Frequently Asked Questions
What is Vapaaehtoistyo.fi service?
Vapaaehtoistyo.fi lists volunteer tasks. Organizations and associations can submit their volunteer tasks in the service and volunteers can apply for them.The service is free of charge for volunteers. Organizations and associations can choose between a free basic version and a chargeable extended version.
Who is the service for?
The service is meant for everyone who wants to volunteer and lives in Finland.
What are the benefits of this service?
The service combines the tasks of different organizations. Therefore, it is easy for volunteers to find them all in one place.Volunteers can monitor their applications. They can also create an automated search, mark their favorite tasks, and request letters of reference. The organizer can submit tasks and manage volunteers. The extended version also offers statistics.
What does volunteering mean?
Volunteering is unpaid work, in which anyone can participate. It is helping and participating to create common good for the society and environment. It doesn’t replace professional paid work.
Why should one volunteer?
The motivation to volunteer can spring from wanting to help others, to learn something new or to try something different. According to research, volunteering increases wellbeing. A letter of reference can be obtained for volunteer work.
What is a username?
Volunteers can create a username to the service. The username is your email address. Once you have created a username and signed in, you will see the tasks you have applied for. You can also create an automated search for tasks, mark your favorites or request letters of reference. If you are not a voluteer but want to submit volunteer tasks, please register your organization/association by clicking “Submit a task” in the top navigation menu.
Do I have to register?
You don’t have to register to volunteer. You can just leave your contact information when applying for a voluteer task. If you do choose to register and create a username, you can monitor your volunteer tasks, create an automated search, mark your favorites, and request letters of reference. Organizers must register to the service. You can only submit voluteer tasks and manage your volunteers when signed in.
How do I apply to become a volunteer?
If you want to volunteer, find an interesting task! When you click the name of the task, you’ll see its description. Below the description you can leave your contact information: name, phone number, and email address. Then click “Apply for the task”. The organizer will be in touch with you.
Am I committing to something forever?
Even if you apply for an interesting task, it is not mandatory to participate. Organizers and coordinators are responsible for the tasks and you can always talk to them.
Am I suitable?
Volunteers are normal people with normal skills. Anyone over 13 years old can volunteer through this service. You will be briefed for the task and you will get help, if you need it. After applying for a task, the organizer will be in touch with you and you can discuss this in more detail. Some tasks may require adult volunteers or good physical health, for example. Sometimes participation requires training. This information will be listed in the description of a task.
Why do I have to provide my contact information?
Age and gender – why do we ask for these?
Volunteering is supported by STEA (Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations). They require reporting of age and gender of the users. The information is collected for statistics and individual data remains anonymous.
How can I stop being a volunteer?
You can stop volunteering temporarily or permanently, but please inform the organizer of your current volunteer tasks. You can quit when ever you want without any specific reason. If you would like to remove your information from the service, please contact us at [email protected]
I am interested in the tasks of one organization. How do I get information about them?
Register and create a username to the service. After that you can create an automated search for those tasks. You will receive an email listing the tasks you have selected.
If you notice a task or an organizer that is inappropriate or breaks our rules, please contact our customer service at [email protected]
What do I do if my password link expires?
No worries if your password link expires before creating a username. When signing in, you can create a new password by clicking “I have forgotten my password”. The service will send a new password link to your email. Please make sure the email has not gone to the trash folder. Your email is your username for the sercive, so it cannot be changed later.
Who can submit tasks?
Volunteer tasks can be submitted by organizations, cities, municipalities, parishes, and other non-profit, common-good associations. Citizen activity can also be for common-good, even if it is not tied to a specific organization. In order to register your organization to the service, you must be at least 15 years old.
How do I submit a task?
The person submitting a volunteer task always represents a common-good association. In order to submit a task, one must first register as a user of the basic or the extended version. You can post a new task in your profile by clicking the “Add new task” tab.
How do I write a good description for a task?
The title of the task will be read first. A good title is descriptive and entices one to read more. A good description indicates what the task is like, what kind of previous knowledge or skills it requires, when and where it takes place, and why to join. Please also list the basic information about your organization or association. Name a contact person, who provides additional information. Select at least one theme for your task.
The themes of volunteer tasks: What are they for and how do I select a suitable one?
The themes are for the volunteers. They pick areas of interest based on the themes. The 14 themes of the service describe the target groups as well as the kind of tasks taking place. Please choose the themes that best describe your tasks.
What is the difference between the basic version and the extended version?
You can submit tasks and manage your volunteers in both versions. In the extended version, you will have access to a register of volunteers. It will allow you to manage and contact your volunteers easily. You will also be provided with various statistics.
Can I change my basic version to the extended version later?
You can always change your basic version to the extended version. Go to your settings and click “Buy extended version”.
Where can I see the volunteers who have applied for my tasks?
Please sign in and open the Volunteers tab. Click on the “person icon” of a task to see the enrolled volunteers and their contact information.
How do I edit my task?
Please sign in and open the Volunteers tab. Pick the task you want and click on the pen tool in the top right corner to edit the task. Make changes, save them, and publish them. You cannot edit an expired task that has enrolled volunteers.
What if the Publish button doesn’t work?
Make sure that you have filled all the fields correctly. You have to select the adderess and locality of the task from the drop-down menu. You cannot add a link to the name of the organization. You can add a link to the “Contact us” field.
Who is responsible for the contents of the volunteer tasks?
The organizer is responsible for the contents and safety of the volunteer task and event. The organizer is responsible for keeping the information up to date. The service enables marketing of the tasks. The service is not, however, responsible for the contents or the correctness of the marketing announcements.
Is it possible that the task I submitted won’t be published?
Yes. The service provider has the right to edit and remove any announcements that break the law or are otherwise offensive. We make sure that the submissions follow the criteria of volunteering. Read more under “What does volunteering mean?”. We will also remove insufficient and incoherent submissions. The contents of the volunteer task and the requirements/expectations for volunteers must be clearly stated in the announcement.
How can we make sure that the volunteers show up and don’t leave the organizer in trouble?
This service brings volunteer organizers and volunteers together. The organizer contacts each volunteer to discuss details. Volunteers will get a reminder email before each task they have applied for. Cancellations do happen, however, and the organizer can change the status of volunteers in the service.
Who administers the service?
Who can I contact?
You can reach our customer service at [email protected]
Do you want tips for organizing volunteer tasks?
Anna Kähkönen, Vapaaehtoistyo.fi, Project Manager p. 040 6647 832 [email protected]
Satu Puolitaival, Vapaaehtoistyo.fi, Project Planner p. 045 640 8004 [email protected]
Information and sales of the extended version: Ilkka Kalmanlehto, Vapaaehtoistyo.fi, Producer p. 050 3309 308 [email protected]