Describing your Volunteer Opportunities

Introduction
We use the information you give us on the ‘Volunteer Opportunity Registration’ form to promote your roles to volunteers. Your volunteer opportunities will also be listed on www.do-it.org, the national database of available volunteering roles.

We will send volunteers who express an interest in the type of volunteering you are offering the exact details and description that you give us on your volunteer opportunity form. Volunteers will make a choice from this information whether or not to follow up your opportunity.

For this reason, it is extremely important that you take time to complete these details thoroughly and accurately. Remember that there are thousands of groups out there competing for volunteers. By creating well-written and clearly expressed opportunities you are far more likely to attract potential volunteers to your organisation.

Writing opportunities
You need to get people’s attention instantly and then prompt them to request more information about your role.

The title is the first thing people will look at – ask yourself, “Does it capture what the role involves?”

Start the opportunity description by making clear what the benefit is to the volunteer. What skills will they develop? Who will they be working with? What benefit will their volunteering bring to the organisation as a whole? How much fun will they have?

Then set out what is required, including an idea of the time commitment you would like.

Use short sentences and clear language. Avoid lists containing more than three items.

Remember that you are trying to sell the opportunity (but don’t overdo it!)

A second opinion
If possible, get someone else to read through what you have written. Ask them if it makes sense, if there are any mistakes and if they have any suggestions for improvements. If you would like our advice on your opportunity descriptions, please forward them to our VIP Development Assistant, who will be happy to advise you.

Two examples
1) Lunchtime Assistant
Volunteers are needed to help lay the table, serve lunch and wash up.

Might be better expressed as:

Lunch-club helper
Make friends over lunch. Our friendly stroke club needs volunteers to help with lunch-time duties and to socialise with members.

2) Shop assistant
Homelessness charity works to give people a chance to help themselves. We run outreach, hostel and support services. We need volunteers to help in our charity shop.

Might be better expressed as:

Retail assistant
Are you keen to start a career in retail? Our busy shop needs an enthusiastic assistant to help sort, select and sell. Profits go to our work helping homeless people to help themselves.

If you send us a volunteer opportunity that could benefit from a re-write or that does not contain sufficient information about the role, we will recommend that you make some changes. Remember that we are here to help you, so if you’d like any advice on writing volunteer opportunities, please contact us to discuss.

If you need any further information please contact us on 020 8613 7113 or send us an enquiry form.