Guest post by Michele Arrighi, VolunteerMatch Product Manager
Months ago, I decided to tackle ways of improving search results at VolunteerMatch.org, and adding filters was at the top of my list. Since VolunteerMatch has more than 73,000 volunteer opportunities, I figured people needed a way to narrow down their results to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and to help them find that one perfect match.
The new search filters launched in May. This feature allows volunteers to easily filter their search results by:
- Opportunity Type (Local vs. virtual)
- Interest Area (The cause area that you as a nonprofit have identified for the opportunity)
- Suitable For (Is it good for groups? Kids? Teens? 55+?)
80% of people visiting VolunteerMatch are first time users. As such, many have no idea how to find a volunteer experience that matches their passions.
They often come to VolunteerMatch with no knowledge of things like cause areas, virtual volunteering, skilled volunteering or the great organizations within their neighborhoods.
My goal when designing the search filters was to help people narrow down the available volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch.org simply and quickly, so they can connect with organizations like yours and get started making a difference.
Now that search filters are implemented on the VolunteerMatch.org site, prospective volunteers can fully personalize results in just 2 clicks. Even if they don’t include a keyword in their search, the filters provide a quick way to narrow their volunteering options.
This helps prospective volunteers quickly find the right volunteer opportunities for them, and connect with your organizations. And we have seen as high as a 67% increase in volunteer connections since we launched these filters!
What does this mean for you and your listing? Here are some tips to consider when listing opportunities to make sure the filters work best for you:
- Be sure to fill out the 3 interest areas.
- Make sure to select all applicable “Suitable For” options.
- If the opportunity can be completed anywhere, make sure to mark it as a virtual opportunity – these are now even easier to find.
- Be sure to include the required skills for the opportunity when going through the Listing Wizard – we will be adding a “skills” filter to the search results in the future.
I look forward to seeing how this feature will help our network grow, and make it even easier for good people to find good opportunities!
What do you think of the new search filters?