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Opportunity criteria and overall platform rules

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 Online Volunteer will contribute to sustainable human development and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Only request online support

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

Supports your own organization’s activities

Online Volunteering opportunities must not be posted on behalf of another organization. It is important for online volunteers to know that the organizations they support have been properly screened and are 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 Online 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 currently available languages: English, French and Spanish. Upon prior agreement with UNV, some opportunities may also be posted in Portuguese.

Is short-term

Online volunteering opportunities are short-term and must be no longer than 26 weeks each. A properly defined task is one that has a clear beginning and end, so that the individual managing the Online Volunteer and the Online Volunteers themselves can easily determine when the task is complete.  

Is task-based

Online volunteering opportunities are task-based, which means each task represents a piece of work that must be done to complete the project. The task must be straightforward and be clearly described in the opportunity form. Your organization can request up to a maximum of 25 Online Volunteers for each task.


The Online Volunteering service team is available 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 Online Volunteers required. Explaining the bigger picture and giving due recognition motivates Online 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 Online Volunteers and yield great results for your organization!


Overall Platform Rules

Opportunity Management

Each opportunity represents the collaboration between the Online Volunteer and your organization on one clear task with a clearly described deliverable. Therefore, for each task requested by your organization, a separate opportunity must be submitted. This also applies to already completed tasks for which another collaboration is requested. Opportunities shall only be re-published in case the first round of applications did not end with a suitable Online Volunteer candidate. In case the collaboration was interrupted early, the opportunity may be re-published to receive more applications, or a previous applicant may be contacted.

Opportunities may be published for up to six weeks. However, it is suggested to close opportunities after it has attracted a good number of qualified candidates or as soon as a suitable candidate to perform the task has been selected.

Online Volunteer Management

Please keep in mind that being responsive to Online Volunteers who have applied to your opportunities is an important part of your participation in the Online Volunteering service. For example, it can be frustrating and discouraging for candidates that apply for opportunities with your organization to never receive a response from you or for those Online Volunteers who have completed their assignments to not hear back from you. Accordingly, it is mandatory for you to contact all applicants to let them know whether or not they have been selected for the opportunity (including by using the rejection function on the Online Volunteer platform) and to also provide feedback to and issue certificates to those Online Volunteers who have successfully completed assignments with you.

Please be aware that UNV reserves the right to put publishing of further opportunities on hold when it determines candidates’ applications have not been adequately taken care of in previously published opportunities.

Fundraising related opportunities

When you seek help from Online Volunteers related to fundraising activities Online Volunteers must never be asked or requested to solicit donations/funds from third parties.


UNV reserves the right to take any action it deems appropriate should it become aware of any infringements of the opportunity criteria or overall platform rules.