Volunteer York Region

Organization FAQs

Organization FAQ's

Please follow these instructions to get access to all your volunteer positions and applications

  1. To login, go to http://volunteeryorkregion.ca/organization-panel/employer-registration/.  This is also available from the top menu of the site under Organizations--> Organizations Panel--> Organization Registration
  2. Create an Organization Username
  3. Create an Organization Password
  4. Fill in your Organization's Email address and Name
  5. Fill in the other details for your Organization.  Fill in the other information so that Volunteers who are searching for positions will be able to read about you in making their decision where to volunteer.
  6. Click Register
  7. Once you are registered and logged in, you will see icons for;
    • Post a Job - create a new volunteer position
    • Listings - View, Edit or Delete your current listings
    • Applications - View applications received for listings
    • Edit profile - update the information and logo displayed for your organization
    • Change Password - update your password from the default one we set up for you
    • other new features coming shortly

Of course, we're still available to help you set up your listings for optimum effectiveness and promote your opportunities.

Please email us if you have any questions or concerns at volunteeryr@civicyork.ca.

Start with the perfect title

Not too long, and not too short, the perfect title says it all!

Within a sea of opportunity listings, a good title is mandatory to grab the attention of potential volunteers. Too long and their eyes will skip right over your listing, too short and they won’t have a reason to pause. A title is just right if it offers insight about what the volunteer will be doing and for whom, without including every little thing.

  • Too long: "Make a difference in a young boy’s life through the gift of reading with a wonderful Virginia-based nonprofit that has been helping the community since 1975.
  • "Too short: "Tutor" or "Volunteers Needed"
  • Just Right: "After-school Reading Instructor for 5th Graders"

Now you have their attention

You’ve got their attention, now keep it with a great first sentence:

  • The title and first sentence of your opportunity are all a potential volunteer will see when looking through search results. So if you get someone’s attention with your title a good first sentence is critical to keeping it.
  • Craft a sentence that builds on the details in your title by providing more information about what the volunteer will be doing and who it will help.

For example: Help struggling 5th graders prepare for middle school through weekly tutoring sessions.


It's all in the details!

Topics to consider:

  • Number of people they would be working with
  • Time commitment
  • Physical demands or requirements
  • Skills, training or knowledge needed

Consider First Timers:

Be sensitive to the needs of first time volunteers. We all remember the first day of school, new situations can be daunting. If possible, assure potential volunteers that a structure is in place for them to become accustomed to your program, mission, and audience before they dive into their volunteer work and that training will be provided if applicable.


Give more information

Provide some background information about your organization:

Provide potential volunteers with a little more context by describing your organization or initiative. Take 1 - 2 sentences to talk about your organizations mission, the community it serves and how long it has been doing so. The goal is to reinforce the interest of the volunteer (which you know you have because to be reading this far it means they have clicked something, way to go!) by highlighting the legitimacy of your efforts.

Tip: Break these sections up into multiple paragraphs, each with a heading, so it’s easier for readers to skim!


Give them proof

Take a couple of lines to talk about your or your organizations impact... or better yet, the impact of your volunteers:

  • Volunteers want to know they will be helping your organization in a way that is crucial to its mission. Articulate as best you can how their efforts translate to impact (even if that impact occurs downstream). Think about including:
  • Statistics that speak to the problem your organization seeks to address (1 in 4 teens at risk of diabetes)
  • If available, quantitative information about the impact of the org (15,000 trees planted each season)
  • How their contribution can make a difference for one individual - often times this can be the most compelling detail of all.
  • Think about including quotes from past volunteers that speak to the quality of their volunteer experience

Formatting

Use all caps sparingly:

  • We’re excited about your opportunity too, BUT THERE IS NO NEED TO SHOUT in your title or descriptions. You want to give the impression that your organization is welcoming and friendly - not loud and intimidating. Only use caps when necessary and save the rest for newsletters and poster boards.

Don’t forget to spell-check:

  • Nothing is more important than looking professional to future volunteers. Spelling errors just look bad - see? Checking and rechecking your spelling is a simple way to put your organization’s best foot forward.

Success!

You’ve done it! You've inspired a potential volunteer to contact your organization!

Don’t blow all your hard work by not responding to questions in a timely manner. Make sure the contact email you provide is checked daily or have the email forward to an account you monitor closely. A quick response reinforces the notion that yours will be an organized, well supported and meaningful experience.

Source: https://createthegood.org/campaign/tipsforpostinganopportunity

Know Your Audience

Volunteers don't look like they did yesterday. In the early 20th century most volunteers were stay-at-home mothers or retired people. Therefore, the volunteer system was a great system designed for the ideal volunteer of the mid-20th century who had plenty of extra time. Yesterday's volunteer programs were designed for a different world. And it worked great—back then. How has this changed?

The culture of volunteering is changing. In the past, many volunteers provided direct service or administrative support; board members provided organizational leadership and consultants (either paid or volunteer) provided specific expertise when needed. Volunteer engagement was less focused on specific skills or training, and more on passions and availability.

Today's volunteers are commonly:

  • Highly Educated with professional backgrounds
  • Goal-Oriented with highly organized career , family, and social lives
  • Sense of Mobility/Transient in terms of residence, school, and work
  • Technologically Skilled and comfortable participating in social networks
  • Individualistic and have a strong desire for autonomy
  • Multiple Interests and Identities linked to many communities and causes
  • Busy lives (full time jobs and families) with limited free-time

When non-volunteers were asked what would make them volunteer many said they might volunteer if:

  • They could do roles that appeal to them (which is related to their willingness to volunteer);
  • They could stop any time without consequences (related to their availability);
  • It was closer to where they live (also about availability); and
  • Training was provided (related to their capability).

Make It About Them

You may already know to mention how this role will impact your mission or organization, but it’s just as compelling to include how it might benefit your volunteers, too.

Whether by improving their physical health and self-esteem or helping them learn new skills, there are plenty of benefits you’ll want to highlight as long as they’re relevant to your role.

Most applicants are looking for transformative opportunities, so your appeal should clearly illustrate the difference volunteers create. Learn how to tell the story of your volunteers’ impact, then include a brief story—or links to a few—in your volunteer opportunity.

You can also demonstrate how a challenge or issue affects a group you serve, then how volunteer work can bridge that gap. The language here should be compelling, concise, and persuasive.

 

Sources:

https://volunteer.ca/vdemo/EngagingVolunteers_DOCS/skills-based-volunteering-discussion-paper.pdf

https://blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/2018/03/02/writing-the-perfect-targeted-volunteer-opportunity/

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