General Volunteer Program Management Resources

General Management Tools






Specifics


Before You Begin/Strategic Planning

  • Before you start, take a look at this Volunteer Engagement Cycle from the Red Cross.


  • Why develop a strategic plan?  This post from VolunteerHub looks at some of the reasons.




  • Pre-recruitment conversations matter.  Decide internally who will recruit, what needs will be met, the number of volunteers needed, and more with Wild Apricot’s comprehensive blog post, How to Recruit Volunteers.



  • Performing this Community Needs Assessment, brought to you by Impact Community Action, will give you a concrete idea of the programming needs and spaces to be filled in the work your organization does.





  • Refer to this eVolunteerism journal for a guide to Moving Beyond Program: Developing a Volunteer Engagement Strategic Plan. 



Recruitment









Job Descriptions

  • This article from JobHero explains the reasoning behind and the necessity for volunteer job descriptions.



  • Starting from scratch?  Some additional tips from Mission Box Global Network can give you some ideas for writing your volunteer job descriptions.



Volunteer Applications

  • Applications for volunteer staff are as important as applications for paid staff.  Read Basics of a Volunteer Application from The Balance Small Business for tips on writing a volunteer application to protect your organization.

 





Volunteer Interview Process



  • These insightful General Interview Questions from the Society for Human Resource Management can lead to a closer-to-360 understanding of your candidates.



  • Galaxy Digital’s guide to the Volunteer Interview Process walks first-time interviewers through the process, while providing plenty of insight and suggestions for seasoned volunteer-engagement interviewers. 




Volunteer Screening

  • You’ve gotten the application, you’ve conducted the interview--now it’s time for the screening.  For a basic walk-through of a thoughtful screening process, refer to Volunteerhub’s Guide to Volunteer Screening Best Practices




  • Finding the right volunteers for your organization starts with asking applicants the right questions.  Check out the helpful Screening and Retention Tips from VolunteerPro for a guide to developing useful interview methods.




  • No one wants to discover negative information, but sometimes it happens.  Read about how to handle it in West Bend Insurance’s risk management guide in  How to Handle Discovery of Charges/Convictions, and consider dispensing with the conviction question altogether after reading about the Ban The Box campaign.







Onboarding





  • All about volunteer agreements--specific organizations’ agreements are offered for reference only, are the property of their individual organizations, and should not be copied in whole or in part.
    • Keep your organization and your volunteers safe using Nolo’s blog post addressing how to draft a volunteer agreement.
    • Make your dream work conditions clear and easy to achieve using one of these 10 Free Volunteer Agreement Templates from TrackItForward.
    • Use NH.gov’s example Volunteer Agreement to make the volunteer relationship crystal-clear among all parties.
    • Bilingual volunteer onboarding materials can be invaluable.  This sample volunteer agreement from San Mateo County, CA Parks Volunteer Agreement is available in English and Spanish.



Training

  • Particularly helpful during COVID, Points of Light walks you through the step-by-step process of developing, training, and retaining virtual volunteers in Starting a Virtual Volunteer Program.







Cultivation/Stewardship


Problem-Solving




  • We’re all here to serve the mission, but that doesn’t mean a conflict-free existence, even among like minds.  In case of the inevitable, check out the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources’ Volunteer Conflict Resolution Manual for suggestions as to how to address conflict in your organization.


Ethical Decision-Making



  • Pro Bono Australia explores the necessity for ethical decision-making in volunteer engagement in Ethics in Volunteer Leadership: Hidden in Plain Sight.




Retention, recognition, and appreciation

  • Volunteer Appreciation Week is the third week of April (and the month of April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month).  Read President Biden’s proclamation for Volunteer Week 2021, and check out these great ideas from DonorBox for celebrating National Volunteer Week (and Month!) with your team.






  • Recruiting is only half the battle--retention ensures a successful program with continuity and stability.  Read the Urban Institute’s Volunteer Management Retention Best Practices report for some common-sense tips on retention.


  • Relationships between paid staff and volunteers seem like they would be a natural fit, but there can be tension.  Read Energize’s Satisfy Staff First, an article analyzing the complexities of the relationship between volunteer and paid employees.


  • High volunteer turnover is not inevitable!  Read the Energ!ze article discussing volunteer programs, assumptions about turnover and why it’s preventable.

 

  • Read ALIVE’s Strategic Volunteer Engagement (2009), a comprehensive guide to volunteer engagement.
  • CallHub offers these 5 tips for your nonprofit’s volunteer engagement strategies. 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Volunteer Engagement Toolkit provides templates, recruitment tips, onboarding advice, resourcing/supervision recommendations, evaluation suggestions, and partnership development opportunities.
  • Virginia Service offers reports on three hot topics: the surge of skills-based and pro bono volunteering, the onset of self-directed teams, and calculation of the true return on volunteer investment in Volunteer Engagement Today

 

Risk Management


  • Volunteer liability waivers protect your organization from liability in the event of an accident involving any of your volunteers.  Visit this page from Galaxy Digital to learn more and research some templates.





Evaluation

  • Once you have recruited and trained your volunteers, how do you track their successes?  Refer to VQ Volunteer Strategies’ Volunteer Performance Evaluations for some failsafe ways to provide feedback.  A great source for templates!







  • 6 Freebies to Track, Report, & Improve Volunteer Impact from VolPro, an overview of management tools/platforms and links to resources

Termination/Offboarding


  • You know that a good onboarding process is critical to maintaining the health of your volunteer corps, but why does offboarding matter?  Read this article from Jungo HR to  find out.


  • Offboarding is a natural part of the volunteer lifecycle and should be managed  with as much thoughtfulness as your onboarding process.  The EU Manual of Volunteerism, an excellent overall guide to managing volunteers, includes a comprehensive section on offboarding, beginning on page 52.


  • This article from 4Imprint offers useful tips for offboarding and succession planning for your departing Board members.


  • A good volunteer-termination letter can make all the difference in the involuntary termination process.  Read this article from GreatSampleResume for a good example.


  • This post from BambooHR, although focused on paid-staff offloading, provides a useful checklist for all terminations--paid staff or volunteer, voluntary or involuntary.