Several features have been added to the IEEE Volunteering Platform. The website enables members to search for opportunities across the organization, be it short- or long-term, local or remote. Those looking for helpers can post positions they need to fill.
The new features include the ability to share opportunities on social media and download applicants’ contact information.
Although the IEEE Young Professionals group leads the development of the platform, the website helps all IEEE groups increase their volunteer pipeline. Since its soft launch last year, more than 1,400 members have signed on to post opportunities or find activities. There are currently more than 20 volunteering opportunities available worldwide, and more are added all the time.
“We believe volunteering is a member benefit,” says Member Emre Ayranci, the IEEE Young Professionals committee chair. “We are happy to help IEEE members find volunteering opportunities as well as enable volunteer leaders to have access to more volunteers who would like to contribute to their projects and initiatives. These volunteering opportunities could help our members further develop their soft skills, increase their network of contacts and open many more opportunities depending on their needs and career stage.”
EXPLORING THE NEW FEATURES
To use the platform, members sign in using their IEEE credentials and create a profile. They also have to select three of their most relevant skills from a drop-down menu.
To find volunteering opportunities, users click on the “I Want to Volunteer” option at the top of the home page. They can search on the dashboard and can save opportunities.
To post an opportunity, users select the “I Need to Find a Volunteer” option at the top of the page—which brings them to the creator dashboard. They then select “Create Opportunity,” located on the top of the page.
Only members with a leadership position used to be able to post an opportunity, but now any member can do so to increase their reach.
“We wanted the platform to be inclusive,” Ayranci says, “so we extended the opportunity-creation ability feature to all members. This way members in the team of a volunteer leader in any IEEE operating unit can also help in the search for more volunteers.”
The person looking for volunteers fills out a form with details about the project, including where it is located, if it can be done online, and how long it is expected to take. A new addition to the form allows more flexibility when choosing the project’s duration, giving the creator the ability to choose how many hours per week, month, or year it should take to complete.
Those looking for volunteers now can designate a so-called co-owner to provide backup on the project as well as assist with such tasks as recruiting people and communicating with the volunteers. The names of both the owner and co-owner are displayed.
In addition the applicants’ names now appear in a sorted list under the opportunity on the creator’s and co-owner’s dashboard. The list is broken down into applicants who have applied to the opportunity, those who were invited to apply, and those who declined the invitation.
Creators and co-owners can use the platform to email all applicants at once as well as download every applicant’s contact information.
To make volunteering opportunities more visible, they can now be posted from the platform directly to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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