- Registered organisations may list as many opportunities for volunteers as they need.
- The Opportunity Registration Form can be filled out on-line. Volunteering Northland will double check all information before it is published.
- The more information that is provided, the easier it is to find the right volunteer(s).
- One opportunity might need several volunteers (one-off project or events) in which case it is sufficient to fill out only one form. For different opportunities fill out a form for each one.
- A volunteer should not usually be requested for a position that is in excess of 20 hours per week.
- Make it possible to share the opportunity if it requires a considerable amount of hours. You are more likely to get five people one morning a week than to get one person to work all mornings.
- Ensure the position is interesting, challenging and fun. Volunteers want to develop their skills, meet people, contribute to their community and enjoy their work.
- A voluntary position should not replace a job that was paid within the last six months.
- Opportunities should be open to everybody. However, occasionally there will be a valid reason why there must be a specific requirement, such as gender or age group.
- For one-off events, plan well in advance to make sure you will have volunteers when you need them.
- Think about the work you do. Is there any project you have wanted to commence, but for which you had no one available? Are there any tasks that you do - such as filing, word processing, writing media releases, answering telephones etc, that could be done by a volunteer? There are many high skilled people looking for opportunities.
- Let us know if you want support to write up an attractive opportunity.
Guidelines for volunteer opportunities
Organisations face significant challenges in determining what positions are appropriate for volunteers. Below are factors which tend to make the involvement of volunteers appropriate or inappropriate.
- Where the work is for the benefit of voluntary, non-profit charitable organisations.
- Where the job has not been performed by a paid worker within the last six months.
- Where the job will not usually require more than 20 hours per week.
- Where new areas of work are being explored and volunteers may pave the way for the creation of new jobs.
- Where there is an agreement within the organisation about the nature and purpose of the volunteer involvement.
- Where staff acknowledge the value of the contribution of volunteers and adequate resources are made available to support, supervise and train the volunteers.
- Where there is an opportunity for the volunteer to benefit from the work by achieving personal goals.
- Where a task can be carried out better by a volunteer than by paid staff. This might include one-to-one befriending, advocacy, visiting, etc.
- Where a distinct area of work can be identified for which the volunteer can take responsibility and which complements or extends the work of paid staff.
- Where the work is for the benefit of a profit-making organisation.
- Where the volunteer receives remuneration implying low-wage status rather than voluntary work.
- Where the work will typically require more than 20 hours per week.
- Where the work is normally considered to be the responsibility of a statutory service, e.g. nursing care, teaching etc.
- Where the volunteer would be undertaking work which is the subject of an industrial dispute.
- Where the volunteer would be performing tasks carried out by paid staff in the past six months or where their involvement would reduce the likelihood of employment of paid staff.
- Where the involvement of volunteers would jeopardise the wage or employment conditions of paid staff.
- Where there is a disagreement within the organisation about the nature and purpose of volunteer involvement.
- Where there are insufficient resources to provide proper support, supervision, training and workspace for volunteers.
- Where there is no money available to pay volunteers out-of-pocket expenses.
- Where the work offers no rewards to the volunteer, e.g. work is too demanding, tedious, dirty and unpleasant and the volunteer does not have an opportunity to achieve personal goals.
- Where unacceptable risks to health and safety are involved, e.g. physically dangerous work, potentially violent work etc.
Types of volunteering
- Long-term: The traditional type of volunteering. A volunteer commits to a role at an organisation for at least three months and might work for the organisation for many years.
- Short-term: Volunters help out with a project that has a begin- and end-date. Like organising an event or sorting out a library.
- One-off: A volunteer helps out to complete a project that only takes a short while. It might just be for a few hours.
- Skills-based: An organisation might need the specialized skills and talents of an individual.
- Team: A group of friends or like-minded people may want to volunteer together as a group. Younger people tend to prefer to work in teams as well, on specific project that have a clear beginning and end. A mentor might accompany the team.
- Virtual: A volunteer completes tasks, off-site, for instance by using the Internet. This could be website maintenance, designing the newsletter, copywriting, etc.
- Events: Organisations that run community events need volunteers to make them happen. Recruitment of volunteers might start a year before the event.
- Corporate: Companies allow their employees to volunteer during work hours. These formalized Employee Volunteering Programs (EVPs) are regarded as a part of the companies' sustainability efforts and their social responsibility activities. They might offer their specialized skills, or work as a team on a one-off project.
Types of volunteer activities
Areas in which your organisation might offer volunteer placements:
Administration / General office type roles:
- Administration (general)
- Data collection
- Data entry
- Newsletter collation
Personal contact roles:
- Child care
- Coaching (sport)
- Driving (clients)
- Family support
- Financial counselling
- First aider
- Guiding/Leading groups
Other general duty roles:
- Committee member
- Handy person
- History (research)
- History (recording)
- Information gathering
- Promotion / publicity
- Tree planting
Activities for specialized group roles:
- Animal care
- Arts / crafts
- Emergency response
- Music (singing)
- Language instruction
- Music (instrument)
- Sport (coaching)
- Sport (refereeing)
- Sports (indoor)
- Sports (outdoor)
- Visual arts (tutoring)