Volunteer.gov/gov Online Help
Welcome to the Volunteer.gov/gov Help Page. This online help file is designed
to provide you with basic help for using the Volunteer.gov/gov web application.
If you need additional help or if you need to reach the support team, please use
Link on the Volunteer.gov/gov home page or email Volunteer.gov/gov Support Team firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEB BROWSER REQUIREMENTS
To reach Volunteer.gov/gov personnel, it is best to start with the contact person
listed for each individual opportunity. If you need to reach the Volunteer.gov/gov
program office, please use the Contacts
Link on the Volunteer.gov/gov home page. The Contacts Link includes a listing of key Volunteer.gov/gov staff. The If you have an urgent web page related issue, please email the web support team at email@example.com.
FIND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
The Volunteer.gov/gov web site allows you to search and find volunteer opportunities using several different search methods. You can search for Volunteer Opportunities from the Volunteer.gov/gov home page and most linked pages (See Figure #1). Each of these search methods is described below.
Please note: you can use any combination or all of the search methods together to find the ideal volunteer opportunity. The more search methods you use, generally the more refined your results will be. If you need to broaden your search results, try using less search methods. If you click just the Find button with no search methods, all Opportunities in the database will be displayed.
Special Note: The Volunteer.gov/gov web application may occasionally provide online Tips to help you with a particular function. These tips will have a small circular blue icon with an "i" in the center. Move your mouse (cursor) over this icon to get a small pop-up window which displays Tip information on how to use the given function.
Here is an example of a narrow (refined) search: Keyword: Kiptopeke; State: Virginia; City: Charles City. This search currently returns 2 volunteer opportunities.
Here is an example of a broader search: State: Virginia; Opportunity Type: Campground Host. This search currently returns 78 volunteer opportunities.
Again, try to broaden your search if you do not find volunteer opportunities matching your interests or if you want to find more opportunities. Alternatively, to refine your search to more specific areas or keywords, try entering more search terms and/or selecting more search items (state, city, partner, etc.) to show fewer volunteer opportunities matching your search criteria.
FIGURE #1: Find Volunteer Opportunities Page
- Search by Keyword(s):
In the top middle section of the Volunteer.gov/gov home page (below the Find a Volunteer Opportunity title), there is a text box where you may enter a keyword or phrase you can use to search for volunteer opportunities. For example: if you wanted to find volunteer opportunities containing the keywords "Golden Gate"; type in Golden Gate in the keyword text box and click the FIND button. All volunteer opportunities containing your keywords will be displayed. Please note: volunteer opportunities will be searched with your keyword(s) by the volunteer opportunity title, location, and description. So, using the keywords "Golden Gate" will return volunteer opportunities at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area as well as volunteer opportunities at Alcatraz Island (associated with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area) and the Presidio (associated with Golden Gate National Park). If your search produces more than 200 results, try entering several keywords or phrases. If your search does not produce any results, check the spelling of your keyword or type in a partial keyword. Please note, you can use the Keyword(s) search method in combination with any/all of the other search methods to refine your search.
- Search by State: In the Find a Volunteer Opportunity box on the Volunteer.gov/gov home page, there is a drop-down select list box which includes all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories/protectorates. If you want to find all volunteer opportunities in a given state, click on the State drop-down box and choose the state. Once you have selected your state, click the FIND button to search for all volunteer opportunities in your selected state. Please note: You can use the State drop-down selection list in combination with any/all of the other search methods to refine your search.
- Search by City:To find opportunities within a particular City (or Town), type in the city or town in the text box in the Find a Volunteer Opportunity section on the home page, then click the Find buttonIf your search does not produce any results, try selecting an entire state to find more results. Please note: You can use the City search method in combination with any/all of the other search methods to refine your search.
Special Note: Many of the volunteer opportunities on Volunteer.gov/gov are located on large tracts of U.S. Federal Government land. The field office and/or volunteer office for several large tracts of land (such as National Forests and National Parks) may be located in a nearby town. As such, the location of the field office and/or volunteer office may not necessarily help you find your opportunity. Therefore, please understand that if you use the City search method and you do not get any results, try expanding your search to a State and do not enter a city. Also try using the Keyword search and/or other search methods to help find what your are looking for.
- Search by Agency:To find volunteer opportunities for a particular Volunteer.gov/gov Agency, click the down-arrow to the right of the word Agency, select the Agency, then click the FIND button. For example, if you wanted to find all volunteer opportunities with the National Park Service, select the National Park Service from the Agency list then click the FIND button to display all National Park Service volunteer opportunities. Please note: You can use the Agency search method in combination with any/all of the other search methods to refine your search.
- Search by Opportunity Type:To find volunteer opportunities for a particular Opportunity Type, click the down-arrow to the right of Opportunity Type, choose the type, then click the Find button. For example, if you want to find all volunteer campground host opportunities, select Campground Hosts from the Opportunity Type list then click the FIND button. Please note: You can use the Opportunity Type search method in combination with any/all of the other search methods to refine your search.
- Search by Newest Opportunities:To find opportunities which have been added and/or updated in the past 30 days, click in the Newest Opportunities checkbox within the Find a Volunteer Opportunity section. Then click the Find button. This will return ONLY the opportunities which have been added and/or updated within the past 30 days from the date of the current date. Please note: You can use the Newest Opportunities check box search method in combination with any/all of the other search methods to refine your search. Also, to remove the check in the Newest Opportunities check box, simply click the box to add/remove the check.
FIGURE #2: Quick Search U.S. Map
- Quick Search Using the US Map:To find volunteer opportunities in a given state, use the State Search Method described in item #2 above or simply click on the State abbreviation (the state name will be displayed in a pop-up box for confirmation)on the blue-colored U.S. Map near the bottom left of the Volunteer.gov/gov home page (see Figure #2). Please note: For scale reasons, this map does not show the Mariana Islands and Guam. To find Volunteer Opportunities in the Mariana Islands and/or Guam, please use the State Search method described in item #2 above.
|FIGURE #2A: Map Title Text Detail
Special Note: Because of size limitations, several of the smaller U.S. States are quite small on the map and/or may be listed only by their 2 letter state abbreviation. To ensure that you are clicking on your desired state, place your mouse (cursor) over your desired state. A small text title will appear next to your cursor identifying the state your cursor is over. If your cursor is not over your desired state, move your cursor slightly towards your desired state and wait for the small title text to appear. When the title text for your desired state appears, click and you will see all the opportunities for your desired state. See Figure #2 A for an example (Vermont was used as the example).
- Featured Opportunities Quick Search: The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes a listing of "Featured Opportunities" located in the middle of the home page. Featured Opportunities are existing volunteer opportunities which are being featured on the home page to highlight special volunteer programs and/or special volunteer program needs. Featured Opportunities are rotated on a daily basis. To access any of the Featured Opportunities, click on the small numbered tabs [ 1] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] to the right of the "Featured Opportunities" title. A summary description of the featured opportunity is displayed below the tab. There is a ... more link at the end of the abbreviated description which links to the full featured opportunity description and application page.
|FIGURE #3: Volunteer.gov/gov Results Page
The search results page will return a listing of the volunteer opportunities matching your search criteria. Each listing shows the opportunity details (position, location, activities, dates, agency/partner, etc.) as well as the description for the volunteer opportunity so you can choose the opportunity that best matches your interests. In addition, each opportunity includes external links to state volunteer resources for the state where the opportunity is located. Please see Figure #3 for a sample search results page.
If you are interested in applying for a selected volunteer opportunity, click on
the Apply Online Now link to fill out an online volunteer application.
VOLUNTEER APPLICATION The Volunteer Application form allows you to apply for a specific volunteer opportunity online. Once you complete the application, a confirmation email will be sent to you. A volunteer coordinator will contact you within 10 working days (depending on the volume of applications received) regarding the status of your application.
Please make sure to fill in the form completely. The following instructions explain how to complete the volunteer application form:
Online Volunteer Application Instructions
- Personal Information:
- Last Name: enter your last name here (required)
- First Name: enter your first name here (required)
- Middle Name: enter your middle name or middle initial here (optional)
- Age: enter your age here (required) Note: Please do NOT enter anything other than a number here. For example, do not enter 17+. If you are 17, enter 17 with NO + symbol. If you are completing an application for a group or your family, enter the age for the person completing the application. Again, enter only a number for the age.
- Street Address 1: enter the first line of your mailing address here (required)
- Street Address 2: if you have a second line for your address, enter it here (optional)
- City: enter your city here (required)
- State: enter your city here (required)
- Zip: enter your zip code here (required)
- Phone: enter your phone number here (required)
- Email: enter your email address here (required)
Qualifications/Skills/Experience/Education Check Boxes:
- Work Categories check boxes: this item includes one or more check boxes which are the available work categories for the selected volunteer opportunity. Check one or more boxes corresponding to the work categories relative to your interest. For convenience, each of the work categories check boxes is pre-checked for you. Please review these work categories. (required)
- This section includes check boxes of general skills for the selected volunteer opportunity. Check all of the boxes where you have skills, qualifications, or experience. There is also an "other" text box where you may enter one of your skills/experiences not included in the list. (required)
- Qualifications area: enter any qualifications you may have relative to the volunteer opportunity you have selected. For the best chance of obtaining your selected volunteer position, it is recommended that you provide as much detail as possible regarding your qualifications specific to your selected volunteer opportunity. (required)
- Enter your previous/current volunteer experience (if any). If you have previous volunteer experience, please let us know where and when and the nature of your experience (optional)
- Check the box if you would like to supervise other volunteers (optional)
- List your objectives for working as a volunteer. So that we can do our best to match your skills and interests and objective to the best volunteer position available, please provide the details of your objectives in seeking this volunteer position (optional)
- List any physical limitations that may influence your volunteer activities. Since many volunteer positions may involve strenuous physical work, we need to know if you have any physical limitations so that we can best match you to the appropriate position (required)
- Schedule check boxes: place a check in the boxes for the Month(s) and the Day(s) you are available to volunteer. Also type in the total hours per week you are available to volunteer (required)
- Indicate whether you will provide your own lodging or will need assistance with lodging for the volunteer opportunity (required)
Special Note: There are some volunteer opportunities where housing may be available. The volunteer.gov/gov web portal is adding new information to the volunteer opportunity description which will provide details about housing where available. Housing is not guaranteed, so you must contact the respective volunteer coordinator to get information about housing.
- Indicate whether you would like your volunteer application forwarded to another location or federal agency if there are no opportunities at your selected location (required)
- Enter your comments regarding the volunteer opportunity here (optional)
Reviewing your application:
Once you have completed all the required sections on the online application form, please click the REVIEW APPLICATION button to review the final version of your application. If there are any corrections you need to make, click the REVISE button to return to your application. If you need to start over completely, click the CLEAR APPLICATION button to clear all data and start over. Note: If you forgot to include required information in your application, you will receive a pop-up message reminding you to complete the required information before you can submit your application. Please ensure that you have completed ALL required items.
Submitting your application:
Once you have reviewed your application and are ready to submit your application, click on the SUBMIT APPLICATION button. Notification will be sent to the volunteer coordinator that you have submitted an application. This completes your online application process. Note: When you complete an application, your form entries are remembered as long as you are still on the Volunteer.gov/gov web site. Therefore, if you choose to complete another application, the form will be prefilled for you. You would only need to edit your information for your selected position. This will save you time if you decide to complete more than one application.
A volunteer coordinator will contact you regarding your application. On average, Volunteer.gov/gov coordinators make every attempt to contact you regarding your application within 10 working days. This 10-day time period is not always possible due to holidays and workload, but we will strive to meet this 10day response time as best as possible.
FIGURE #4: Volunteer Events Calendar
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes an online Events Calendar which lists scheduled volunteer events (see Figure #4). Events will appear on the calendar with an orange background on the day the event is scheduled. To view an event, click on any day in the calendar to see events for that day. To view events for other months, click on the red arrows located at the top right or top left of the calendar to navigate forwards (right arrow) one month or backwards (left arrow) one month. To participate in an event, contact the event coordinator shown in the event’s details.
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes a listing of key volunteer-related National Events. Each of these events are listed on the upper right-hand side of the Volunteer.gov/gov home page approximately a week before and after the scheduled event. The link is an external link to the national event home page with further information about the national event. Also, to see all national events listed by Volunteer.gov/gov click on the National Events title and you will be linked to a complete listing of all events. From the complete listing, you can click on any event (external link) to get more information about the event.
ASSOCIATIONS, FOUNDATIONS, & FRIENDS GROUPS
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes a listing of volunteer-related associations, foundations, and friends groups (organizations). These associations, foundations and friends groups are important and valuable organizations which help with volunteer activities on public lands. You can find these organizations in each state (where available) by clicking on the "Associations, Foundations & Friends" link form the home page. To see a complete organization listing on Volunteer.gov/gov, click on the "Show all Groups" link from the groups home page. From the complete listing, you can click on any organization link (external link) to get more information about the organization.
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes an icon for RSS feeds. The RSS feeds from Volunteer.gov/gov include a daily listing of all new volunteer opportunities posted on Volunteer.gov/gov for the past 7 days (week). The RSS feed details include the name and location of the volunteer opportunity with a link to Volunteer.gov/gov to view more detailed information about the volunteer opportunity. To subscribe to the Volunteer.gov/gov RSS feed, click on the RSS link and following the instructions in your web browser.
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes an icon which links to the Official Volunteer.gov/gov Twitter Page. Volunteer.gov/gov attempts to update our Twitter page with relevant content about new volunteer opportunities as well as key upcoming events.
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes an icon which links to the Official Volunteer.gov/gov Facebook Page. Volunteer.gov/gov attempts to update our Facebook page with relevant content about new volunteer opportunities as well as key upcoming events and other public interest information.
iPhone Mobile Version
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes an icon which links to a mobile version of Volunteer.gov/gov designed for the iPhone. All functionality of the Volunteer.gov/gov portal is available in the iPhone version except the ability to apply for a position. Volunteer.gov/gov will add the mobile version of the volunteer application by 12/31/2009. We are also updating our mobile version to include support for all other mobile devices expected for deployment on 12/31/2009.
The Volunteer.gov/gov home page includes a listing of the federal agencies (partners) who participate with and make up Volunteer.gov/gov. Our partners provide volunteer opportunities, guidance, support and/or resources which make Volunteer.gov/gov possible. You can learn about each partner by clicking on any partner icon in the lower right-hand side of the Volunteer.gov/gov home page. Clicking on a partner link will navigate you to our partner page with information about the partner's volunteer program and link to the partner official home page. Also, if you are not sure which partner icon to click, move your mouse over each icon and the name of the partner will be displayed in your browser window.
For example, to learn more about the National Park Service (NPS) volunteer programs, click on the NPS icon.
For reference, you may find our participating agencies abbreviated within Volunteer.gov/gov. Following is a listing of our common agency abbreviations:
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
Department of the Interior
Department of Veterans Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
Fish & Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
Idaho Parks and Recreation Department
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Park Service
National Resource Conservation Service
Take Pride in America
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation
FIGURE #5: Comments Spam Filter Box
If you would like to leave a comment to the Volunteer.gov/gov team, you may click the Comments link at the bottom of each page on Volunteer.gov/gov and submit your comments. If you need a reply to your comments, please include your contact information (email and/or phone number) in your comments and we will do our best to reply to you promptly. Please note that the comments box includes a spam protection filter (see Figure #5) and you will need to enter the displayed code inside the code box in order to submit your comments. Again, this is designed to filter out automatic spam.