10 Volunteer Management Tips
The world needs as many volunteers as possible. After all, we need one another’s helping hand in order to survive. However, volunteering is completely different from managing volunteers. If you have been tasked to lead a group of volunteers, do you know what to do? Keep in mind that the overall success of your operations relies so much on your hands. To help you out, here are the 10 volunteer management tips:
- Don’t forget to make some instruction sheets. Delegation is very important when you’re in a volunteer organization. After all, there’s so much that needs to be done. One of the keys to effective volunteer management is the creation of instruction sheets, just in case they completely forget what to do.
- Constantly update your volunteers. Sometimes certain situations will compel you to change previous instructions. Thus, make sure that you have your bulletin board ready for any new announcement. Always instruct them to monitor the board as often as possible.
- Make him feel welcome. Teamwork is an essential factor in a volunteer’s organization. That’s why to ensure that he gets to open up himself faster and cooperates effectively, always make him feel welcome. Perhaps you can start with a short introduction to the rest of the group once he arrives.
- Recognize their hard work. Volunteering can truly be an arduous task. It can drain you physically and emotionally, and your volunteers need all the kind of motivation they can possibly get so they can still function properly. Besides providing them with recreational activities, you can also give them recognition, probably in the forms of certificates, medals, and even plaques.
- Go for personal request. You can recruit volunteers by the masses, but it will be very difficult for you to assess their commitment to the organization as well as their potential contribution to your goals. Thus, ensure that you can spend time to talk to your future volunteers one by one.
- Provide a good environment for your volunteers. Keep in mind that the volunteers, like you, are also sacrificing a lot of good things for the sake of other people’s needs. They can’t earn as much as they can, they sometimes have problems with regards to their health and transportation, and usually, they’re far from their families. What you can do to ease these opportunity costs is to give them a pleasing environment. This may include social clubs, a good house they can stay, a day off from their volunteering job, or even promotion, if you think they have been working real hard.
- Develop their job description. The only time they can feel satisfied of their work is when they know they are accomplishing something. To help them assess how they fare with their jobs or that they have truly performed to the utmost, you can provide them a job description.
- Match your volunteers to their interests. It’s highly fundamental that you can bring out the potential volunteering characteristics and personality of every individual. One of the best methods to accomplish this is to match their skills to the volunteer organization or department. For example, if you have a business graduate in your list, perhaps you can place him in the logistics department. Moreover, you can put your teacher in the training division.
- Take advantage of two-month adjustment. According to studies, volunteers need at most 2 months to adjust to the organization. If they feel like they don’t belong or can’t contribute greatly, then they will disappear. You can make use of the period to orient and guide him. Most of all, don’t forget to stress how valuable he is to the organization.
- Communicate. Volunteers, whether new and old, still need supervision. Thus, ensure that your communication lines are open. If you’re not in the field, make sure you have provided your volunteers with a number they can reach immediately. Guarantee, too, that you can monitor them as often as you can.