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Manage your Applications

Managing your applications

Keeping up with your account shouldn't be too much of a chore! The website is easy to use and you just need to remember a couple of key things to make things run smoothly and bring new people into your team:

  1. Make sure you regularly check the email address you used to set up the account. If you get any applications, a notification will be sent to this email address.

  1. Volunteers will receive an automatic email from the system after they apply:
Your volunteer role application with XR UK

Hello [first name] / friend,
This is to confirm that you have applied for the role XXXXXX @ XXXXX team with Extinction Rebellion UK. Thank you so much!
We have notified the organiser who posted the role and they should contact you soon. We are all volunteers here though, juggling work, family and other life stuff so please bear with us. It is always worth checking your spam folder if you don't hear back after a few days.
If you haven't heard back after ten days please reply to this email and we will try to get you connected with them or find another role to suit you.
People like you make XR function - thank you for volunteering!

Love and courage
The Volunteer Website Team

  1. Contact your applicants as soon as possible! This is super important; no one wants to offer their time for free and then hear nothing. This might be the first contact they have had with XR and can determine whether they become an enthusiastic contributor to the movement or someone who goes away and complains about us to their friends! After 24 hours they’ll start to ‘cool’ which makes onboarding harder. A warm human voice is always better than written communication, so calling them is always the best option! You can find some key tips for this conversation below.

  1. Don't be scared to say 'no'. Not everyone is suitable for every role; it has to work out for both the volunteer and the team. Of course you can still say 'no' nicely! If after chatting to your applicant you don't think they are suitable for your role maybe you can suggest some other ways they can get involved in XR (see our Get Involved page on the UK website for ideas). You may not get a new team member but you can still help to grow the movement and leave the person feeling valued.

  1. Make sure you delete or hide any roles you've filled or don't need anymore. This stops the site clogging up with unavailable roles and saves you time contacting people who might apply for them.

    (NB roles time-out after two months and then are hidden automatically. If you want to re-advertise the role you can un-hide it and it will reappear on the site.)

  1. Urgent roles: if your role is genuinely urgent, please email admin support at - we have the ability to bring these roles to the top of the list and give them a yellow highlight so more people see them.

Calling applicants

So someone has applied, now you need to get in touch! This should always be by phone rather than email - not only do emails often get missed or go to junk but a friendly first call can go a long way to making someone feel welcome and valued.

We know this can be a little nerve-wracking at first: how do you work out if this person is right for your role in just a short call? But don't worry - really it's just talking to good people with integrity. You can’t mess it up if you're open, enthusiastic and honest. Remember, “I don’t know” is a perfectly good answer - just determine if you think they’re a good person and a good fit to the best of your knowledge.

If the person isn’t right or doesn’t feel right, it is fine to end the call early and say "we will get in touch again when something that will suit better comes up", and advise them to go and investigate roles at their Local Group, or even to set one up. Be gentle and end the call positively - not everyone can do every role after all.

Here is a suggested roadmap to help when you start making calls:
  1. Read your volunteer's profile and application message (if applicable). Get a little excited about speaking to an amazing person who may be able to help.

  2. Dial.

  3. If no answer, either leave a voicemail or send a text/Telegram/WhatsApp message.

  4. If they answer, give a clear enthusiastic intro:

“Hi XXX, it’s XXX here with Extinction Rebellion, XXX team. I’m calling because you [put your hand up for volunteering with us/applied for our XXX role]. Is now a good time to chat?” Let them answer.

  1. If 'no', arrange a time to call them back.

  2. If they can chat, ask a few basic questions and arrange another time to speak to them for a longer chat - preferably on Zoom:
  • How much time can they volunteer?
  • Do they have any access requirements we need to be aware of?
  • Do they have any questions?
  • Can they Zoom so you can have a longer chat about the role (as well as get to know them better)?

    NB: Always arrange the next time to speak/meet during each call so they have the date in their calendar. Saves time and makes them feel 'held'.
  1. When you have your longer (Zoom) call with them, ask some open questions to get them talking. You want to gain their full attention and start collecting clues about them and if they’d be good for your role/s. Let them talk and hope they don’t ramble on too much or start telling you exactly where XR are going wrong and asking to meet the management. (Listen carefully to behaviour / vocabulary.)

Example questions

“What led you to getting in touch with XR?”

“What do you know about organising with XR?”

  1. Once they are right there with you in the conversation build some rapport - maybe share a similar anecdote and relate to their experiences. Ask questions you can relate to but keep it heading in the right direction.

Example questions

“So are you in a Local Group?” Listening. “Wow yeah mine too; they’re amazing and the Council has now declared a Climate Emergency”

“Do you have mates (volunteering) in XR too?” Listening. “Great - how's their experience, are they finding it rewarding?” Listening.

“Did you see that the EU have now declared a Climate Emergency?”

THEN ASK “So have you joined a Rebellion or Action yet?” Listening. “Wow yeah I was at XXXX action and met the most incredible people” OR “Well don’t worry we have plenty of roles that don’t require you to [Go to London for 2 weeks / Get in trouble with the Law] - like the one I’m calling about”.

  1. Now find out about their background and skills. Use open or closed (yes/no) questions depending on how keen they are and how long you have to chat to them etc.

Example questions

CLOSED: “So I saw you had Accounting skills, which we’d love to bring to our XXXX team. Is that true?”
OPEN: “So I saw you had Accounting skills, which we’d love to bring to our XXXX team; can you tell me about that?”

CLOSED: “So have you ever managed social media accounts?”
OPEN: “So what’s your experience with Twitter, Facebook, Insta and such?”

CLOSED: “Have you done much copywriting?”
OPEN: “Are you someone who’s good with words and writing?”

  1. You can use alternative questioning if you have a few roles that you want to narrow down, e.g. “Would you say you’re more of a tech person or an arts person?”

  2. Once you get a rough idea of what they are about and their strengths and specific skills, ALWAYS ASK: “How confident are you with using apps & technology to communicate?”
    THEN ask “And how much time do you expect to have to commit to tackling the climate emergency most weeks?”

  3. If all has gone well and you think they are a match for your role, then you can give an overview of the team and what sort of thing they would be doing in the role.
    "You’d be doing XXXX and working with a great team on XXXX project/action/topic. How does that sound?” Let them think.

  4. DISCUSS TIME COMMITMENT. It is important that the volunteer understands the time required for the role, plus any training eg in technical aspects. If they drop out quickly because they find the time commitment is too much this is clearly not the best use of our time or theirs. While sounding upbeat and interested (and not like you are trying to get rid of them!) clearly state the estimate of hours needed and ask if this is something they feel confident they can offer. That said, it can be hard to gauge and we have to go with our gut here often.

  5. If they need specific technical skills, DIG DEEPER on those now. If you have reservations about their availability, fit with your team or anything else, follow your instincts.

  6. If you're happy then lay out what will happen next (but minimise barriers to entry).

  7. Handle any last questions they have but feel free to say they're best off speaking to the person you're passing them on to.

  8. Wrap up. “Great that's fantastic and I can't wait to introduce you to the team.” Thank them for stepping up to volunteer.


Getting in touch if they haven't left a phone number

If they haven't left a phone number or you've had your initial call, then send an email.

  • Some suggested content:
    • Thanks for signing up
    • Intro to XR link - if brand new to XR.
    • How best to keep in touch
    • What will happen next or what you need back from them (e.g. a phone number and a good time to call if you've not already spoken.)

  • After each contact, until the volunteer is part of your team, complete the 'Contact history' section (at the bottom of the volunteer's application). It takes seconds to do and means you will have a note of who contacted them, when and what was said. This is particularly invaluable if anyone else from the team needs to take over and see what has been done.
  • If you haven't spoken to them and you hear nothing back from your initial email, after a week send a second email. If still nothing, let it lie.