We publish hundreds of local job adverts every year, and many of them are for volunteering in Bristol, so how do you make sure your volunteer vacancy stands out from the rest?
The ‘Details of Role’ section is where you get to describe what this volunteer role is about, and the kind of skills, experience and interests you need volunteers to have.
You should also include the kind of skills or experience they will develop from volunteering, because they are being asked to give up their time and work for free, either for a one-off event or a regular volunteering commitment. If you’re not sure what the benefits should be here, talk to your existing volunteers and ask what they get out of volunteering.
Introducing the role
Example: As our fundraising volunteer, you will help [organisation] raise the money it needs to continue supporting [whoever benefits from your work – your service users]. We rely on donations and grants to survive, and this year we need £100,000 to keep our services going.
The money we raise is spent on a range of equipment, activities and projects, such as [add examples]. We work across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and your fundraising can help us reach more people.
Volunteers are a huge part of our organisation; we really value their support, whether they’re able to commit to a few months or something longer term – our longest serving volunteer, Sunita, has been with us for nine years.
· Don’t assume the reader knows anything about your organisation or community group. Give a short summary of what you do, who you help, and the kind of activities or services involved.
· What makes you different, or what has your group achieved? Potential volunteers will probably look at lots of other opportunities, not just yours.
· Show how volunteering fits into the bigger picture of your organisation.
What you’re looking for in a volunteer
Example: We’re looking for volunteers who are enthusiastic, good with numbers, and happy to work in an office environment and sometimes in public spaces. You don’t need experience of fundraising for this role. You will mainly be based in our head office, with some tasks in the community, such as supporting our events.
Your tasks will include helping to update our database, sending fundraising packs, and fundraising for specific campaigns that we run throughout the year. We also do regular charity collections in the local area, when COVID-safe, such as in supermarket entrances (these are pre-arranged with the supermarkets).
· You don’t have to list every single task, but give an idea of what is involved and where the work is based, so people can decide if they would find the volunteer role interesting and a realistic possibility for them. Remember that volunteers should not be replacing paid staff, so the work should be reasonable for someone to do unpaid and in their own time.
· Think about the skills or qualities this role needs. Does it involve working with customers or service users and talking to lots of people, or is it a quieter role, such as working in a warehouse or stock room, where you will only interact with a couple of other volunteers? Is
it mainly home-based or online? Many people want to volunteer to boost their social life, so they will be looking for a more interactive vacancy.
· Should volunteers have any particular experience to do this role, or will you accept beginners who will be trained on the job? If they need basic skills or something more advanced, let them know now. The same goes for DBS checks for roles with vulnerable people – if volunteers need a DBS check, now is the time to say, and be clear that you will pay the cost.
What volunteers get from your organisation
Example: In return, you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience of fundraising for a local charity/community group, which can look great on your CV. You’ll be able to show how you have supported our marketing campaigns, interacted with the public, and helped raise awareness as well as funds, making a real difference to people’s lives.
Our head office has free tea, coffee and snacks for staff and volunteers, and we always provide travel expenses for our volunteer team.
We are happy to provide references for future jobs, once you have volunteered with us for six months. Volunteers also get an invitation to our annual party and monthly social events (COVID permitting, these are face-to-face).
· Volunteering is a two-way process, and you need to offer something to the people who help you. Explain the benefits to them, and not just the satisfaction of saying they have volunteered.
· Benefits don’t have to be unique to your organisation or group. They will probably be professional, social, or based on developing hobbies and interests.
· Look at any volunteering case studies or interviews you’ve done in the past, as these can give you some inspiration.
· In terms of location, be clear if people need to travel to different far-flung places for this role, or if they need their own transport, as this is a big consideration for volunteers. You might also want to point out whether they can get to you easily on local buses or trains, and if there are any accessibility issues with this role, such as a building with stairs and no lift, or if there is no parking available on-site. Think about whether this role could be done remotely for those who are interested in the work but have accessibility requirements or home commitments.
· When you’re listing the number of hours needed for this role, tell the reader whether the number of hours or days is a weekly or monthly figure, and for specific days of the week or flexible days, as this will help people decide if the vacancy is suitable for them.
· Do you want to change an existing volunteer advert on the Voscur website? You can go back into your job advert when you’re logged in. If you click through to the webpage for your job advert, there should be an ‘edit’ option on a small menu near the top of the page. If it doesn’t come up, then do get in touch with our Admin team at email@example.com and they will be able to help with any tech issues when trying to edit.
Remember it’s always free to advertise volunteer roles on the Voscur website. When you’re ready with your listing, click here to advertise.