Writing a Volunteer Role Description

Writing a Volunteer Role DescriptionThere are many types and styles of volunteering role descriptions – the following is just one example of the types of information that you should include.

The name of the volunteer role. This should be both descriptive and attractive, e.g., 
Office Coordinator, rather than Clerk

Organisation Name
The name of your organisation

Major Objectives

What does your organisation do?  Simple state your objcetives and the role the volunteer will play to help achieve these. e.g., junior soccer coaches will manage their teams and ensure each child is given equal opportunity to participate and enjoy the sport.

Duties & Responsibilities
Be as specific as possible, list each task.

Qualifications & Requirements
What qualifications or equipment are needed?

Include necessary education, languages, any age limitations, preferred skills, credentials, time requirements, physical resources and human qualities necessary for performing duties.

Specific qualifications, references and screening requirements should be required for volunteers working with vulnerable populations (youth, older people, special needs clients). Similar precautions should be undertaken for positions involving management of money, assets and confidential information. Be careful not to over qualify for the position - you could lose potential volunteers due to overly stringent educational or skills requirements, as well as burdensome time commitments.

Lines of Communication
Who will show volunteers what to do?

Identify where in the chain of command a volunteer will be and who will supervise her/his activities. In some cases, this will be a staff person or another volunteer with direct responsibility for the service. Alternately, it may be a person or a committee of the organization’s board of directors.

Orientation & Training
This includes hours of training and orientation available to volunteers, and may identify the people conducting it.

Times Needed & Place of Work
This should include hours of duty, days of the week, and where the volunteer is expected to perform the services.

Commitment Required
The minimum amount of time needed from the volunteer should be noted. This commitment is based on your organisation’s investment in training and supervising the volunteer.

List any benefits available to the volunteer, including payment of expenses.

This includes aspects of the volunteering role which can provide the volunteer with personal satisfaction and learning. For example: working with animals. 

List contact name and other important information, such as phone & fax numbers and e-mail.