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Successful volunteer search | 5 tips for an appealing volunteering opportunity

We are very happy that you and your organisation have decided to search for volunteers through vostel.de

In order to make the search successful, it is essential to invest some time & effort in the creation of your volunteering opportunity. It is the figurehead of your organisation on vostel.de and therefore the first impression that potential volunteers get of your work – and we certainly do not need to explain what is said about first impressions  🙂 


An analysis of all volunteering opportunities on vostel.de shows again and again that attractively designed and formulated volunteer requests are called up significantly more often than it is the case with average to really dreary volunteer requests. And with the number of clicks, the number of interested volunteers also increases – which is your big goal!

Therefore we would like to give you some tips and tricks for the textual and content-related design of volunteering opportunities on vostel.de. It is best to read this manual in its entirety once and then use it step by step while creating your volunteer requests.


All tips at a glance:

1 | FORMULATE FRIENDLY, Direct & structured
2 | PAY ATTENTION Political Correctness
3 | AWAKE INTEREST WITH THE RIGHT TITLE
4 | SET THE RIGHT FILTERS FOR TARGET GROUPS & TOPICS
5 | MaKE AN IMPRESSION BY CHOOSING APPEALING COVERS


1 | Formulate friendly, direct & structured

A volunteering opportunity – or volunteer request – describes the tasks in which volunteers should support your organisation. Basically something like a job advertisement, just for volunteer work. In particular if your volunteering opportunity is represented on a platform next to many others, it is of great importance that it attracts attention and awakes the interest of the “searchers”. If you consider the following tips and tricks, this should not be a problem at all. 

Do not demand, but display an opportunity

Even though we have made the comparison to a job advertisement, it is important that the job you offer is a voluntary commitment. Therefore, it is relevant to choose phrases like “You could support us in this…”, “We would be happy/thankful for …”, “Your tasks would be…” instead of introductory phrases like “You will support us in this…”, or “You must do the task…”. The former give the impression (and hopefully also the fact) that volunteers have a say and a right to shape the project, and that they are not just mere duty bearers. 

Speak to volunteers directly

Everyone prefers to be addressed directly (“You could take over the task…”, “As a volunteer you are welcome to…”) rather than being addressed in the third person (“The volunteers will take over the task…”, “The volunteer should have experience in the field…”). Direct addresses are much more inviting and lead to volunteers identifying with the work and tasks from the very beginning.

Be short & clear and avoid repetition  

Of course, interested people should enjoy reading your texts. So do not write a novel, set expectations and offers clearly and avoid writing identical information in several fields. 


2 | Pay attention to political correctness

Especially for young volunteers, the demand for intercultural openness and political correctness is becoming increasingly relevant and can therefore be a decisive factor in the selection of an volunteering opportunity. Therefore, we recommend that you name certain groups of people correctly. 

Name groups of people correctly

We also take great care to name certain groups of people correctly. For example, we do not speak of “fugitives”, “people with disabilities” and “foreigners”, but prefer to use terms such as “refugees”, “disabled people” and “newcomers”. 


3 | Awake interest with the right title

As already described in the introduction to this blog article, the first impression and a concise title is the key to addressing volunteers. Over the years, a certain “formula” has been established on our platform, which achieves the greatest success in the search for volunteers. The formula looks like this: 

Title = nominalised verb of the activity + object + target group

What could be the reason for the success of this formula? Volunteers immediately have a picture of what their tasks will be and not what your organisation does in general. A great example of this is the title “Preparing food in an emergency shelter for homeless people”. Volunteers know directly what their basic task will be and also what group of people they will be supporting. This can be a great advantage when volunteers see through numerous volunteering opportunities to find the right one. 


4 | Set the right filters for target groups & topics

When you create a volunteering opportunity on vostel.de, you will be asked which target groups and topics it covers. Many organisations tend to allocate their volunteering opportunity to all target groups and topics – the reasonable thought is often that the organisation directly or indirectly reaches all target groups and covers many topics. 

However, it is rather frustrating for potential volunteers if – no matter which filter they set – they are always shown all volunteering opportunities. Actually they want to get very concrete and suitable results from their search. It is advantageous to briefly reflect which activities are taken over by the volunteer and which target group will be supported. 


5 | Make an impression by choosing appealing covers

It is important to pay attention to visuals in your volunteering opportunity. This includes pictures, especially your cover picture, which is the first impression volunteers will get besides the title. 

In our experience, it is most effective if you select 1-3 appealing pictures – preferably in landscape format and in high quality – for the visual design of your volunteering opportunity. You may combine pictures which reflect the volunteer work such as activity and/or target group. Your volunteering opportunity will immediately look much more interesting! Please note that the first picture will automatically be your cover picture. 

Of course it is possible that you don’t have any suitable pictures yourself. In this case it is useful to obtain images from the following online picture databases at no charge and without registration: Unsplash & Pixabay & Pexels.


We hope that the article has given you a neat overview and acts as a good guideline for the creation of great volunteering opportunities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at hello@vostel.de or join our online consultation hours. 


Your team from vostel.de

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