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 (See below).
When you see a role you are interested in you can apply for the opportunity by clicking ‘Apply Now’ and entering your email address. You can browse the opportunities at any time but to apply you need to be registered for our service.
What criteria can I search by?
You can write the geographical area you can go to volunteer in. If you live in Dublin, we suggest you to write “Dublin” so that you narrow the search only to Dublin city or county. We’ve helped you get more specific for the Dublin area. Please, remember anyway to read the Location stated in the role description to be sure it within a distance you are willing to travel to volunteer.
This drop-down menu lists the goals the organisations work for. Read about each Cause.
This drop-down menu lists the various tasks you can select from. Read about each Activity.
To narrow your search, enter a specific name or a keyword
What happens when I apply 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. If you do not hear from the organisation within a week you should contact them directly with a friendly reminder. If there is still no response, please contact us so we can follow up for you.
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.
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.
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.