Hand-Raising Opportunities: A Guide for Advanced Program Managers

Created by Brittany Crow, Modified on Wed, 20 Dec 2023 at 09:11 AM by Brittany Crow

 Heads up! This article is intended for advanced program managers

Do you want to personally vet volunteers for special Opportunities? Are you looking for ways to build a network of volunteers who can respond to those special Opportunities? Or, do you want to manually schedule volunteers for specific shifts instead of allowing them to choose? 

If you said yes to any of the above, you may want to consider creating hand-raising Opportunities! Here we cover: 

What are hand-raising opportunities? 

Hand-raising opportunities are meant to be used as a sort of pre-screener for the volunteers responding to them. These are great for building interest around your Opportunities before you start assigning or scheduling volunteers. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining if you should create your own hand-raising opportunities: 

  • Do you want interested volunteers to complete a round of interviews, onboarding steps, paperwork, or special training before they can participate with your program? 
  • Do you want to vet interested volunteers to ensure their skillsets and backgrounds align with your program's goals and needs? 
  • Would you like to compile a waitlist of interested volunteers to assign and schedule as necessary? 
  • Would you like to compile a group of volunteers that expressed interest in helping during events of a disaster? 

If you answered yes to any of the above, then hand-raising opportunities are a great way to meet those demands! 

Why should I create hand-raising opportunities? 

Hand-raising opportunities allow you to build a network of vetted volunteers to call on for specific Opportunities that only they can respond to. It also builds a close-knit community for you and your volunteers as you get to know each other through the process. After interested volunteers complete the process and are approved, you can then place them into user groups for future scheduling and reporting! 

What do I need to do to get started? 

When considering if a hand-raising opportunity is right for you, start by identifying Opportunities that require a special vetting process. If you have an Opportunity that requires more than just an eSign waiver or qualification, you can set it up as a hand-raising opportunity. Setting up a hand-raising opportunity requires: 

1. An Opportunity that has multiple steps in the vetting process to ensure volunteers are qualified and a good fit. 

2. A public and private Opportunity that you set up for the process. 

  • Volunteers show interest by responding to the public Opportunity. 
    • These should clearly indicate to the volunteer that they're only showing interest for the Opportunity and must complete the vetting process to be approved. 
  • The private Opportunity is for after they've been approved. 

3. You to create a user group and assign the private Opportunities to it. 

  • You can then add the approved and vetted volunteers to that user group where they'll be able to access and respond to the private Opportunities you've created. 

How it works for you and the volunteer

Here are the steps of this process:  

1. The volunteer selects an Opportunity that clearly emphasizes they're only showing interest in the listed Opportunity—not signing up just yet, but rather raising their hand for it. 

  • Once they've found a hand-raising Opportunity, they click Respond.
    • This doesn't ensure that they'll be selected and scheduled for that Opportunity. It only means they're interested in volunteering for it.

2. You can then review the responses of interested volunteers and decide to move forward with the application and vetting process from there. 

3. Once the volunteers you've selected to screen have completed all of the steps you require for the Opportunity and are approved, they can then be added to a user group that has been assigned to the private Opportunity. 

✏️ Quick tip: Don't want volunteers to schedule themselves for the Opportunity? Then you can keep that Opportunity private without sharing it with a User Group, and use the private Opportunity to schedule volunteers yourself.

4. When they're in the user group, they can then access the private Opportunity and respond to it. 

  • They won't see the private Opportunity until after they've been added to the user group with the assigned Opportunity. 
  • The private Opportunity has a lock icon in the top right corner of the card, which indicates it's private.

5. Now, you can start scheduling them!