General Management Tools
- Read the 2021 VolunteerPro/Tobi Johnson & Associates Volunteer Management Progress Reports to find out how the industry is faring during COVID19; you can also review industry progress reports from 2016-2020.
- Specifically for faith- and community-based services, the Successful Strategies for Recruiting, Training, and Utilizing Volunteers handbook focuses on maximizing volunteers’ skills, expanding services, and enhancing effectiveness.
- 12 Amazing Volunteer Management Tools for Nonprofits from Double the Donations features overviews of management tools and platforms with reviews and pricing.
- See this post for a timely guide to resources for volunteer management amid COVID-19.
- The Energize A-Z Volunteer Management Library covers diverse topics in volunteer management with links to websites, articles, reports, tips, and more.
- Minnesota Nonprofits offers Volunteer Management, 17 tips on engagement, recruitment/screening, and engagement.
- American Association for Museum Volunteers’ Standards and Best Practices for Museum Volunteer Programs is a good guide specific to museum programs.
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.
- 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.
- Is your organization seeking skills-based volunteers? According to Americorps, Skills-based volunteering means leveraging the specialized skills and talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions.
- The New Volunteer Workforce, from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, makes the case for having a strategic plan in place so that organizations can manage their skills-based volunteers effectively.
- Common Impact provides their Nonprofit Skills-Based Volunteering Toolkit, specifically determining the organization’s readiness, scope, recruitment, management, and evaluation for skills-based volunteers; as well, their needs-based volunteering assessment toolkit from Common Impact walks you through each category to consider when attempting to recruit for your dream volunteer role.
- 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.
- 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.
- Some volunteer-management software integrates with background-screening software. Popular VMS and background-screen combinations include the following:
- Get started by taking a look at these sample volunteer handbooks--these handbooks are offered for reference only, are the property of their individual organizations, and should not be copied in whole or in part.
- Any good volunteer program needs a reliable, thorough, and easy-to-navigate volunteer handbook. Refer to Tobi Johnson’s Volunteer Handbook Sample blog post for an example.
- If you are looking for inspiration, here is a guide to compiling a volunteer handbook, compiled by TrackItForward.
- Nonprofit Risk’s article on What to Include (and Not to Include) in Your Nonprofit Employee Handbook, although it is written with paid staff in mind, contains lots of excellent principles for handbooks for volunteers as well.
- For some examples of great volunteer handbooks, please refer to the National Wildlife Federation Volunteer Handbook, the Mainstream Nonprofit Solutions sample Volunteer Handbooks for Nonprofit Organizations, the American Red Cross Volunteer Handbook, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Volunteer Handbook.
- 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.
- Code of conduct are as important as volunteer agreements to a successful volunteer program. We’ve compiled a number of samples for you to browse. These codes are offered for reference only, are the property of their individual organizations, and should not be copied in whole or in part.
- 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.
- While you want to develop a training program unique to your organization’s needs, values, and desired impact, some types of training are mandatory. See these references for guidance, and be sure to check employment law in your state and industry.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.