Volaby Voice:

3 Things to Become a More Helpful Volunteer

How can volunteer managers and volunteers get the most out of their experience?

{read time: ~ 5 mins}

3 Things to Become a More Helpful Volunteer

ATTENTION VOLUNTEERS – this week’s Volaby Voice is for you 🙂

By their very definition, volunteers solely want to help. They have a driving force within them that is so strong they have made the effort to reach out, go through an onboarding process and then volunteer their valuable time (some times regularly) – all because they want to give back and make a difference.

Well, for volunteers who really want to make a difference – there are some super simple things you can do to help your organisations (and the cause they support) IMMENSELY!

Just to name 3, there is:

Communication

This may seem very obvious, but it is very crucial in making sure everyone involved has a great time – and the service you provide functions as it should. Volunteer managers and admins need to be able to organise lots of various aspects to have shifts run smoothly. If you are not able to come to a shift, for example, if you could communicate this with the person in charge as soon as possible it would make a big difference. They need to adjust the plans for the shift accordingly. What if something happens on shift or you have concerns about something potentially happening on shift? This can be as easy as sending a message to someone else in the organisation just to give them a heads up, this may change the way they do things for the better! There are lots of people who would love to come and try volunteering but don’t want to commit to it regularly. We understand that it is not for everyone, that not everyone can give their time every week or as regularly as they would like, just have a chat with someone involved.

Commitment

We want you to feel fully immersed in your role as this not only improves your experience but also everyone else’s around you. Knowing all the details and information walking into your shift means you will be ready to tackle everything headfirst. Coming in on time or early is essential for having everything run smoothly. This will not only make sure you are settled into your role but provide you with an opportunity to give all your energy to the people you are there to help. What if you feel that you don’t have all the information needed, or your shift isn’t booked when you thought it was? Volunteer managers are busy, so checking this prior to the shift and letting them know what you need is going to mean everyone gets the most out of the shift.

Respect

Last but not least, respect. There are a plethora of locations, people, and friends you will have the pleasure of getting to know. The location you are working in could be someone’s backyard or their favourite place. Keeping this in mind, we need to be respectful of how we treat our surroundings and preserve the area.

The next is staff or volunteer managers, we are all human, no one is perfect, and people make mistakes from time to time. Anyone that is helping to organise others or pack up and pack down have lots to think about at any time. We love when they feel they can depend on their volunteers to be at their aid whenever they need.

Finally, the friends we are there to support. Please have respect for their belongings you may be handling. Having a conversation with someone goes a long way! Try to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible.

Volunteering at the end of the day is about everyone having a fantastic experience to walk away with. These are just 3 simple things to keep in mind.

For those of you using Volaby: you might want to share this information on a bulletin with your volunteers, adding more specific things to your organisation that is needed as well. This is a good way to make sure that first time volunteers begin with more confidence or that ongoing volunteers know how to continue loving what they do. You can also make the best contact for volunteers if they have any concerns available within the platform so they know who is best to come and chat to if needed!