Choosing the Best Websites for Posting Volunteer Opportunities

By Jayne Cravens and Susan J. Ellis
From The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, Energize, Inc., 2014, chapter 8, p. 157.

There are too many of these volunteer recruitment Web sites for you to try to use them all—there are not enough hours in the day! So, which of the many online databases of volunteering opportunities should you use to recruit online volunteers? Applying any of the following criteria will help:

  • Which has been most successful in recruiting onsite volunteers for you in the past?
  • Which allow for the specific recruitment of online volunteers (they allow you to tag the opportunity somehow as being online or virtual)?
  • Is the site focused on the particular type of volunteer or geographic region that you need to reach?
  • Have any been endorsed by a colleague who tells you, “I have recruited a lot of very reliable online volunteers via this Web site”?

...You should definitely try VolunteerMatch as a tool for recruiting online volunteers; it is one of the only sites that allows opportunities to be designated as virtual and is probably the most popular volunteer recruitment site, in terms of Web traffic and number of assignments posted. Otherwise, start by choosing just two Web sites available to you. Keep track of the number and quality of responses. Experiment with other sites if you are not getting enough candidates from your first two choices or you are not satisfied with responses.

You may come upon “aggregator” sites that pull postings from several different online registries to provide a wider range of volunteer opportunity choices than a single database might contain. Such sites do not always clearly identify themselves as using data gathered by others (especially ones posted by government agencies). There is nothing wrong with aggregators, but try to find out whether using one site automatically makes your vacancies accessible on other sites and track results. Also, before you
re-post new information into a new registry, check to make sure this is not unnecessary duplication.

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