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What Volunteer Opportunities Can I Post?

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.

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I'm looking for volunteers to help my organization for more than a single day...

Great! We can help. The majority of our nonprofit partners have ongoing volunteer needs that ask volunteers to commit to special projects, skilled volunteer roles, or other positions that require more than a one-day commitment. Examples might be:

  • Mentorship/tutoring positions
  • In-office volunteers
  • Skilled / Pro Bono volunteers (medical, technical, grant-writing, etc.)
  • Board members
  • Drivers or Delivery People
  • Any position that may require a background check or a multi-day training or orientation

These types of postings are known as Ongoing Referrals on our website, due to their need for an ongoing commitment, and can be found through our extensive Search Page. Volunteers who express interest in these types of postings will be referred directly on to you for follow-up to determine whether they might be a match. 
Any ongoing need you have can be posted to the website for one to six months. Every six months we ask that you review the posting for accuracy and currency before we reactivate it.

I'm looking for volunteers to help out for a few hours at an upcoming event or work party...

Sometimes your organization may need a group of volunteers to come help out on a project or event shift, without requiring that they commit beyond a single day. These "done-in-a-day" opportunities show up on our Project Calendar, which is incredibly popular among new volunteers looking for an easy way to get engaged without an initial longer-term commitment.

"Done-in-a-day" projects can show up on our calendar in a few different ways:

Calendar Referrals:

Do you need volunteers for an upcoming fundraiser, gala, walk, or run? Are you looking for a group of volunteers to help out with a one-time cleaning/painting/gardening project at your office? Do you have monthly work parties that could use some extra volunteer support?

Most of these annual, one-time, or monthly events will be posted to our website as Calendar Referrals -- this means they show up on the ever-popular Project Calendar (as well as in Search Results), and volunteers who express interest in helping out will be referred directly on to you for follow-up and confirmation.

These opportunities can be submitted for posting on the Project Calendar provided that we receive all information at 30 days prior to the project or event day. Due to the Calendar's space limitations, we typically allow each partner up to four calendar referral shifts per month.

Hands On Managed Calendar Projects:

Do you ever wish you could just have a group of volunteers show up ready to help you sort, clean, weed, serve, engage, pack, or craft each month, without having to jump through the hoops of recruitment, pre-project communication, and volunteer follow-up? Hands On can help!

Hands On Managed Calendar Projects are designed to make volunteering easy -- for both your organization and the volunteers who want to help.

On your end, we can help consult with you about group-based project ideas, and we'll take care of the volunteer piece by managing volunteer sign-ups directly, sending confirmation and reminder emails to volunteers, and tracking hours for those who attend. We'll also place one of our awesome Hands On trained Volunteer Leaders on the project to help support you and the volunteers on the day of the project and manage pre- and post- project communication.

For volunteers, all they have to do is sign up with a click of a button (assuming they meet the minimum age requirement) and then show up on the morning of the project ready to lend a hand -- no advanced skill or training required. Hands On Managed projects are by far one of the most popular ways volunteers connect through our Project Calendar. While all one-time volunteer opportunities are eligible to be posted as calendared referrals, done-in-a-day projects must meet a set of criteria in order to be developed into a Hands On Managed Calendar Project.

Hands On Managed Project Critera

  • Recurring (1-2x/month, 1x/week for at least one season)

  • Project time is 1-4 hours in length

  • Group-based (at least 4 volunteers)

  • Hands-on

  • Directly serves your organization's mission and/or facility (no fundraising activities)

  • Requires no special skills or advance training aside from on-site orientation on the day of the project

As the hosting nonprofit, your organization has the overall responsibility for managing the project specifics: designing the project to meet an important need, arranging to have necessary tools or supplies, providing orientation and/or training to volunteers at the beginning of the project, and being present during the entire project.

The Hands On Volunteer Leader is responsible for managing the volunteers: communicating scheduling information between the your organization and Hands On volunteers, managing project sign-ups, and working with the you to oversee the event itself.

If you're interested in developing a Hands On Managed Project, please be in touch with your Hands On contact to discuss your ideas.


Hands On Special Events:

Our main annual service event is Community Impact Week, where we post special Hands On Managed Projects that don't need to meet the "recurring" criteria -- so if you have a big painting project, need garden make-over, or have another idea for a hands-on one-time project, special events days are a great way to get those projects done and introduce new volunteers to your organization!

  • Community Impact Week - first week in October

Hands On BusinessCares Projects:

In partnering with Hands On, your organization has the opportunity to engage community-minded businesses in meeting your volunteer needs and to create ongoing relationships with corporate partners.

BusinessCares is a fee-for-service program that connects businesses with custom, group-based, done-in-a-day volunteer opportunities for their employees with many of our nonprofit partners. Project criteria is based on that of Hands On Managed Calendar Projects, but projects don't have to be recurring in nature.

To learn more about BusinessCares and add your organization to the list of potential hosts for BusinessCares projects, please contact

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