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Make Your Volunteer Opportunity Stand Out!

Create the Good gives you access to our 300,000+ strong network of experienced and dedicated volunteers, many of them members of the 50+ community, who are looking for ways to help.

As an extra bonus, our members receive an automatic email notification every-other-week when new volunteer opportunities are posted within 25 miles of their home zip code… YOUR opportunities delivered right to their inbox!

To help you post opportunities that will get attention, we’ve compiled a list of tips for creating a description that stands out! If you have any additional questions, comments or need more help, you can contact us at createthegood@aarp.org or 1-866-740-7719.


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.


Do's and Don'ts

OK, now that you’re ready to post, here’s a quick list of Do’s and Don’ts when posting an opportunity on Create the Good.

Some things to know before posting:

DO:

  • Make sure you save your login information in case you need to go back and edit your opportunity (if you’re posting on behalf of your organization, make sure your team has this info as well so you can all have access to your opportunities)
  • Consider how you’re asking volunteers to register—on your own website or by using Create the Good’s Online Event Registration capability (which allows you to get in contact with volunteers who registered in the event of cancellation, changes, etc.)

DO NOT:

  • If you're looking for ways to volunteer, don't spend time looking for a way to post your information for others to see. Instead...

If you’re interested in volunteering, go to the “Find Opportunities” section of createthegood.org, type in a keyword(s) and your zip code. The results will give you a list of opportunities available in your area.

If you want to share your information with us to receive email notifications about new opportunities in your area, click "register" in the top right of your screen—it’s free and easy! And don’t forget to include your email address!

Contact Info:

DO:

  • Make sure you enter the website of your organization so our volunteers can learn more about your work. Make sure to enter the correct website link--An incorrect link to your website can delay the approval process.
  • Provide both an email and phone number just in case we need to contact you about your posting (although only one form of contact information is required).

Opportunity Info, Description:

DO:

  • Be sure to use key words that potential volunteers are liekly to search for – like hunger, school supplies, tutor or taxes – in the first 50 characters of your description. Using key words will ensure that your opportunity appears closer to the top when a volunteer searches for opportunities.

DO NOT:

  • Cut and paste your Description Details onto your form. Cutting and pasting from documents may cause errors in some of the characters. Instead...

If you have your description already typed in another format, cut and paste your text into the Notepad program on your computer. From there, you can then copy from Notepad to paste into the description field. This will remove all formatting and avoid odd spacing and characters.

Opportunity Info, Location:

DO:

  • Select “State-Wide” if your opportunity is available in multiple locations throughout your state and easily accessible by a majority of your state’s residents. By choosing this option, your opportunity will be shown to all volunteers searching for opportunities in your state (depending on keywords used).
  • Select “Virtual” if your opportunity is only available online or by phone.
  • Select “Ongoing” If your volunteer event lasts more than a couple of days. When selecting “ongoing” for the duration, it’s best to select “This is a multi day opportunity” under the “Opportunity Date and Time” category, and enter Start/End Dates to ensure readers have a basic understanding of the duration and time commitment.
  • Include any additional information about timing, date(s) or date range, location, etc. in the actual description of the opportunity so readers have all of the details they need in one place.

DO NOT:

  • Select “State-Wide” if your opportunity is available in multiple locations in your state, but not easily accessible by a majority of residents (i.e., all locations centered in one city or area, but not within a 30-60 minutes for most other residents). *In this case you should submit multiple local opportunities.
  • Select “Virtual” if description details indicate location specific.

Registration

DO:

  • Make sure to select “Yes” to allow Online Event Registration – You will receive an automatic email letting you know that an individual has registered. In the event of cancellation, changes, etc., this will allow you to get in contact with volunteers who registered for the event.
  • Note: If you are cancelling opportunity and the Online Event Registration has not been selected, go to Post Volunteer Opportunity Tab. Find your submission listed under “Active Opportunities” and select the Cancel button (to the far right of the opportunity).


Want more information about posting volunteer opportunities to Create the Good? Download our Instruction Manual or visit our FAQ page.


Become a Pro at Organizing

Pulling together a team of volunteers — and knowing how to organize and motivate them — can help you run a successful community project. Check out our guide to learn (or freshen up on) the basics!

The Nuts & Bolts for Project Organizers

http://createthegood.org/volunteer-search?ccode=Posting%20Tips