How To Write a Volunteer Position Description
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:
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.
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.
List what training the volunteer will receive. Include general training that all positions receive plus any position-specific training for this assignment.
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.
Other categories that might be included on a volunteer position description are:
• certifications/licenses required, i.e. CPR Certification, Commercial Drivers License, etc.
• development opportunities, i.e. training for other positions. etc.
• security checks required, i.e. criminal history check, fingerprint check, etc.
• benefits, i.e. certificate of service, free parking, tuition remission, etc.
Volunteer Position Job Description - Sample
Job Title: Day Chair
Purpose: The position of Day Chair serves as the receptionist for the Charles County Agency on Aging, supporting the Agency's mission of supporting the elderly population of Charles County. The Day Chair represents the agency to the public who visit the agency's offices Monday, Weds, and Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: The Day Chair works in the public reception area of the agency's main office at 567 N. Oak St in Tulsa, OK.
• The Day Chair answers the main phone line and directs calls.
• Greets guests and directs them to other offices or locations.
• Answers questions about the agency and provides forms when necessary.
• Prints out a list of activities that take place that day at the agency's offices and satellite locations.
• Makes reminder phone calls to other volunteers who are assigned to projects for the following day.
• Opens the mail and distributes it.
• Records donations that come in and enters them in the database.
• Proofreads brochure copy when time allows.
• Helps prepare bulk mailings.
• Prepares correspondence as needed.
• Other duties as assigned.
Reports to: Assistant Director of the Charles County Agency on Aging
Length of Appointment: The Day Chair is assigned to one day per week for a period of three months. After three months, the Day Chair may be reappointed for another three months at the discretion of the supervisor. After six months, the person who is serving as Day Chair may rotate to another position within the agency.
Time Commitment: One day per week (M, W, or F) for six hours (9-12 am and 1-4 pm), for a minimum of three months.
Qualifications: Basic knowledge of computer and data entry. Pleasant manner, patience, problem-solving ability, dependability.
Support: Training for this position will be provided. In addition, the Assistant Director will be available for questions and assistance.
Age Requirement: None
Dress Code: Business Casual