How do volunteers find us?

Most people jump straight to Google to check out the football results through to the best price for a dishwasher. This is no different when their search begins for what they might like to do in their volunteering.

The internet is a friend to you as it is working on your behalf 7 days a week and for 24 hours when you are not in the office, but it is only as good as your promotional sell!

Think how busy your own day is, you might only have 5 minutes to spare, so you are looking for something short, snappy, catches your eye and makes you stop to read a little more… but NOT War and Peace!

Having an online presence could be anything from a single page information website, a fully developed website, Facebook or even using the national volunteering database Do It to allow potential volunteers to know more about you.

Make sure you select the online tool which is right for your organisation, and not something which will either take up too much time to manage it, or something which becomes so out of date it is more of a hinderance than a help to possible volunteers.

Below are descriptions of the main online tools that charities use to promote their volunteering opportunities.


Volunteer Suffolk

Volunteer Suffolk is a new volunteering database and website to advertise volunteering roles in Suffolk, helping local organisations to recruit volunteers.

Volunteer Suffolk launches in March 2017, and is run by Community Action Suffolk (CAS) on behalf of many agencies and organisations across the county.

The new website aims to offer both organisations and potential volunteers a user-friendly service to access volunteering opportunities in Suffolk.


Your website

Everyone has different taste when it comes to what is and isn’t a good website. For people looking to volunteer, the most important thing is easy to find information.

Have you got a navigation bar which says “Volunteer” or “How can you Help?”, something which directs them to finding out more information.

The second thing, is make sure the information is up to date. You only have those few moments of someone clicking and looking to get involved to catch them from your website, if it is too hard to find what they are looking for they will move on to another volunteering choice.


Facebook

Love it or hate it, Facebook is a tool which works for some groups. Like with all these tools, if you are going to use Facebook, make sure you have the time and resources to keep it up to date. A tired and out of date Facebook site will not get people sharing and liking your page.

It’s fun, it’s somewhere for your current volunteers to shout about what they have been doing and share photos, and for them to “sell” you as a great place to volunteer for.


Twitter

Twitter is another one to think about before you start. Not a tool you have to use, but if your work and volunteers are out and about alot, and you want people to follow and hear about your work and you can capture it in 140 characters then go for it.

Like Facebook, you have to keep it live and energetic if you want people to follow you. It is another place for potential volunteers to watch your work and see if they would like to be involved.


If you have any questions, or would like to know more, contact the CAS Volunteering Team at volunteering@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk or 01473 345400.