Learn how to identify responsible volunteering placements based on the application process
It is difficult to find a responsible volunteer placement. Unfortunately, Cinderella is a fairytale, and there are no pigeons and turtledoves that sort the good from the bad for us.
But, don’t despair, we are equipping you with the tools and knowledge you need to spot a responsible volunteer placement. We have already outlined how you can tell whether a volunteer organisation is sustainable. Now we go into more detail about the application process of responsible volunteering organisations. You can use this tick list to assess whether volunteer experiences are responsible:
Matching skills and needs
You shouldn’t be able to simply put a volunteer experience in your cart and click ‘Buy’. If there is no vetting process of the volunteers, you know that the placement does not have a long term impact in mind. Responsible volunteering is most successful and impactful when volunteer skills are matched to organisational needs.
To make sure that your skills match the needs of a local partner organisation, you need to go through a rigorous vetting process. It might sound counter-intuitive. Who really wants to go through the stress of an interview? But in this case, it is a good sign and points towards responsible volunteering practices. If you are vetted, you know you are the right person for the job.
But it is not only you who should go through an application process. Responsible volunteering organisations also need to make sure their partners are responsible and safe. Your time and effort should be donated to impactful initiatives that are making a difference in the local community. During your interview, you should ask questions about the partner organisation and the work they are doing.
It is often not a requirement or necessity, but it is a good option to have. You know you’ve found a responsible volunteering placement if you are able to get in contact with the in-country partners before signing a contract, and vice versa. Only if both parties are happy with the match should the placement go ahead.
Individual job descriptions
Each responsible volunteering placement should have an individual job description that has been signed off by you and the partner organisation you’ll be volunteering for.
Right of refusal
It might come at a surprise, but it’s a good sign if a partner organisation refuses a volunteer. Responsible volunteering placements serve a purpose that focuses on solving local challenges, not on providing a fun and exciting experiences for a tourist. If a local partner refuses a volunteer, you know that they are serious about the work they are doing and finding the right person.
Responsible Volunteering Placements start at the Application Process
A rigorous application process seems scary. If you have the motivation to volunteer, you should be able to do that, right? Yes, but in a position that you are qualified for. Everyone has a unique skill set that is beneficial and can make a difference. But if you want to find a responsible volunteering placement, matching skills and needs is important. A rigorous application process is therefore necessary.
Not sure which placement is suited for you? Chat to us and we can help you find a responsible volunteering placement in Hyderabad, India.