Gemma Petty, Network Officer at the Community Development Foundation fills us in on the highlights of the live forum chat with Do-it, the largest volunteering database in the country. Do-it has over a million volunteering opportunities and has around 250,000 users a month.
On 8 July 2015 we hosted a live chat in the Just Act forum with Do-it, where we chatted to Nicky Johnston about getting started, how to use the service more effectively and general tips about volunteer recruitment.
Top tips for using Do-it
One of the first questions of the day was from Sheila, who is new to volunteer recruitment, and finding it exciting, but slightly daunting! She asked for some advice and what to avoid. Nicky shared her top three tips;
1.) Know what you need.
“Potential volunteers respond much better to a specific role than a general ask for ‘volunteers’. Basically, don’t just ask for 10 ‘Volunteers’ – ask for 1 gardener, 1 social media helper, etc”
2.) Give a good experience.
“Volunteers are offering you their skills for free so treat them with respect. Always try to respond to applications as quickly as possible & let them know if their application is unsuccessful”
3.) Keep it interesting.
“Finally, make your advert stand out! Write interesting and personality-filled copy for your Do-it listing & make sure you include a photo to catch volunteers’ interest”
Keeping volunteers engaged
One of the key points that emerged from the chat was the importance of flexibility, and not asking more from your volunteers than they are able to give. Think about making use of one-off events to enable volunteers to dip in and out of helping without having to make a regular or longer-term commitment. These are really popular roles for volunteers, along with things like event management.
Community projects on Do-it
We talked to Nicky about whether community projects were an area that was growing on Do-it and an area that is being promoted. Nicky told us
“Community project opportunities are 100% a growing area on Do-it.org. Before 2015 organisations couldn’t post directly on Do-it but since changing this we’ve seen sign-ups go sky high!”
So, if you’d like to promote your project with Do-it, just contact Nicky and she’ll help you get started.
Register with Do-it
Do-it has a huge number of users every month which means it’s a great place to list your volunteering opportunities and spread the word about your project!
Susan from MyCompletefocus CIC asked a question about registering with Do-it as well as the local volunteer centre and what it would entail. Nicky explained,
“It’s super easy to register with Do-it and start recruiting volunteers – sign up to Do-it.org, create an organisation & advert, wait for volunteers to apply!”
To find out more about Do-it you can catch up with the whole live chat.