Edinburgh Local

How to volunteer: a handy checklist

Volunteering can be rewarding, and you have various options depending on how you’d like to spend your day. Our handy checklist will take you through the process, step by step.

You can volunteer as part of a group if your school, department or team has organised something (they may do in the future if they haven’t currently).  You can also volunteer as an individual.  

Volunteering as an individual

  1. Firstly, let your line manager know you’d like to make use of your Day to Make a Difference. 

  2. Secondly, decide where you would like to volunteer and get in touch with the organisation to arrange. Check out our Voluntereing Opportunities page for ideas.

  3. Once you’ve agreed a date and time with your chosen organisation, let your line manager know and book it into People and Money (see below for instructions). Be mindful of your calendar and diary clashes too! 


Volunteering as part of a group

  1.  The first thing to do is find out if your department is organising/has organised a departmental volunteering opportunity. Speak to your line manager/office manager to find out. If they don’t currently have something and would like help organising one, please get in touch with the Community Team at local@ed.ac.uk.

  2. If they do, and you decide you’d like to be involved, let your team organiser know you’d like to participate.  

  3. Book your Day to Make a Difference off on the People and Money system  (see below for instructions).


Things to think about

Here are a things you might want to consider when planning your volunteering:

  •  Do you already have somewhere specific in mind? You might already be affiliated with an organisation or have volunteered with them before. Or, you might not have volunteered with them before but you like the work that they do and want to support.  If so, you can contact them directly to see if they have volunteering opportunities and arrange a suitable day.  

  • Perhaps you don’t have a specific place in mind, but you know you’d like to work in a particular area? E.g. with elderly people or with young people, or as part of a Covid-19 response.  Or, perhaps you don’t have a specific place in mind, and don’t mind what charitable area you volunteer in either.  You can find lots of great opportunities by typing your criteria e.g. location, ‘type’ of volunteering into any of the volunteering databases here.

  • If you have a specific skill or experience that you think would be useful for an organisation - e.g. financial planning, social media skills etc - Reach Volunteering pairs you up based on a skill that you have that you’d like to offer.   


If  you have questions about using your Day to Make a  Difference, have a read of our FAQs  below. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Using People & Money to log your volunteering 

Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Sign into People and Money using this link and select 'Company Single Sign-On'.
  2. Click the “Time and Absences icon” then click “Add absence”.
  3. In the drop-down menu marked “type”, choose “Special Paid Leave”. Add in the start and end date, and in the drop-down menu marked “Reason”, choose “Volunteering activities”.
  4. Then click submit!