1Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsCreating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsA plan to recruit and manage volunteers who support SPJNorcal activitiesVersion 2013-06-11 (Working draft)Feedback is welcome! Please send comments to:Matthew Hirsch, SPJ Norcals volunteer program leader, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsIntroductionSPJ Norcal is a membership organization forprofessional journalists in Northern California. Allactivities are planned and carried out byvolunteers.Were setting up Volunteer Corps to make iteasier for members to get involved with SPJNorcal and be recognized for theircontributions.
3Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsImplementation PlanThis plan uses best practices in volunteer leadership to developthe Volunteer Corps program from the ground up.Program assessmentSTEP 1Define volunteer positionsSTEP 2Applications & screeningSTEP 3Recruitment campaignSTEP 4Managing for successSTEP 5
4Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 1: Program AssessmentA well organized volunteer program begins with written policiesto guide program leaders and participants.➢ Start by writing a mission statement for Volunteer Corpsexplaining why volunteers are an integral part of SPJ Norcal.➢ Add a diversity policy and an equal opportunity statement.➢ Place a prominent feature on the home page of SPJnorcal.orgthat links to information about Volunteer Corps.Two thoughts: (1) The “Join Us” link goes to the SPJ national website. Can we include info aboutjoining SPJ Norcal here? (2) Can we place a feature about Volunteer Corps in the righthand columnof the home page along with “Upcoming Events”, “Connect With Us” and “SPJ on Flickr”?
5Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 1: Program AssessmentThe Volunteer Corps program leader should retain copies ofprogram files and individual records for each volunteer.➢ Program files include: backup of volunteer database,volunteer policies, orientation & training presentations, annualprogram evaluations, other written materials (e.g., volunteerposition descriptions, application forms, recruitingannouncements)➢ Individual records include: completed applications, copies ofawards / certificates for accomplished volunteers, notes
7Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 2: Define Volunteer PositionsClear descriptions of the roles within Volunteer Corps offer acomplete picture of what its like to work with SPJ Norcal. Thisis the most important part of designing the program.➢ Start by selecting meaningful jobs for volunteers, jobs that willexcite and inspire people to donate their time.Variety is key. The list of positions should cover group projects and virtual volunteering opportunitiesas well as long-term, short-term and one-time assignments.➢ Take time to come up with a title for each role that not onlydescribes the position but sells it.San Francisco-based writer John Lipp, in a book on recruiting and managing volunteers, givesexamples of catchy and descriptive volunteer position titles. A volunteer with Humane Society SiliconValley who prepares shelter dogs for adoption is known as a Dog Socializer. Someone who reviewsanother organizations website to keep it clean and up to date is a Web Gardener.
8Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 2: Define Volunteer PositionsPosition descriptions identify:➢ a volunteers duties, removing ambiguity about whatsexpected➢ a point of contact to ensure accountability and opencommunication➢ a location where volunteers will go and a schedule of whenthey should be available➢ how long of a commitment were asking volunteers to make➢ the skills needed to qualify for the work➢ any training we provide and other benefits that volunteers willreceive
9Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSample position descriptions
10Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSamples on the webPets Are Wonderful Supportwww.pawssf.org/page.aspx?pid=457Room to Readwww.roomtoread.org/Page.aspx?pid=327St. Vincent de Paul of Seattlewww.svdpseattle.org/volunteer-job-descriptions/
12Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 3: Applications & ScreeningScreening volunteer applicants will help ensure that you findthe right person for the right job. Application forms alsoexchange valuable information between SPJ Norcal andpotential volunteers.Application forms should include:➢ Contact information➢ Employment information➢ Availability➢ Emergency contact information➢ References➢ Reasons for volunteering➢ Desired positions➢ Waivers
13Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSample on the webHere is a volunteer application used by the SanFrancisco nonprofit Pets Are Wonderful Support(PAWS). This application appears in a book onrecruiting and managing volunteers by the writerJohn Lipp, who is also the PAWS president andCEO.http://www.pawssf.org/document.doc?id=166Suggestion: Use this application as a template,revising where appropriate to fit the Volunteer Corpsprogram.
15Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 4: Recruitment CampaignRecruiting starts with a message that grabs the attention ofyour target audience. Begin with a statement about unmetneeds in the community, then show how volunteering makes adifference.Examples from John Lipps book on recruiting and managingvolunteers:“One in every twenty adults cant read this message. Volunteerand help make illiteracy a word from the past.”“Darling, of course you can drive people crazy. But what theyreally need is for you to drive them to a doctor. Volunteer as amiracle driver and help people with AIDS arrive at a better life.”
16Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 4: Recruitment CampaignWith any recruiting message, be sure to remind people aboutthe benefits of volunteering and make it easy for them to get incontact. Benefits include the opportunity to develop new skills,a chance to put skills to use and a way to meet people.Now … where to deliver the recruiting pitch??Be mindful of who you want to volunteer and how you caneffectively reach these people.
17Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 4: Recruitment CampaignSome suggestions:➢ Start with existing SPJ Norcal members. Invite them to fill outvolunteer applications – and to share contacts to see if theirfriends, family or work colleagues want to volunteer.➢ Forge partnerships with other groups. Co-host events. Be intouch with nonprofits that offer job training and placementservices. They often need to place clients in volunteer positionsto help develop skills and experience.➢ Dont forget about local employers, schools, churches, clubs,volunteer centers and, of course, the Internet.
18Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsTimelineTask Deadline WhosresponsibleWrite concise recruitingmessage to serve asfoundation for recruitingcampaign. Adaptmessage for mailing toSPJ Norcal members.Tue., 8.27Send out mailing to SPJNorcal members.Mon., 9.2Compile list of potentialpartner groups andreach out to them.Tue., 9.10August1 2 34 5 6 7 8 9 1011 12 13 14 15 16 1718 19 20 21 22 23 2425 26 27 28 29 30 31September1 2 3 4 5 6 78 9 10 11 12 13 1415 16 17 18 19 20 2122 23 24 25 26 27 2829 30
19Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 5: Managing for SuccessEffective orientation and training give new volunteers the toolsthey need to succeed and feel good about their work.➢ The orientation gives volunteers a thorough overview of yourorganization and their role in achieving your mission. It alsobuilds a sense of community for new volunteers who all begintheir journey together.➢ Tailor the orientation to the type of commitment volunteersare making. An hour-long orientation could be appropriatefor long-term volunteers. For volunteers supporting one-offactivities, keep it brief.
20Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 5: Managing for SuccessTraining gives volunteers the information and skills they needto be successful doing their jobs. It also keeps volunteersmotivated and provides a valuable reward for their service.➢ As you plan a training session, go back to the volunteerposition descriptions and review the necessary skills you listed.Design trainings to provide or enhance these skills.➢ Partner with specialists in the field who are willing to helplead training sessions or supply resources (such asfacilities, equipment or software) for training purposes.
21Creating SPJ Norcals Volunteer CorpsSTEP 5: Managing for SuccessOrientation and training represents just the start of a plan forvolunteer program management. Further planning is needed toaddress recognition for volunteers, volunteer programevaluations and preparing for conflict resolution, among othertopics. It may also help to establish a work plan for certainvolunteer activities.After discussion with the SPJ Norcal board, additional planswill be added to this draft of the Volunteer Corpsimplementation plan.