You may have noticed that on ivo we frequently feature volunteering opportunity listings. But how do we decide which ones make it to the giddy heights of our homepage?
We tend to be drawn to anything that stands out, either through the cause or if it's an interesting or challenging role. But most important of all is the way it's presented. Well written, concise and visually appealing opportunities with images or video clips are a big plus, and roles that clearly show how volunteers will benefit from the experience get a big thumbs up too.
Being on the ivo home and Get Involved pages can really help to boost awareness which can lead to a big increase in the number of applications that you receive, so it's definitely worth you trying to get our attention!
Here are a few tips on how to create a good opportunity listing.
Sell, sell, sell
Posting an opportunity is a pitch for people’s time. So make it attractive. Start with the opportunity itself – is it something anyone will actually want to do? What can you offer? How flexible can you be? Keep your content brief and to-the-point. Short sentences. Short paragraphs. Lots of sub-headings.
A clear, punchy title
People tend to scan content online, so it’s important that a title catches their attention and provides enough information for them to decide whether it’s worth clicking on to read more.
Include the most important information
If the title looks interesting, people will want to know the key elements straight away. Things like whether the opportunity is one-off - i.e. between two dates - or ongoing, and where it takes place are all essential information so make sure you complete the Opportunity form in full. And what are the key tasks and requirements? Include closing dates for applying if appropriate - you'll find this in the date section of the form.
Don’t oversell, but make sure you state clearly what the benefits of the role are – how will it help your organisation, and what can the volunteer expect to get out of it - e.g. training, expenses or just having a good time!
A clear process
It’s really important that people who see your opportunity know what the next steps are if they’re interested – and that you are able to respond promptly. Using the ivo Application form will ensure that you keep track of who applies and when, along with their email address so you can easily follow up - plus you'll get an email alert when people submit an application.
Photos and videos
Don’t restrict yourself to text. Volunteers view listings with video clips three times more than those without - click here to see some examples. If you don't have a video how about getting some existing volunteers to do one for you - eg explaing why it’s such a great organisation to give time to. No need for a fancy production, just a simple clip done with a phone will do and will help your opportunity to stand out.
Ask for feedback
The best way to recruit people is word-of-mouth. If you interact positively with people on ivo then your reputation will spread, your followers will increase, and you’ll soon build up a small army of online advocates. So be bold and invite people to comment on or blog about your opportunities - and don't forget to ask them to share them on Twitter and Facebook too!