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At the Dorset Volunteer Centre details of voluntary organisations and their current volunteer opportunities are all listed on V-base, the national volunteering database.
You will be asked to give us details on what the opportunity involves, what is the time commitment, where is it based, is training provided, do you pay expenses etc and we will write up a description that will catch the attention of potential volunteers. Simply complete our Organisation Details form here.
We have several outreach workers across Dorset who are in regular contact with potential volunteers. Keep your local outreach worker informed of your organisation’s work and need for volunteers and they will often be able to find someone suitable. Contact details of our outreach team are given on the ‘Meet the Team' page.
If you are a new organisation or you have a new project starting, tell us and we will try to feature you in our quarterly newsletter which is circulated to more that 1,500 organisations and individuals across Dorset. New projects often need new volunteers with new skills and publicity may help find them.
We often hold community lunches and coffee mornings for the voluntary sector. These are opportunities to meet people from other organisations and exchange ideas, to highlight your work and volunteer needs. These events are usually free and held at various venues across the county.
Remember, if we don’t know about your organisation or your current projects we can’t tell other people so keep us up to date with your activities.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to recruit. Tell your existing volunteers and staff that you are looking for new volunteers. They can give a good explanation of what is involved and will usually be enthusiastic about your organisation and its work.
Advertising can be expensive and does not always get results but the media will often publicise your organisation or project free if they think it is of interest. Local newspapers and radio are always looking for new stories on local events so try sending out a press release next time you start a new project or have an event planned. Posters in local shops, community centres, church halls may help raise awareness of your organisation and volunteering roles.
When you decide you need volunteers for a task, regard it like a job vacancy; write a description explaining what the volunteer will be doing, where, when and for how long. Volunteers will be more attracted to an opportunity if they know what is involved. The Volunteer Centre can advise you on how to write an opportunity description.
Make it as easy as possible for potential volunteers to come forward. Explain to people how to apply: by telephone, letter or email. If you need volunteers to complete a CRB check explain this from the beginning. Remember that many volunteer roles do not require a CRB check. It is usually a good idea to meet your new volunteers before they start. This will enable you to confirm that the volunteer is right for the position and reassure them about what is expected.
Many people volunteer in between holding paid employment or domestic commitments. If you can be flexible about when the volunteer is on duty with your organisation then they are more likely to volunteer more.