Today, many people and organizations can use an extra pair of hands to assist them in their daily workload. But it’s not always easy to find and connect suitable volunteers who are both willing and capable to help. In this struggle, cities and municipalities can play a vital role. Both in facilitating as well as coordinating the process of matching volunteers to the right opportunities within their community.

The volunteering participation method is aimed at making the process of volunteering within a community or a specific citizen engagement project as smooth and efficiently as possible.

Example: The city of Lokeren took the initiative of launching a dedicated volunteering project, listing many volunteering actions and offering citizens an easy process to sign up and get started as a volunteer.

When offering a volunteering participation method, you allow your citizens to:

  • Find relevant volunteering opportunities within their city or municipality;

  • Sign up as a volunteer for a specific project; and

  • Receive further details on how they can proceed in a safe, legal and meaningful way.

Are you ready to set-up a volunteering participation method? Great!

We'll get you going in 5 easy steps.

  1. Create a new project

  2. Gather and publish a list of your volunteering opportunities. For instance: doing groceries for someone unable to leave the house, assisting in organizing public events, etc. To see how this last example works in practice, you can visit the following website where citizens in Brussels are encouraged to help coordinate the closing sessions of a project and present the community’s strategic plan.

  3. Let citizens sign up as a volunteer for a specific action within just a few clicks. Next, when you receive an application from a volunteer, send them a personal message with the specifics related to this opportunity. Automize this process as much as possible.

  4. Provide practical information and context on the process and the administrative obligations, such as those related to insurance, Covid-19 regulations, unemployment, replacement income or living wages,... You can add a dedicated form to your webpage communicating the terms and conditions that apply to volunteering within your city or municipality.

  5. Spread the word. Let your citizens know about your volunteering opportunities by sharing your opportunities via e-mail, social media campaigns and other channels. To learn more on how to set up an effective communication strategy, please read our dedicated communication guide.

Alternative Uses

Volunteering projects can also be used in different, creative ways that extend beyond a typical volunteering project thanks to the flexible functionality. For example, you can:

  1. Set up projects to sign-up for panels or committees.

  2. Create a timeline phase to sign-up for workshops, allowing you to collect user data on who's participating in the workshops or surveys beforehand.

Note: The text for the "call to action" button can not be customised yet, therefore it may not be suitable or relevant to use in some instances. However, this is something that will be available in the future.


Do you have questions or need help? Get in touch via support@citizenlab.co!

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