Since launching in July, Volunteer Peterborough has signed up 318 volunteers eager to connect with a cause. When we started this service, we knew people had an appetite for this type of assistance.
Now, it’s your turn to find your volunteer match.
So far, we have worked with 67 organizations who have 44 opportunities on the site right now. Some of their previous roles have already been filled during an event-filled September.
VolunteerPeterborough.ca works like a dating or a job-hunting site. It matches people’s interests, skills and time with organizations looking for helpers.
However, for optimal results, it helps for users to understand what to expect when they sign up to volunteer. Therefore, these tips can lead to better results on both sides of the equation.
If you seek the right match as a volunteer
First, we welcome every resident within the Peterborough region to join our movement, whether you live in the city or in a rural area.
Begin under the ‘For Volunteers’ tab where you ‘join’ us. Within a few minutes, you fill in a series of boxes to help us understand how you want to help. Once your profile is done, you can log in and add your personal photo and a banner image to reflect your personality.
Now, it’s time to shop around for your ideal volunteer match.
You can discover ways to get involved in three ways: events, opportunities or organizations. The first one shows you what single-day events are coming up that may fit your calendar. This can help families or friends who want to do something together. Further, it’s a great place for high school students to latch onto events that will provide their community hours toward their diplomas.
For those seeking a regular gig, the list of opportunities range from weekly shifts at Peterborough Regional Health Centre to commitments to boards of directors. You’ll often find single events there as well.
To find your match, filter the choices with the dropdown menus for your skills and type of cause benefited. That will week out the list to narrow your search.
Finally, you can use the ‘causes’ filter when going through the list of organizations as well. This will allow you to click on any email address in a listing to find out what other roles may be available.
If you seek volunteer matches for your organization
If this term seems broad, that’s because we wanted it to apply to charities, teams and any non-profit operating in this area. To start, you need to register as an organization. That way, we can verify each group and prevent any scammers from using our site.
Simply fill in the boxes and add a horizontal logo. You can also add photos to show what your group does. This really is your chance to shine, so tell us about your mission, a brief history and how you engage volunteers in your work.
Approval takes a day or two, then your profile will go live on the site. Now, you can log in to add events and opportunities to see your volunteer matches. For each listing, we ask you to be as specific as possible.
During our focus groups, volunteers tell us that they want to know EXACTLY what to expect when they take on a role. Some of them have been burned by miscommunication or misaligned expectations. Clarity right from the start helps them settle in and stay.
In particular, they want to know about the time commitment: how many hours per shift, shifts per month and if they can take time off when needed. Robust details about skills, outcomes and rewards also help them see themselves working with you.
What else can you do to create an ideal volunteer match?
Once you’ve connected with a committed person, like any relationship, you have to keep the spark alive. That means clear and consistent communication. We hear from volunteers that regular thank yous go a long way to make them feel valued and committed to the group they choose.
In all, this tool exists to help every willing volunteer and organization, so come aboard. We look forward to working with you at finding and maintaining new helpers.