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6 Tips for your volunteering offer

Successful volunteer search | 5 tips for an appealing volunteering opportunity

The use of digital volunteering platforms, such as Aktion Mensch or, to successfully find volunteers is becoming increasingly popular amongst non-profit organizations. However, to ensure that your volunteer search via these channels is successful, you should pay attention to a few key points when creating your volunteering offer. After all, it is the figurehead of your organization and therefore the first impression that interested volunteers will get of your work. It is therefore worth putting some time and effort into creating the most appealing volunteering offer possible.

The effort is worthwhile

We have repeatedly noticed that attractively designed and appealingly worded volunteering opportunities on are accessed significantly more often than less carefully or insufficiently filled volunteering opportunities. Of course, this also means that these rather dull adverts receive fewer inquiries from volunteers than the attractively designed ones.

That’s why we would like to give you a few tips and tricks on how to design the text and content of volunteering opportunities on digital volunteering platforms, such as, to help you find volunteers successfully. It is best to read through these instructions and then refer to them again when creating your volunteer opportunity.

    1. Create interest: Choose an appealing title
    2. Make an impression: Give a first insight into your volunteering programme with the right cover photo
    3. Expectation management: Describe the activity, requirements and benefits for volunteers
    4. ABC of communication: Reach the right people with the right approach
    5. Make an impression by choosing appealing images
    6. Straight to the goal: Use clear CTAs

1. Create interest: Choose an appealing title

As already described in the introduction, the first impression and a catchy title are the key to attracting volunteers. Over the years, a certain ‘formula’ has become established on our platform that achieves the greatest success in the search for volunteers:

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

Why does this ‘formula’ work so well? Volunteers immediately have a general idea of what their tasks will be and which groups of people they will be supporting. A good example of this is the following title:

Example: ‘Preparing meals in an emergency shelter for the homeless’

Interested volunteers immediately understand what their basic task will be (preparing food) and which people they will be supporting in this commitment (homeless people). A clear and easy-to-understand title can be of great benefit to you and your organization when interested people are browsing through a large number of volunteering opportunities and your title immediately catches their eye or is remembered.

2. Make an impression: Give a first insight into your volunteering programme with the right cover photo

It is important to ensure that your volunteering opportunity looks as good as possible. This includes images, especially your cover photo, which is the first thing volunteers see alongside the title.

In our experience, it is most effective if you select 1-3 appealing images – preferably in horizontal format and in high quality – for the visual design of your volunteering opportunity. Feel free to combine images that reflect the volunteering programme (activity, target group, other volunteers involved). Your volunteering opportunity will immediately appear much more interesting and appealing to interested volunteers!

You may not have any suitable images yourself. In this case, it is worth obtaining images from the following online image databases free of charge and without registration: UnsplashPixabay & Pexels & Freepik.

3. Expectation management: Describe the activity, requirements and benefits for volunteers

The description of the activity(ies), requirements, and benefits for volunteers is a particularly important part of your advert in terms of content. The more specific you make it, the better volunteers can assess whether they meet your expectations and requirements based on the information provided and the more suitable the enquiries you receive from interested applicants will be. A description that is as precise as possible is therefore an important part of a successful volunteer search. So try not to be too general, but be specific, for example by writing ‘These tasks await you with us:…’ or ‘You should fulfil the following requirements:…’.

Also pay attention to the following three points in your advert:

  • Be sure to answer these questions in your description: What exactly will happen and what are the exact tasks? When and where does the commitment take place? And what time commitment is involved?
  • Try to avoid technical terms, internal names of your organisation and abbreviations in order to keep the volunteering offer comprehensible for external or less experienced volunteers.
  • Add additional information that the volunteers can expect when volunteering. For example, further training or team-building opportunities, expense allowances paid, travel expenses covered, etc.

4. ABC of communication: Reach the right people with the right approach

4.1 Use friendly, direct & structured wording

Especially if your engagement offer appears on a platform alongside many other opportunities, it is particularly important that it stands out and attracts the interest of users. If you follow these tips and tricks, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Don’t demand, but rather offer

Phrases such as ‘You could support us in…’, ‘We would be happy/would be grateful if you…’, ‘Your tasks would be….’ give volunteers the impression (and hopefully also the fact) that they have a say in and the right to shape their tasks, while introductory sentences such as ‘You will support us in…’, or ‘You must do the task…’ can have a demanding effect. Volunteers might think that they are merely fulfilling a duty, which should not be the case with voluntary work. Therefore: Offer in your advert instead of demanding.

Address the volunteers directly

It is better to address each person directly (‘You could take on the task…’, ‘As a volunteer, you are welcome to…’) than to be addressed in the third person (‘Volunteers take on the task of…’, ‘The volunteer should have experience in the field of…’). Direct addresses are simply much more inviting and help volunteers to identify with the work and tasks from the start.

Be brief and clear and avoid repetition

It goes without saying that it is important that interested parties should enjoy reading your text. So don’t be too long, be clear about expectations and offers, and avoid repeating identical information.

4.2 Pay attention to political correctness

The demand for intercultural openness and political correctness is becoming increasingly relevant, especially for young volunteers, and can therefore be a decisive factor when choosing a volunteering programme. We therefore recommend that you use gender-appropriate language and refer to 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”. 

5. Get found correctly: Use suitable filters

When you create an engagement opportunity on engagement platforms such as, you are usually asked which target groups and topics it covers. Many organisations tend to assign their volunteering opportunities to as many target groups/topic areas as possible – the idea behind this is often that the organisation’s work directly or indirectly reaches all target groups and covers many topics

There is also the hope that volunteers will become aware of the volunteering opportunity with every search. However, it is rather frustrating for those searching if they are always shown all volunteering opportunities, regardless of which filter they set. This is because they actually want to receive very specific and suitable results in their search. It is advantageous to briefly reflect on which activities the volunteer will be taking on and which target group will be helped.

In a nutshell: Only select the filters that are directly related to the volunteering opportunity.

6. Straight to the goal: Use clear CTAs

CTAs or ‘calls to actions’ are small text elements that are intended to encourage (e.g. website visitors) to take direct action. You can and should also utilise this type of call to action for your engagement offer to motivate interested users to interact with your advert. For example, you can use sentences such as ‘Get in touch with us and become part of our team!’, ‘Send us a message now!’ or ‘Sign up for a volunteering opportunity now.’. Place them at the end of your volunteering opportunity to directly address those interested and encourage them to take action.

We hope the article has given you a neat overview and acts as a good guideline for the creation of great volunteering opportunities to help you and your organisation with the volunteer search. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at or join our online consultation hours. 

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