us (such as Parking Day, Open Streets, etc).
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