Get your house in order before you recruit volunteers
Traditional routes to volunteering are changing and organisations are competing for volunteers. Those who donate time want to know it is well spent, that work is well organised and their contribution is valued.
Volunteers are any age. They may be school children, young people, parents or family members, or retired. Different groups may have varying approaches to volunteering.
It is important volunteers are clear about their roles and the support they can expect from an organisation.
Organisations need to have systems and procedures in place to ensure their volunteers have a great experience.
Giving volunteers a great experience
The NCVO Institute for Volunteering Research report proposes a model of progressive volunteer involvement suggesting that eight factors influence retention.
- The image and appeal of volunteering.
- Methods of recruiting volunteers.
- Recruitment and application procedures.
- Induction into volunteering.
- Training for volunteering.
- Overall management of the volunteering.
- The ethos and culture of the organisation
- The support and supervision given to volunteers
Some organisations may have been established to encourage and support volunteering opportunities. For example, vInspired which works with young people. Many others may not formerly have thought about involving volunteers.
Volunteering may be regarded as a way to learn new skills, meet new friends, or make a valuable contribution to a cause. It may lead to employment and new careers.