Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative relies on its volunteers to keep the organization thriving and to extend our community. Volunteers participate in all aspects of managing and operating the store and receive a 20 percent discount on all purchases!

If you see a role you’re interested in (or have one in mind that isn’t listed), please email us at contact@rainbowbookstore.coop.


  • Outreach

    We’re looking for people interested in helping with community outreach, increasing book sales, developing the organization’s presence in the community, and spreading the word about all the important work being done at Rainbow.

  • Online Presence

    We’re looking for volunteers to help maintain our website and maintain our presence on social media. This kind of work is perfect for people who want to contribute but aren’t able to physically at the store.


  • Cashier/Store Operations

    The basic foundation of Rainbow is having volunteers run the shop. We need people to run the register, help customers, assist Street Pulse vendors, answer phones, and assist with the general upkeep of the store. We have a volunteer schedule if you can commit to a regular shift, but we also welcome short-term, temporary, and sporadic volunteers.

  • Events Staffing

    Rainbow tries to keep a community presence by tabling for visiting scholars and activists, at conferences, and at other community events. Volunteers can help to identify upcoming events that Rainbow could sell books for and/or table at the event to sell books and share information about what Rainbow does.

  • University Bookrush Help (Seasonal)

    A large part of our business is selling books at the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters to university students. We need help staffing the store during this two-week rush to help students find the books for their classes quickly and operate the registers. We’ll announce a call for volunteers around sale season, but please be sure to contact us if you’re interested and able to help.

  • Books to Prisoners

    Rainbow houses two Books to Prisoners projects, LGBT Books to Prisoners and Wisconsin Books to Prisoners, which are always in need of volunteers to respond to prisoners, verify contact information, match requests, package books, organize book and fund drives, and otherwise keep the projects running smoothly.

  • Madison InfoShop

    The InfoShop is a volunteer-run collective dedicated to serving the Greater Madison/Southwest Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin communities; they’ve maintained a small kiosk at Rainbow for the past few years and are currently in the process to moving the entire project to Rainbow. The Infoshop offers a range of resources including a lending library, community organizing and activist resources/tools, and an activist calendar, and is always in need of volunteers to maintain the space, work on cataloging/archiving, and otherwise keep things running.

Volunteer Application