Tag Archives: #volunteering

Sources of volunteers for an organization

A few areas where you might begin looking for volunteers include:

  • Individuals who have benefitted from your program.
  • Students
  • Parents and helps
  • Spectators
  • Military or government employees.

In order to recruit volunteers, you could:

  • Contact volunteer bureaus and other such organizations with regard to potential volunteers.
  • Make arrangements to meet and talk to specific groups to create interest.
  • Encourage reporters or broadcasters to publicise the aims and objectives of your organization and the opportunities for volunteers to become involved.
  • Distribute handbills,posters, leaflets,pamphlets and other printed matter to inform people of opportunities to volunteer.
  • Make presentations to schools and universities.and
  • Advertise on your website and other relevant websites.

Once you have located sources of volunteers, individual personal contact is the best approach.This provides an opportunity to discuss the program’s needs, create interest and communicate aims, objectives and philosophy.

Place volunteers in the best roles possible:-If your volunteer program is to function and grow, the following steps should be taken:

  • Create a clear job description.Outline the commitment expected, including your program objectives and the general philosophy of the organization.Describe the resources currently available to undertake the task and possible procedures.
  • Provide your volunteers with training in their prospective jobs.Give them time to learn before actually doing the work.
  • Encourage people to grow in their jobs, to try new procedures as long as the objectives of the program are met.
  • Give the volunteer the opportunity to suggest new ideas or procedures.
  • Build in incentives.Give the volunteer credit and recognition for work accomplished and some tangible form of reward if appropriate.
  • Once you recognize the volunteer’s motivation, encourage self development to further motivate the volunteer to improve your organization.

Managing relationships with volunteers

Where an organization employs paid staff,there can be difficulties in the relationship between these employees and volunteers.Conflicts can occur when responsibilities and authorities are not clear.They can occur because of personality conflicts or differing opinions on goals and strategies.Boards, which may meet only a few times a year,may feel the full time employees are running the organization their way rather than being surbordinate to the board.Thus for every organization that depends on volunteers,it is extremely helpful if the employees, volunteers and Board are clear about their roles and responsibilities and to whom they should report.Most importantly success depends on everyone being prepared to work cooperatively for the good of the organization,to support each others’ efforts and to recognize each person’s contribution.

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How to recruit volunteers for your organization

There is an ever increasing need for volunteers to assist within organizations. However at the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers due to pressures of time and income.This means that volunteers need to be managed as effectively as paid staff. Although volunteers are a relatively inexpensive resource,they do create some costs for the organization.

Volunteers at work

Reasons why people volunteer -some of the reasons people volunteer include:

  • Service to others-to put something back to society.
  • To gain work experience
  • Family involvement
  • Social reasons
  • Prestige and
  • To influence policy

You need to recognize these motives, consider them in light of the program requirements and place the volunteer in a situation that is beneficial to both the individual and the program.It is important that volunteers are asked why they participate in order to help determine how well their needs are being met.

consider your volunteer requirements on a regular basis taking into consideration what needs to be done in your organization.To do these it might be helpful to classify volunteers into three categories:

  • Administrative leadership- Volunteers recruited for this role should have skills to serve as executive board members, secretaries,treasurer’s or as committee members.
  • Technical leadership-volunteers must possess real knowledge and skills in the technical field that they are volunteering in.
  • Non-leadership services-There is always a need for volunteers in a non-leadership capacity.Volunteers who could fill these roles are those who do not have technical qualifications or the time for prolonged commitment.

Try to much your volunteers with the specific requirements of the work to be done.Some criteria to consider are:

  • Short term vs. long term-How long do you need your volunteers to commit for?
  • Intense vs.relaxed-Does the job allow the individual to work at a leisurely pace or does it involve tough decisions,tight deadlines or constant attention?
  • Responsible vs.non-responsible -Does the job require an individual who will be highly accountable or responsible for programs or does it involve little accountability?

No matter how you plan to use volunteers,they should all understand and promote the objectives of the program.This will involve specific effort on your part to communicate the program’s objectives before a volunteer commits to it.

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