Which comes first: Your need for help or the volunteers need for an experience? Knee jerk call for help results in short lived success Intentional program development creates long term success (plan, plan, plan!)
Components of a Volunteer Program Vision: What is the Ideal Future State (IFS)? Goals: The Framework to achieve the IFS Plan: The steps to build the Framework Leadership: Volunteer Coordinator (VC) to manage the plan Implementation Process Volunteer Recognition Evaluation: Ongoing and Annually
Before you recruit make sure you understand your nonprofits' culture and work environment. Formal, clear lines of authority, follows a chain of command? Chaotic and free flowing? Casual and embraces change? Value Driven? Anxious and unstable? Daily Drama?
Make sure your organization is prepared to handle volunteers: Policies in place (Job descriptions, volunteer handbook, feedback process, grievance procedure, dismissal policy, record keeping process, etc...) Recruitment materials in place Necessary space and supplies prepared Volunteer Coordinator (VC) interviews each person Orientation Recognition Program Program Evaluation Process
Match the volunteer to your organization: Highly structured org needs people who can work within boundaries, follow rules Loosely structured org needs flexible, self starters who require little direction All organizations need volunteers who can work and play well with other
Resolve legal issues Do you have insurance? Do you have proper program policies and procedures in place? Is a volunteer personnel review policy in place to evaluate performance? Do you have a history/intention of following your own policies?
Educate staff/board to recruit volunteers Is staff/board ready to respond to inquiries from potential volunteers? Can they speak enthusiastically about the org mission and vision? Do they know who the Volunteer Coordinator is and what info to provide the VC? Never ask a potential volunteer to call back!
Educate staff/board to recruit volunteers! It is everyone’s duty to recruit volunteers Staff and board should be able to discuss range of opportunities available to volunteers Everyone needs Volunteer Coordinator’s contact info readily available both at work and in social situations
Four Approaches to Recruiting Volunteers Warm Body Recruitment for mass projects Targeted Recruitment for specific skill sets Concentric Circles Recruitment for people who know you Online Recruitment Idealist Network for Good Volunteer Solutions Volunteers of America Volunteer Match Points of Light Your Organization’s Website
10 Things Volunteers Want: Volunteers want you to be PREPARED for them Volunteers want to feel welcomed Volunteers want good training Volunteers want to do interesting work Volunteers want to know upfront how long the job will take Volunteers want to be appreciated Volunteers want communication (and not just emails!) Volunteers want to know they are helping to make the world a better place Volunteers want to be socially connected Volunteers want to learn something new
Handling Difficult Situations: Cannot stress enough the importance of having policies and procedures in place and actually following your rules Protect both your volunteer and your organization with clear grievance procedures Nip issues in the bud immediately...issues will not just go away Remember, volunteers acting as staff are to be treated as staff which includes performance reviews, goals, counselling, and even termination.
How to Fire A volunteer and Live to Tell About It: 1. Get Philosophically Ready – it is appropriate to fire a volunteer if warranted. By denying that there is an appropriate and inappropriate way to do a volunteer job one conveys the message that the volunteer work is irrelevant, insignificant and invaluable. An agency which does not care enough about the work done by volunteers to enforce quality communicates that the agency believes their own work is meaningless
How to Fire A volunteer and Live to Tell About It. 2. First, look for alternatives to firing. Firing a volunteer is admission volunteer management has failed. The interviewing process, orientation, training or supervision did not work. It is as much an indictment of the org as the volunteer. Alternatives include: Re-supervise, Re-train, Re- vitalize, Refer, Retire
How to Fire A volunteer and Live to Tell About It: 3. Develop a system to make firing decisions. Forwarning/Notice: A set of policies and procedures on volunteer personnel issues for probation, suspension and termination Investigation/Determination: Has the volunteer really broken a rule? Fair investigator takes time to investigate the situation. Must have proof of infraction.
How to Fire A volunteer and Live to Tell About It: Application The Volunteer Coordinator must do a fair job of enforcing the system – no playing favorites Appropriate penalties based on the severity of infraction Review process so there is no appearance of personal issues
H ow to Fire A volunteer and Live to Tell About It: You will note that this system is the same system in handling paid staff. Volunteers and staff are held to the same standards of conduct. The advantage of this 3 step system is two fold: It helps the organization make the right decisions and it is clear, from the beginning, that the organization has policies and expectations from volunteers. In fact, if the process is followed systematically, most problem volunteers will resign rather than face dismissal. Most people see the writing on the wall when the problems are addressed appropriately and methodically.
Lastly, Evaluate and Celebrate! The board and Volunteer Coordinator should do ongoing and annual evaluations of the program. Change is good so make adjustments and address issues. Have a well thought out volunteer recognition program component. Recognize volunteers in both large and small ways and know your volunteers well enough to know what kind of recognition will be most appreciated.
Brainstorming RECOGNITION possibilities!! Visual recognition – tshirts, etc, Discount or free tickets Awards – serious and funny Thank in front of an audience (chorus or performance) Thank you card Having chorus members thank the volunteer Include in cast parties, chorus fun things Lapel pins, in chorus publications, spotlights Pot luck honoring volunteers Recognition in playbills (with titles) Thank yous from the AD An ongoing thank you program throughout the year Send valentine cards signed by chorus members Promote the individual volunteer to “higher” position when warranted, or move into board position Learn their names, get them real name badges Schmooze them every now and then Happy Birthday video to volunteers