How to use iVOL
I-Vol is the national volunteering database, where you can find all the various volunteer opportunities active in Ireland. You can use it to choose the roles you prefer according to specific criteria.
There are two ways to search for a role on I-Vol:
This is where all the roles that we are helping organisations to recruit for are posted. Submit a search based on your location, your availability and interest and see a list of relevant volunteer roles. Click ‘View’ to get more information about a role and apply by clicking Register Interest at the bottom of the role page.
You can browse the opportunities at any time but to apply you need to be registered for our service.
How Can I Search I-VOL
You can search by location by simply putting your town, county or even your Eircode into the search bar at the top of the page. You can also select the distance around that location that you would like to search, for example Within 10 Km.
Choose the days and times that you are available to volunteer. A pink dot means you are available.
Select activities that would interest you most. You can choose up to five activities. Read about all activities here.
Are you looking for a Quick Start Role? Would you like to volunteer from home? Select any category that may apply.
Once you’ve made your selections, simply submit your search. You can also save roles that might be of interest, and apply for them later.
What happens when I register interest for a role online through iVOL?
Depending on the organisation one of 3 things may happen.
- Both you and the organisation will receive an automatic email with your details. The organisation is then expected to contact you directly.
- You will be copied in on an email referral to the organisation. This is processed manually by us. The organisation is then expected to contact you directly.
- You will receive an email with the details of the organisation. This is processed manually by us. You are then expected to contact the organisation directly, following any instruction provided in the email.
How organisations get in touch with potential volunteers varies; it may be a phone call, an email or they might send you out an application pack in the post. The rest of the recruitment process is then between you and the organisations – all documents requested like CV’s and references (if requested, depends on the role) should be sent driectly to the relevant organisation.
These three methods of contact exist because of the variety of volunteer-involving organisations. They vary greatly in size. Some may be able to process a high number of automatic emails, others may need a little more help to ensure suitability of applicants. This is all part of our work supporting organisations.
Organisations will strive to get back to you as soon as they can but bare in mind that sometimes these projects are led by volunteers which do not have regular hours. The Dublin City Volunteer Center will get in touch in 2 weeks from application submitted to check in on your progress, and again in 4 weeks to see how things are going
How many roles am I allowed to apply for?
We usually recommend you apply for a maximum of 3 roles to start. If you are not sure how to apply online, what roles will suit you or how to narrow down your options, you can contact us to discuss. We are happy to provide assistance or just point you in the right direction.
How do I know if I am suitable for a role?
It is important that you take time to read the role description first before making the decision to apply. A common mistake is that people apply for roles after only reading the title and are not fully sure of what the role entails, what tasks, time and commitments are required.
For example, a Puppy Walker role means adopting a puppy in your home for up to a year. If you need more details you can contact us.
Looking at a role you should pay close attention to:
- Location of volunteering opportunity: Where is the opportunity? Can you travel there easily?
- Minimum time commitment: Some opportunities need you to commit to more than 3 months. Try to be realistic when thinking about how long you can volunteer.
- Level of English required: Are you an international student in Dublin and want to practice your english? Look out for ‘Basic English’
- Screening details. This can be very different depending on the roles you are going for. Usually the Quick Start roles (festivals, Canal clean Ups, Fundraising) only have application forms and informal interviews, but if you are looking at roles where you will be working with children or vulnerable adults, the process will be more thourough and include Garda Vetting.
How long will it take for me to get started volunteering?
It varies depending on the role. There are some once-off informal roles where you can get started straight away, but other roles take longer. It all depends on the recruitment and screening process of the organisation.
Many organisations need to interview, check references and vet their volunteers. The Garda vetting process can take between 2-4 weeks. In these roles you should expect it to take at least one month to get started. This can be frustrating for some people but please bear in mind these organisations need to consider the needs of their service users first.
Why not use the time to take part in some great Quick Start Opportunities?
How much time will I have to commit to my voluntary work?
This depends on the role(s) that you are interested in. Some roles are a short term and ask you to commit to a couple of hours or one day. Others might ask you to commit to a few weeks or months.
Most organisations will only ask you to commit to a couple of hours a week, on an ongoing basis.
If volunteering with vulnerable adults or young people, the organisation will generally ask you to commit to a longer time period – perhaps six months to a year. This is to allow time either for a lengthy screening process or to give you and the service users time to build up a relationship.