What is the Best Buddies mission?
Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
What are the Best Buddies programs?
Best Buddies Citizens
Best Buddies Colleges
Best Buddies Colleges pairs people with IDD in one-to-one friendships with college students. In the past, individuals with IDD have not had the opportunity to have friends outside of their own environment. By becoming a College Buddy, volunteers offer a Buddy the chance to explore a new way of life. College chapters have grown from one single chapter at Georgetown to active chapters on more than 425 campuses worldwide.
Best Buddies High Schools
Best Buddies Jobs
Best Buddies Middle Schools
Best Buddies Ambassadors
Best Buddies Promoters
Why is Best Buddies important?
People with IDD are often excluded from society because of their disability. Best Buddies seeks to change society's perception of people with IDD by establishing meaningful friendships which, in turn, help people with IDD navigate through life with more confidence and ease.
Who funds Best Buddies?
Best Buddies raises funds through a diverse development effort that includes individual donors, the sale of art and merchandise, special events, government grants, and foundation funding. In the United States, the organization's 2014 cash budget is just over $26 million; globally, it approximates $39 million. If Best Buddies had to pay its volunteers, operating costs would be closer to $200 million.
How did Best Buddies start?
Best Buddies was founded by Anthony K. Shriver in 1987 while he was a student at Georgetown University. In 1989, Best Buddies was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and expanded to 33 college chapters. Best Buddies of America formally changed to Best Buddies International with the opening of chapters in Greece in 1992.
Where is Best Buddies going in the United States?
Best Buddies has grown tremendously in its short existence. However, most of the country still lacks programs to help people with IDD become a part of mainstream society. We would like to bring Best Buddies to all the areas where there is a need; there are approximately 7 million people with intellectual disabilities in the United States. We have a long way to go, but with the help of volunteers dedicated to our mission, we will continue to grow. If you would like to help us raise the funds necessary to open a Best Buddies office in your state, please sign our guest book.
Is Best Buddies expanding internationally?
We always welcome interest from community leaders who are interested in helping us bring Best Buddies to their regions of the world. For more information on Best Buddies' international programs, please contact the International Programs department at
How can I volunteer?
If you are a middle school, high school, or college student, contact the nearest Best Buddies office to find out if there is a Best Buddies chapter at your school and how to join it. Your nearest Best Buddies office can also help if there is not a chapter at your school and you wish to start one. If you would like to volunteer as a Citizen Buddy, and you live in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts or Nevada, please contact the appropriate offices to request a Citizens application. Otherwise, please contact
How can I volunteer without being matched in a friendship?
High school and college chapters generally have a handful of volunteers who are not matched in friendships but assist the chapter. This is at the discretion of the student leader. Otherwise, contact the office nearest you and ask how you can help. We have plenty of opportunities for you to use your talents -- special events, mailings, group outings, etc., -- and we are always looking for volunteers. You can also click here to find out how You Can Help.
I have IDD. How can I be a Buddy?
If you are a person with IDD, and you would like to be matched in a one-to-one friendship, please contact the office nearest you. We also invite you to join e-Buddies, our e-mail friendship program, by completing and submitting the online application at http://www.ebuddies.org/.
How can I purchase a Best Buddies shirt?
You can place your merchandise orders in the following ways:
Can I return my Best Buddies shirt I bought for a refund?