Recruiting volunteers online

More and more people look online for their perfect volunteer role. Make sure that your opportunity is there when they search

What you need to know to find volunteers online

The recruitment methods that you use have an impact on the people that you attract as volunteers. If guiding groups in your area rely on traditional ways of recruiting volunteers then test out online recruitment to reach new communities of potential volunteers.

Advertising volunteer roles online is a good way to recruit for ongoing roles in your unit and to find volunteers with specialist skills like graphic design, accounting or PR.

Why online recruitment works

  • Reach more people in new audiences - Online recruitment is a way to reach out to new, diverse groups of people who don't usually hear from Girlguiding. It's a good way to reconnect with former Girlguiding members too.
  • It’s low cost (or no cost!) - Many online recruitment tools are free or don’t cost much. Once you've registered your group then often you can upload volunteer opportunities straightaway.
  • Target your recruitment drives - Get to know the audiences for different recruitment websites to target potential volunteers by place, age, their interests and skills and more. Focus your online recruitment on established websites and digital platforms where potential volunteers are actively looking for opportunities.

A step-by-step guide to online recruitment

Learn from Girlguiding volunteers and staff who have been piloting online recruitment tools and put their advice to work during your next recruitment campaign. 

Set aims for every online recruitment campaign

Be clear about why you're running your campaign and what results you want to achieve. Then you’ll know when your campaign has been a success. Get more help with defining your aims.

Find the right online tool

Choose a website or tool that matches your recruitment aims.

  • Use our list of UK websites and online platforms to advertise opportunities and search for volunteers. Ask around about local websites too.
  • Follow these how-to guides for three well-established UK websites used to advertise volunteer opportunities:

Don’t reinvent the wheel

There are plenty of Girlguiding resources available to help you to create quality online content. Make use of volunteer role descriptions and our online design centre for pictures and logos.

Get a digital whizz to help

Give specific tasks to people in your team like setting up an account, uploading opportunities, reviewing applications or being an initial contact for enquiries. 

Have a plan for managing enquiries quickly

Build time to respond to enquiries into your planning. Get ideas for some re-usable welcome and induction activities to make things easier and save time.

Give everyone a warm welcome

Volunteers are more likely to join us – and stay with us – when you give them a friendly welcome to your guiding group.

Stay positive

Volunteer and staff experience shows that there is a drop-off after initial interest in online adverts. Overall online do ads increase the number of volunteers coming into an area.

Mix and match

Use online tools alongside other recruitment ideas or as part of a wider recruitment drive.

Evaluate how it’s working 

Evaluate your campaign against the aims you set at the start. Not every tools works in every area. If something isn’t working for you, there is always another idea to try!

Spread the word in different ways

Try using videos like our flexible volunteering film to show people what volunteering for Girlguiding is all about!

Rosie (Assistant Leader and Pride Coordinator): Girlguiding is an amazing opportunity to get involved with and it's open to absolutely anybody.

[Video showing volunteers during various guiding activities]

Bex (District Commissioner): There's a role for everybody in guiding, no matter how much time you can give.

Rebecca (Outdoor Activity Adviser and Occasional Instructor): You're never too busy to volunteer.

Stacy (Occasional Helper): Girlguiding is really flexible because, honestly, whenever I do things now, my 4-year-old comes with me. If I can't do something on one occasion, there is always another opportunity I can get involved in.

Rebecca: You can get involved just once a year if you wanted to go on a residential or come along on a weekly basis depending on what time you got.

Hannah (Leader and Residential Volunteer): Even though I'm a secondary school teacher I can fit it in around my life.

Lynne (Mentor): We've got everything that ranges from people helping us to do press releases to people who will help us to do DBS checks and help work new volunteers in.

Andy (PR Adviser): I get to work on social media I get in touch with the local papers. I can do bits from home, I even manage to do bits at work on my dinner break.

Rebecca: There are so many different roles in Girlguiding - the hands-on stuff with the girls and also the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Andy: There's a treasury role where we do that once a week, once a fortnight, once a month even.

Lonie: I am helping with Guides and also a leader in training with Brownies. I was quite worried having a mental disability because I didn't think anyone would understand. They've supported me through everything. I've loved every minute of it.

Rosie: Guiding's amazingly flexible in that you can dip in and out of things as and when you want.

Stacy: It's just about offering what you can, when you can.

[Voiceover: To find out more about volunteering go to]

Bex: Volunteer for Girlguiding. It can change your life and it'll change a young person's too.