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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.
You’ve got their attention, now keep it with a great first sentence:
For example: Help struggling 5th graders prepare for middle school through weekly tutoring sessions.
Topics to consider:
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.
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!
Take a couple of lines to talk about your or your organizations impact... or better yet, the impact of your volunteers:
Use all caps sparingly:
Don’t forget to spell-check:
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.
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:
When non-volunteers were asked what would make them volunteer many said they might volunteer if:
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.