Preparing your organisation for volunteers

If you’re a new organisation, or you’re looking at involving volunteers in your organisation for the first time, there are a few things you’ll need to think about before you start advertising and recruiting. It sounds easy enough to ask people to volunteer and think that’s pretty much it, but you do have to ensure that you are fully prepared to recruit, select, and support your volunteers to the best of your ability.

This process will help you navigate the volunteer journey from your perspective, from assessing the gaps in your services, where you need volunteer support, through to recruitment, training, and supporting and managing your volunteers efficiently and effectively.

Step One: Identify your organisational needs.

Speak to your team(s) and find out what support they need. This could include an ‘ideal world’ list where you list all the things you would have volunteers help you with fit here were no barriers or restrictions. Explore all your options and identify any gaps within your services and/or staffing.

Where would a volunteer fit in within your organisation? What would their role include? What tasks would they have? What benefit would they bring to your organisation and your beneficiaries?

Step Two: Developing your volunteer management skills.

Our best advice for this is to book on to one of our ‘Introduction to Volunteer Management’ training sessions, followed by the more detailed ‘Supporting and Managing Volunteers’ workshop. You can find upcoming dates for these sessions in our calendar.

You’ll also need to ensure that you have the correct policies and procedures in place. We can help with that too. We provide bespoke volunteering support to voluntary organisations with getting their paperwork in order that covers consent; safeguarding; equality, diversity, and inclusivity; accessibility; and support for volunteers.

Step Three: Advertising and recruitment.

As part of our support, we’ll help you to create attractive advertisements to attract potential volunteers that will suit your organisation.

We’ll also provide support around your organisation’s volunteer application and interview processes and developing detailed role descriptions based on the needs of your organisation and your beneficiaries.

Step Four: Ongoing volunteering support.

We don’t just let you get on with it once you’ve recruited volunteers.

We’ll continue to support you through volunteer induction, training, support and supervision, monitoring and evaluation, and reward and recognition.