Most of the opportunities advertised through our Directory are long-term volunteer roles. In order to recruit, manage and retain long term volunteers we recommend that organisations adhere to these basic standards:
Recruiting New Volunteers
- Respond to everybody who enquires about volunteering. If you have filled your volunteer role it is a good idea to send a brief thank you email to someone who has enquired and explain that you have already found a volunteer.
- Respond to enquiries about volunteering in a timely manner, even if it is just an acknowledgement.
- Send out information to prospective volunteers that allows them to make a decision as to whether the role and the organisation is what they are looking for.
- Offer potential volunteers the chance to visit your organisation for a no obligation look around, so they can find out more about you.
- Try to be flexible with your volunteer role descriptions where necessary to encourage equality and diversity within your organisation. For example if you need a volunteer to help run a coffee morning you might consider splitting the role into 2 if needed. This would allow someone who isn't confident meeting and greeting to come and help with just the tea making and the washing up.
- Inform volunteers promptly and in person if they are not right for your organisation. Please refer them back to the Volunteer Centre if appropriate so we can help them find another opportunity which suits them better.
- Request and follow up two character references for your potential volunteer.
- Carry out a DBS check only if appropriate to the volunteer role. For guidance on when to carry out a DBS check click here.
- Carry out a full induction with your new volunteer so they feel a part of your organisation.
Managing and Retaining Volunteers
- Support and supervise volunteers properly within your organisation, ensuring that sessions are documented and copies of that documentation passed to the volunteer.
- Encourage your volunteers to be creative, and work with volunteers to identify how they would like to progress within their role.
- Reimburse out of pocket expenses and travel expenses.
If you feel that you will have difficulty meeting any of these standards, please contact us before registering your organisation or role with us. We can then discuss the issue with you and ensure the volunteers we are referring are appropriate for your organisation.