Volunteers can help your organization accomplish important goals. They typically find it a rewarding experience to engage in meaningful and fulfilling work. Knowing how to manage volunteers effectively allows you to harness their enthusiasm, creativity, and passion to achieve a common cause or objective. Managing volunteers may be tricky. But given the opportunity, they can accomplish things that contribute to your goals.
Identify the needs. Creating a volunteer group is ideally a win-win situation for all stakeholders. But before you start recruiting, you have to determine the roles and tasks that each of your future volunteer will have to perform. Factor in how you can adequately provide appropriate support if needed.
Plan the recruitment process. Prepare appropriate materials designed to spark interest among potential recruits. Provide key information you think your potential volunteers would need to know such as the amount of time you need them to commit to.
Look for the right fit. Finding the right recruits for the tasks at hand is essential to effective volunteer management. The interview process is a good opportunity for you to find the right candidate that would match your volunteer requirements. Keep in mind that your goal is not just to fill a volunteer position. You also have to consider if the volunteer candidates would find it rewarding to do the work you have for them.
Make it worth their time. Preparing a volunteer management plan can help you manage volunteers that will make it worth their time. Identify who will responsible in supervising and assisting them, if needed. Build a volunteer program that is not just beneficial to your organization but also to the volunteers as well.
Orient them properly. Welcome volunteers and orient them properly to prepare them to the tasks at hand. Make the most of the time to familiarize volunteers with your organizational history, vision, and mission. Be clear about expectations and share ground rules that your volunteers need to know. An orientation is also a good time to make your volunteers feel a sense of belonging to your organization.
Give them the right training, if needed. Not all volunteers will have the same level of experience and expertise on the tasks at hand. Provide them with the necessary training through informal mentoring or coaching. Or you can prepare training materials that they can review on their own. You can also encourage them to refer to your website or other online resources that can help them accomplish their job.
Recognize and celebrate. Never miss an opportunity to thank your volunteers for their contributions. Recognize their efforts and reward them for a job well done.