Having clearly-defined volunteer role descriptions is a win-win:
- As soon as someone decides they are interested in your cause or organization, they are presented with a specific, tangible way they can contribute, which increases the likelihood they will sign up right then
- The potential recruit has a clear sense of what they’re signing up for, which means if it matches their time availability, qualifications and what motivations them, they’re more likely to stay engaged
- Your organization attracts the right people with the qualifications they need to be effective, work independently, and stay for the long term
Please send LEN a “job” description for each volunteer role you want filled!
Here are some guidelines for writing effective volunteer descriptions, followed by some sample descriptions.
- give more information to the volunteer than is possible to convey at an interview
- allow you to show where the volunteer’s work fits in with the work of the organization
- offer a list of tasks so the volunteer can compare these with their skills and expectations
- provide a basis for measuring activity levels and performance
- describe the intended outcome of the work
- help others understand how the voluntary role applies to their own
What to include in volunteer role descriptions
A role description should include:
- title of role
- objective(s) of role
- a broad outline of tasks and activities to be undertaken
- targets or measurements of performance.
You could include:
- the name of the person who the volunteer reports to
- location and work hours
- how the role fits in with the work of the organisation
- expectations of behaviour and dress (if appropriate)
- skills and qualifications – essential and desirable
- required person specifications (if appropriate)
Sample #1: Organization – Wonderville Volunteer Centre
Job Title: Graphic Designer and Poster Distributer
Purpose: The Wonderville Volunteer Centre needs your help getting our message
out to the community. We need help designing and distributing an eye-catching
informative poster. Getting the word out will help volunteer centre match up more
amazing volunteers with organizations who need them.
Expectations and Responsibilities: Create an eye-catching, fun, and informative
poster that reflects the Wonderville Volunteer Centre. Hang the poster on bulletin
boards wherever available throughout town, in public spaces and at local business.
Time Requirements: This is a short-term, flexible position. We want the posters
distributed by April 1, 2010. This will require approximately 1-2 hrs of work/week.
Skills and Qualifications: Creativity, an eye for graphics, and the ability to write
interesting material are the most important skills for this job. You should also be
able to use a computer program to create a poster, get around town to distribute
posters, and work collaboratively with Volunteer Centre staff.
Orientation and Training: There will be a meeting with the coordinator of
Wonderville Volunteer Centre, for approximately 1 hour, to get a good
understanding of the goals, values, and programs of the centre and to go over
existing promotional material.
Benefits: The chance to improve on your graphic design, communication skills, and
to get those creative juices flowing. You will be a key factor in helping volunteers
find meaningful roles in their community. You will also be invited to Wonderville’s
“Thank-you” games evening which is hosted for our volunteers once a month. This
is a great opportunity to meet new people and have fun!
Job Location: Orientation will be at the Wonderville Volunteer Centre, 555 Main
Street in Wonderville. Graphic work can be done from home or at the centre,
whichever you prefer.
Contact: Bob at Wonderville Volunteer Centre, (555) 555-5555 or
Sample #2: Organization – CNIB
Time Commitment: One Day/Special Event
Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Position Description: Event Volunteer – Night Steps 5 km walk
Do you want to have fun, make a difference and help individuals living with vision loss in your community? As part of an enthusiastic and dedicated team, our volunteers team ensures participants enjoy the 5km walk under the stars. You can volunteer with your friends or make some new ones!
We need volunteers to help with setting-up, running kids’ activities such as face painting and crafts, parking, security, registration, cheering on walkers, and more.
Most of the shifts will start in the afternoon and go until 9 p.m. We’ll also need volunteers for an earlier shift too. Prior to the event, we’ll need volunteers to help with event promotion and logistics.
As a volunteer, you’ll get an orientation to CNIB, training on the job and a t-shirt. After the event, we would be happy to provide a letter confirming your volunteer hours, if you need one.
It’s easy to register! Just fill out our short Application Form and we’ll be in touch within two business days. We’ll tell you more about the event, answer your questions and work with you to find the best role. Please note: volunteers must be at least 14 years of age.
Need to know more before you sign-up? No problem! Contact us; we’d love to hear from you!
Thank you for your interest – CNIB volunteers make a difference!