Developing & advertising your volunteer roles

Your volunteers will make a real difference to you and the people you support. Yet it’s not always easy to find the right people and keep them with you. Our resources, links and support will help your organisation when you are developing and advertising your volunteer roles, help to fill those roles and, hopefully, keep your volunteers with you for years to come.


To start the volunteer recruitment process you need to be clear on the role:

  • What tasks need to be done?
  • What is the time period?
  • What skills do you need from your volunteers?
  • Who will manage, train and support them?

Developing a role description which details the scope of the activity to be carried out by a volunteer will help you think through these questions and will be used when you’re advertising the opportunity. By putting as much relevant detail in your role description you’ll be helping to sell the role to the right person, and avoid too many enquiries/applications from people who aren’t suitable. If there are certain skills or attributes you need, or the role might be suitable for a specific age group, then make sure you include this. You can download an example role description template here

Further resources:


So, you’ve got a volunteer vacancy. What next? Where do you find your volunteers? 

Making sure you advertise your volunteer vacancy in the right places can make a big difference to finding the right volunteers. Your potential volunteers need to be able to find your vacancy so think about who you’re trying to attract and how you can reach them. Can you use your own personal contacts? Are there noticeboards in local shops, libraries, colleges or your community centre that you could use? What about local magazines or social media?

To advertise your vacancy, you’ll need a role description describing your volunteer opportunity. If you’re not sure how to write one, visit the section on ‘Developing Volunteer Opportunities’ above.

We’ve identified some of the best places to advertise your volunteer opportunities – and most them are free to use.

  • Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service – the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service was set up at the end of March 2020 to match volunteers with groups and organisations to help support communities during the pandemic. It is run by Community Impact Bucks in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council. If your organisation needs volunteers, look at our information on the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service.
  • Do It Life – the UK’s national volunteering database,, makes it easy for anyone to volunteer in their community: people looking for volunteer roles can browse for opportunities by location, keywords and organisation, and groups can register vacant volunteer roles easily. Simply go to to get started.
  • Reach – Reach is the national organisation that connects charities and non-profits with skilled and experienced volunteers for free. If you’ve got vacancies for specialist skilled volunteers (e.g. marketing, fundraising, business planning, finance, IT etc), sign up with Reach and advertise your roles and get access to the thousands of skilled volunteers registered.  Roles advertised with Reach will also be advertised on third party websites if you give agreement when registering a role.
  • CharityJob – particularly useful for all different types of volunteering roles, Visit CharityJob to access free advertising for voluntary roles for 90 days for a basic advert. 
  • Media Trust – this is a charity specifically working in partnership with the creative and media industry to help other charities and community groups.  Register with Media Trust.
  • ICAEW – ICAEW provides a volunteering platform specialising in Accountancy and Finance roles.
  • Career Volunteer – helps you search for and recruit trustees, skilled volunteers, potential mentors, and board members for your charity, NGO or social enterprise. They offer a free 30-day listing – visit Career Volunteer for more information.
  • Recruitment sites – these recruitment sites offer free basic adverts for volunteer roles: TTP, Indeed.
  • Networking sites – if your organisation has a page on Facebook it can be worth advertising the role there. The professional networking site LinkedIn offers free advertising for volunteer roles to nonprofit organisations.

Recruiting 13-25 year old volunteers

To help local not-for-profits tap into the pool of young volunteers, we produced a guide giving tips and useful organisations to get in touch with.  Read our guide to recruiting young volunteers.

Image courtesy of The Pace Centre