What must we do before we recruit volunteers?
Your organisation should work towards creating a comprehensive volunteer policy. This should include information on recruitment, confidentiality, insurance and health and safety, as well as the organisation’s mission statement and information on equality. We can help you with this.
What is a role description? Do we need one?
Yes. A role description should include as much information about the volunteering role as possible. This can include a list of duties, tasks and responsibilities as well as the commitment required from the volunteer. A list of necessary and desirable skills and contact details are also useful.
Do we need to pay volunteer expenses?
You should budget for volunteer expenses when planning to recruit volunteers. Expenses incurred whilst the volunteer is carrying out their role within your organisation should be reimbursed. If you are able to pay travel expenses, childcare costs, meal allowances or similar these need to be agreed with the volunteer at the start of the placement.
What help do we need to give our volunteers?
A common reason for volunteers leaving projects is that they don’t feel the organisation cares about them. You need to give volunteers regular support. This can be structured, such as regular one-to-one appraisals, or less structured, such as a telephone call. You should tell volunteers from the start how much and what kind of support they will be receiving.
It’s also advisable to allocate a member of staff or another volunteer as a point of contact for new volunteers and make this person known to to them at the start of their placement. They will then know who to turn to if they have any questions or concerns.
How do we set about starting a new group?
If you are thinking about setting up a new group and involving volunteers for the first time, we can help. It is important to think how volunteers could be an asset to your organisation and to put the volunteer infrastructure in place before you start recruiting volunteers.
You will find it useful to read our Good practice guide for comprehensive guidelines on managing and supporting volunteers.
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