Opportunity criteria

UNV screens all submitted opportunity descriptions before publishing them on the Online Volunteering service website. When you submit an opportunity, make sure it…

Benefits sustainable human development

Your opportunity description should clearly state how the volunteers will contribute to sustainable human development and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Only requests online support

Your organization’s collaboration with volunteers must take place online, and the final product must be submitted over the Internet. Volunteers should not be asked to be physically present at any specific location. Volunteers should also never be requested to make donations in-kind or financial contributions, or to solicit donations from third parties.

Supports your own organization’s activities

Online volunteering opportunities should not be posted on behalf of another organization. It is important for online volunteers to know that the organizations they support are screened and in line with the Online Volunteering service eligibility criteria.

Is non-discriminatory

The Online Volunteering service is a global platform. Opportunities should be inclusive, and volunteers chosen based on their skills, knowledge and experience free from any discrimination, defined as any unfair treatment or arbitrary distinction based on a person’s race, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, language, social origin or other protected status. 

Is written in English, French or Spanish

Opportunities must be posted one of the three official UNV languages: English, French and Spanish. Upon prior agreement with UNV, some opportunities may also be posted in Portuguese.

Is task-based and short-term 

Online volunteering opportunities are task-based and short-term. Each task represents a piece of work that must be done to complete the project. A properly defined task is one that has a clear beginning and end, so that the volunteer manager and Online Volunteers themselves can easily determine when the task is complete. Tasks must be straightforward and be clearly described in the opportunity form. 


The Online Volunteering service team is there to guide you in designing “SMART” opportunities that are in line with the above criteria. Together, we make sure that each opportunity corresponds to a  Specific task that can lead to a  Measurable result and contribution to advance sustainable development. We check that the outcome of the online collaboration is  Attainable considering task complexity and the number of volunteers required. Explaining the bigger picture and giving due recognition motivates volunteers and makes the opportunity Rewarding for them. Finally, only Time-bound opportunities allow online volunteers to pursue their other professional, academic or personal commitments while volunteering online.   

In short, SMART opportunities are attractive for volunteers and yield great results for your organization!