Volaby Voice - Topic of the week:

5 Must Do's of Volunteer Management

How many hats do you wear in your volunteer management role? Two, three… six? In talking to our partners, we have come to know that many volunteer managers are doing more than just recruiting volunteers – they are the marketing coordinator, the admin assistant, the finance whizz, the board reporter, the all rounder problem solver – the list goes on. 

To help share some of these valuable lessons, we have put together five must do’s to help you focus on your core business of recruiting, retaining and rewarding your volunteers, whilst juggling everything else! (make sure to click the link to read the full solutions/article). 

  • DO: Map out your onboarding process

Don’t make it hard for a prospective volunteer to commit to a task. Put yourself in the shoes of your typical volunteer and reflect on how easy it is to find your organisation online, and your volunteer opportunities. Is your volunteer button prominent on your organisation website and social media? Do you include role and activity descriptions? How long do your checks and approval processes really take? 

  • DO: Provide volunteer role descriptions!

An informed volunteer is an active volunteer! Don’t assume volunteers know everything you do about your organisation. The key to securing more volunteers and retaining them is defining their role in your organisation. A few things to consider including in a role description are: the minimum and maximum time commitment for a volunteer activity and the frequency of that activity, the specific skills needed to participate in the activity, and any pre and post work required for the activity. 

  • DO: Provide opportunities for volunteers to grow into new roles and responsibilities

In many instances, you will have volunteers who are happy to champion a particular project or outcome, and take ownership of its success. If you have defined your volunteer roles (as above) you’ll be able to create multiple opportunities for volunteers to grow into new roles and responsibilities as their skills increase or their time commitments change. 

  • DO: Invest in retention of volunteers

A large focus of your working week may go into strategizing ways of recruiting more volunteers, but retaining your current volunteer workforce is just as important. Finding ways to upskill and motivate your current volunteers is essential. Providing first aid training, a JP certification course or mental health support coaching are all ways of upskilling your volunteer workforce, and providing volunteers with learning opportunities via your organisation. 

  • DO: Thank your volunteers consistently!

Having a structured process of loving and thanking volunteers on a regular basis, and in ways which are meaningful to them, is so important. Consider an email in celebration of a one year volunteering anniversary, or perhaps a blog of a volunteer story to inspire the entire workforce or a short video message from your CEO or Founder as part of an annual thank you and appeal for volunteers. 

Do you have some do’s and don’ts you want to share with us?