Help/Frequently Asked Questions For Partners

Check out our page on how to become a partnerNew partner registration is open February - September. Once you are registered, you will be granted access to our partner portal and will be able to post volunteer opportunities.

What types of Volunteer Opportunities can I post on the website?  

As a nonprofit partner, you can post a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to the Hands On Greater Portland website depending on your needs. Whether you're looking for a skilled volunteer to work on your social media plan or a group of volunteers to help out at an upcoming event, we can help you get the word about your volunteer needs to the thousands of volunteers who visit our website each month. Visit this page for a detailed overview of Volunteer Opportunity types.

If you are a nonprofit organization looking to find volunteers for one-time events more than 30 days in advance (fundraisers, neighborhood cleanups, garden work parties) you can do so through our Bulletin Board Volunteer Listing Submission Form. Bulletin Board Listings do not require your organization to be an established community partner. 

Do you conduct background checks on volunteers?


We do not screen volunteers, but have partnered with Verified Volunteers to provide an online community of vetted volunteers to our nonprofit partners. The process is volunteer-driven, creates a common screening currency, updates every 30 days, and allows volunteers to share their background check with other nonprofits. Please let us know if you would like to receive more details on this innovative new system.


Updating Organization Information


How do I update my organization's basic information (website, contact information, etc.) in your system? 

If you are listed as the primary contact for your organization:

  1. Log into the Partner Portal if you're not already logged in

  2. Click on the "My Organizations" tab towards the top left.

  3. Click the “Edit” button. From here, you can edit basic information including website, Mission Statement, Address, Phone Number, etc. You can also change the Primary Contact for your organization, as long as they already have access to the Partner Portal. 

If you would like to update your organization's profile but you are not listed as the primary contact for your organization, or if you are unsure who has permission to make the changes, please email us.


How do I allow another staff member to access the partner portal?

If you are listed as the primary contact for your organization, follow these steps to allow access to another staff member at your organization:

  1. Login to the Partner Portal.

  2. Click on the “My Organization” tab.

  3. Click “Edit”.

  4. Scroll down to the “Request portal access for new staff member” section.

  5. Click on the “Create New Staff Contact” button, which allows you to enter a name, phone number, and email address for your new staff member. 

When you’ve finished inputting your information, click the “Create New Staff Contact” button. A Hands On staff member will be notified that you have created a new staff person and will follow up via email when they have been granted access. This process may take 2-4 business days.


Submitting Volunteer Opportunities

How do I submit a NEW Volunteer Opportunity?

Submitting a Volunteer Opportunity that hasn’t previously been posted with Hands On is done through the “Submit a NEW Volunteer Opportunity” tab.

This section contains a form for you to enter the information our system requires for posting. All sections marked with a red asterisk are required fields. 

The “What type of Volunteer Opportunity is this?” section allows you to select either Bulletin Board Listing or Ongoing/Skills-Based Referral. Depending on your selection the next available fields will shift to reflect that selection criteria, and will ask slightly different questions. 

What are some tips/best practices for creating an effective Volunteer Opportunity description?

If written well, a Volunteer Opportunity description can be a compelling marketing tool to attract the best volunteers for your organization. The following information should be thoughtfully addressed in a description:

  • Position overview

  • Title

  • Key responsibilities 

  • Organizational impact of the volunteer tasks

  • Sustained community outcomes of the volunteer tasks

  • Training provided and/or needed

  • Support available to the volunteer

  • Commitment (time and location)

  • Desired skills and knowledge

  • Benefits to the volunteer

Visit our guide for more information on creating a compelling Volunteer Opportunity Description. 

Editing Existing Volunteer Opportunities


How do I review the Volunteer Opportunities associated with my Organization?

To view your organization’s Volunteer Opportunities:

  1. Click on the “Volunteer Opportunities” tab and you will be taken to the default view listing Recent Volunteer Opportunities.

  2. From here, find the drop-down View menu at the top of the page, select “All Volunteer Opportunities” click "Go", this will load a list of all referral Volunteer Opportunities your organization has ever posted with Hands On. 

Other drop-down menu items include:

  • Currently Active Opportunities lists only the opportunities that are active on the site.

  • Ongoing Referrals lists all ongoing needs that are in the system (regardless of active status).

  • Opportunities Awaiting Approval lists anything that has been submitted to Hands On and will be reviewed by a Hands On staff member. Newly submitted opportunities may take a few days to appear on this page.

*Please note that on any of these views you may sort the list alphabetically or numerically by clicking on the headings at the top. 

*Please also note that Bulletin Board listings will not show up in the Partner Portal, as they are rolled up into daily digest listings rather than individual postings.

What is the difference between a Volunteer Opportunity and an Occurrence?

Your Volunteer Posting = 1 Volunteer Opportunity + 1 or more Occurrence(s)

When viewed in the Partner Portal, every posting in your organization’s account will consist of two related segments: 

The Volunteer Opportunity houses all information about:

  • What the volunteer position is:

    • Name of the Volunteer Opportunity

    • Position description details (must be edited separately)

    • What type of posting (Calendar Referral vs. Ongoing Referral)

    • “Appropriate for” attributes (e.g. min age, groups, court-ordered volunteers)

  • Why the volunteer position is important:

    • Within the position description, we ask that you include your mission statement and how the position helps support the work you do.

    • Search characteristics based on the impact areas/populations the opportunity addresses

The Occurrence houses all registration details, such as:

  • When the opportunity and its recruitment takes place

  • Where the opportunity takes place

  • How many volunteers are needed

  • Who to contact about getting involved

  • Once the posting is live and volunteers begin connecting with you, the Occurrence is where you can see a list of who has expressed interest.

Ongoing Referral Volunteer Opportunities only have one associated Occurrence; in this case, the start and end date denotes the recruitment window of your posting’s listing on the Hands On website.

How do I edit or update an existing Volunteer Opportunity?

*If you are looking to edit a previously posted Bulletin Board Listing, please note that Bulletin Board listings will not show up in the Partner Portal, as they are rolled up into daily digest listings rather than individual postings. Contact us to make any changes to the listing.

To edit an existing Ongoing Referral click on the Volunteer Opportunity tab and then click on the name of the opportunity you'd like to update. From here you have three options (see screen shots below for visual reference):

  1. Edit the Volunteer Opportunity overview by clicking the "Edit" button at the top of the page if you'd like to edit basic information about the Volunteer Opportunity like: opportunity name, impact area, age requirements, search criteria, or the length of time the opportunity is listed on the website (by changing the "end date"). 

  2. Edit the Volunteer Opportunity description by clicking on the blue "Change Description" link below the Volunteer Opportunity Name, in the "Opportunity Title and Description" section. This link will bring up the “Static Page Editor” window that allows for basic website text editing.

    After editing your description, click "Save" and then "Close." You will be prompted to reload the Volunteer Opportunity description window to confirm your updates.

  3. Edit the Occurrence if you want to update registration details for the opportunity, such as when and where* the opportunity takes place, how many volunteers are needed, and who at your organization should be receiving volunteer inquiries. 

    To edit the Occurrence, scroll down to the bottom of the Volunteer Opportunity page and find the "Occurrences" list. From there, you'll see at least one "Occurrence" listed in the form OC-######. Find the Occurrence you'd like to edit (there will only be one for Ongoing/Skills-Based Opportunities) and hit the "Edit" button to make your changes. 

    *Please Note: Locations are all stored as a separate "record" in our system, and must be created by your organization before you can select them for your Occurrence. If you would like to change the location to one that hasn't been previous listed, you'll need to create a new Location within the "Location" tab at the top of the Partner Portal screen. 


How do I let you know I want an Opportunity to be active/inactive on the website?

  1. Click on the appropriate Opportunity name within the Volunteer Opportunities tab.

  2. Once you are on the Volunteer Opportunity detail page, click "Edit" at the top, and within the Opportunity status section, select "Active" or "Inactive" from the drop-down menu labeled "change status above to."

Please allow up to three days for us to review your submission. You will receive an email when your project has been approved and is live on our site. (If you need us to inactivate a project you will not receive an email, as it is automatically taken off the live website when you request for it to be made inactive.)

I received a notice that my organization's Opportunity/Opportunities are expiring. What should I do?

The email will include a prompt to update your opportunity (if desired) and a link to take you to your posting in the Partner Portal. If you would like to extend the volunteer opportunity past the current end date:

  1. Log in.

  2. Review the Volunteer Opportunity & Occurrence for accuracy.

  3. Make any necessary edits.

  4. Update the end date to extend your posting.

Please note, ongoing opportunities can be posted up for up to six months at a time. When you update the end date, the Volunteer Opportunity will be resubmitted for approval.

How do I delete old Volunteer Opportunities? 

Our system does not allow for opportunities to be deleted. You can, however "Archive" old opportunities by adjusting the name - e.g. "(Archive) Event Support Volunteers Needed" to more easily sort through which opportunities are current in our system. 


Need us to answer a question that is not included on this page?

Please email