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Volunteer Management

Best practices for volunteer outreach, placement, training, and supervision.
by

Met Council

on 13 February 2012

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Transcript of Volunteer Management

Volunteer Management
Ways to recruit volunteers
Recruitment
online
website
social media
print materials
partner orgs
word of mouth
Hurrah! Now you have volunteers . . .
... so what will you do with them?
Know Your Volunteers
1.
Be engaging
2.
Clearly define:
commitment
responsibilities
goals
type of volunteers
First things first . . .
You need
volunteers
!
What to know generally:
contact information
skills
availability
interests
location
Any program specific info?
training needed
age range
language requirements
professional experience
Placing Your Volunteers
Placing a volunteer is a balance act . . .
Between volunteer interest
and agency need
Once you have the necessary information about your volunteers, you can place them in an appropriate opportunity that takes into account:
their expressed interests
skills
availability
agency need/priority
Not an unilateral decision but a discussion.
A coordinator's role is to help volunteers make informed decisions about projects and opportunities.
Other considerations
Does a particular program require extra steps like references, formal interview, training, background checks?
If you are unsure, check with your on-site supervisor regarding your agency's specific requirements.
Remember
It is important to respond quickly when a volunteer first contacts your agency.
Confirmation
Confirm your role as coordinator.
Confirm volunteer responsibilities, commitment, reporting procedures.
Different materials that work for confirmation:
Job Description
Contract
Handbooks
Program Descriptions
Orientation
A good orientation places volunteering in a larger context.
Definition: a formal presentation when the volunteer is welcomed, introduced to the agency, and informed about project expectations and goals.
You should be engaging; this is a time to get volunteers excited about the project and your agency.
Allow time for questions and ice breakers.
You can accomplish orientations one-on-one, in a group, or on-site.
A good orientation is important for volunteer retension.
Supervision
Hint
: Decide if your orientation is better incorporated into the project or separate from the project.
Coordination:
Ensure regular and prompt communication
Communicate effectively with other staff
Keep records of volunteer impact
On-site supervision:
Be friendly and engaging
Be mindful and respectful of your volunteers
Be clear with directions and expectations
Our job is to make each volunteer the best volunteer they can be.
Retention
After investing time and energy into recruiting and managing volunteers, retention becomes crucial to a strong volunteer department.
Tips for retention:
Constant contact with volunteer
Make sure they know they are appreciated
Keep them engaged in the agency
Make sure they are satisfied with their projects
Let them know the impact of their work
Keep them challenged
Recognition
Recognition and praise are important to a sense of personal accomplishment and can encourage individuals to continue, even increase, their volunteerism.
Ways to recognize your volunteers:
Always send a thank you email after a project
Words of encouragement and appreciation on-site at the project
Awards and special recognitions, like lunches or celebrations
Social media recognition on your blog or website
Small, appropriate presents
You must know the individual's characteristics, preferences, and availability before selecting or routing a volunteer.
Ways to get this information:
Application/questionnaire
Phone interview
Meet in person
Full transcript