The perfect volunteer opportunity description will set expectations, provide a detailed overview, communicate mission, and entice qualified constituents to register.
Regardless of the volunteer management software your organization uses, creating an engaging and detailed volunteer opportunity description is crucial to recruitment. Volunteer opportunity descriptions are important because they are often one of the first interactions your volunteer program will have with volunteer prospects. According to a recent report, 71% of volunteers work with only one organization each year. In other words, it is critical to the success of your volunteer program to make a good first impression and provide prospects with opportunity details, your organizational mission, expectations, and next steps.
Creating volunteer opportunity descriptions involves planning, strategy, and careful execution. Here are 5 tips for using opportunity descriptions to engage and recruit volunteers.
Focus on the Details
One of the most important components of effective volunteer opportunity descriptions are the details. What is the opportunity that your organization is recruiting volunteers for? What are the expectations? Your opportunity details should provide volunteers with who, what, when, where, why, and how answers. Make sure that volunteers know when the opportunity to serve is, what they will be doing, how many available slots there are, and any items that they are expected to bring with them.
The best descriptions are short and concise and provide opportunity details that are digestible and easy to understand.
Reinforce Your Mission & Desired Outcomes
Unless a prospect is a returning volunteer, they may not be familiar with your organizations mission, values, and goals. Reinforcing your mission and the role a volunteer will play in reaching it should be a part of each opportunity description. Your organization can use your description to reinforce the value of volunteerism to each potential prospect.
Outside of reinforcing your mission, communicating your desired outcome of each volunteer opportunity is also critical. What is the goal of each opportunity? How does it get your organization closer to your overall goals. Volunteers want to know that their contribution is going to make an impact, big or small.
Paint a Picture of Your Ideal Candidate
If you organization is looking for skill-based volunteers, make sure that you provide details on the knowledge and capabilities needed to perform the job. Are there any tools that a volunteer will need to be proficient on to successfully complete a project? Is training an option for volunteers who do not have specific skills?
Your volunteer description should also include any details regarding age restrictions for volunteering for a specific role. If volunteers are under 18 will a waiver be required? If so, let prospects know.
Thank Prospects for Consideration
Sometimes in the shuffle it is easy to forget that volunteers are providing their time without any compensation. Your organization should use your volunteer opportunity descriptions to thank prospects for their consideration, whether they register for an opportunity or not.
Streamline the Registration Process
The main purpose of your volunteer opportunity description should be to entice your ideal volunteer prospect to register. Without a streamlined registration process, gaining value from your opportunity descriptions will be challenging. Your recruitment and registration should make it easy for volunteers to quickly commit their time, and provide next step instructions throughout the process.
Learn more about VolunteerHub registration features.
One of the most important steps that your organization can take to increase recruitment is creating strategic volunteer opportunity descriptions. Opportunity descriptions should reinforce your organizations mission, provide in-depth concise details, paint a picture of the ideal candidate, thank prospects for their consideration, and drive qualified constituents to a streamlined registration process.