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How to Write a Volunteer Position Description

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An incredibly useful tool, the volunteer position description creates the basis for your volunteer recruitment efforts. It explains the assignment, skills, abilities and interests necessary to perform the volunteer task successfully. Position descriptions can and should be written for both individuals and volunteer committees.

There are many ways to write the position description but here are some components that you should cover:

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 1 Hour

Here's How:

  1. Position Title

    A specific, descriptive title provides the volunteer with a sense of identity and ensures that salaried staff and other volunteers understand this particular role. Steer away from descriptions that have to do with the presence or lack of pay. For example, why call the receptionist a "volunteer" receptionist? You don't say "paid" receptionist for a staff member.

  2. Work Location

    Where will the individual be working? Can the work be done at home or only on site, or at a particular site? Make sure that there is public transportation near your work site/s so you can recruit people who might not have their own transportation.

  3. Purpose of the Position

    How will the volunteer's work affect the project's outcome, clients, or mission? It is important to identify the expected impact for both direct service and administrative assignments so that volunteers will understand how important their work is.

  4. Responsibilities and Duties

    Specifically identify the volunteer position's responsibilities and duties. Define what is expected from the volunteer.

  5. Qualifications

    It pays to be very clear and concrete in listing qualifications for any volunteer position. Include education, personal characteristics, skills, abilities and/or experience required.

  6. Commitment Expected

    What do you expect of the volunteer? Include Length of service, hours per week, hours per day. Include any special requirements such as weekend work.

  7. Training

    List what training the volunteer will receive. Include general training that all positions receive plus any position-specific training for this assignment.

  8. Other

    Include the date the description was written or the date that it was updated. List the volunteer supervisor's name and his/her contact information. Include information about how to get more information and who to call if interested. You might want to include signature lines for the volunteer manager and the site supervisor if appropriate.

    Sample of Volunteer Position Job Description

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