Helpful Hints for Volunteer Involving Organisations
When was the last time you gave your volunteer programme a Health Check?
How often do you take time to check if your volunteer policies are still fit for purpose? The same with your volunteer opportunities, that gardening role you used to have may no longer exist as the garden is now your car park!
Policy information is in the Volunteer Managers Toolkit Ready section from page 5 and writing role profiles in Steady page 21.
Why would you check references?
Always get two references for your volunteer roles, both for those that are CRB checked but especially those which are not.
Remember a CRB check will only tell you if someone has convictions and what they are, it does not give a description of them as a person, someone who knows the prospective volunteer will give you an insight to the character.
For more information see Steady section of the Volunteer Managers Toolkit page 30.
How do I arrange a CRB check for my volunteers?
Awaiting new information
Who on earth do I CRB check?
Remember CRB checks are there to protect children and vulnerable adults and not cash and property. So you must think about how much time a volunteer will interact with vulnerable groups and is there an opportunity to develop a relationship. Don’t use CRB if you don’t need to, but do use if you do!
Steady section of the Toolkit page 27.
What makes your volunteers tick?
How would you know if you don’t ask them, regular supervision is a great way to find out how your volunteers are getting on and if there are any potential problems arising.
See page 36 of the GO section of the Toolkit.
Why do people want to work for nothing?
Out of the goodness of their hearts? Well actually sometimes it is exactly that, there are many motivators for people to want to volunteer. Understanding what they are will help you manage volunteers and write role descriptions.
Page 20 in Steady section of the Volunteer Managers Toolkit.
Have you thought of using ‘taster sessions’ when recruiting?
Do you use ‘taster sessions’ for prospective volunteers, or have you thought of incorporating them into your recruitment process?
It will give both you and them an insight to how they interact with your volunteers and staff and more importantly your service users.
See Steady section of the Volunteer Managers Toolkit page 26.
So you have a need for volunteers, how do you let people know?
To get the best coverage of getting your message out is to let as many people know as possible. Your first port of call can be the Volunteer Centre and we will get the opportunity on the Do-It.org website and it can be viewed nationally, you can’t get much wider coverage than that! There are many ways to market your group and message and most can be done without spending a fortune. You can always create a volunteer role for marketing and PR.
For more see page 24 in Steady section of the Volunteer Managers Toolkit.
When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ to your volunteers?
Rewarding volunteers is a good thing to do, as they are an exceptional group of people who turn out in all weathers to do their bit. It is nice to reward with certificates, lunches or presents but these can become expensive and may not always be what they want, sometimes the most powerful reward can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ at the end of their shift.
More on rewarding on page 38 in the GO section of the Volunteer Managers Toolkit.