Volunteer Management 2011


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A concise overview of volunteer management ideas and issues for non-profit organizations.

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Volunteer Management 2011

  1. 1. Steps to Ecstatically Happy, Productive, Supportive Volunteers
  2. 2. Role of the Manager of Volunteers In simple terms, the role of the Manger of Volunteer Resources is to ensure the right person is available for the right job at the right time and is ready, willing and able to fulfill their duties.
  3. 3. A Word About: Managing <ul><li>Management of volunteers is about maximizing the contributions of participants </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomatic management is the essential, overarching component of all successful volunteer programs. </li></ul><ul><li>No program will ever be risk free; every volunteer introduces the potential to unbalance the reputation, effectiveness and finances of the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Cut losses early. </li></ul><ul><li>Support ‘winners’ with unflinching resolve. </li></ul>
  4. 4. You Maximize Contributions When: <ul><li>You give volunteers constructive feedback about, and recognition for the work they do </li></ul><ul><li>You give volunteers a reason to continue with your organization </li></ul><ul><li>You provide clear tasks and a mandate to complete them with minimal interference </li></ul><ul><li>You offer a simple, accessible program for dispute resolution </li></ul><ul><li>You request work that meets the skill sets available. </li></ul>
  5. 5. You Minimize Risk When: <ul><li>You have a program which supports and is prepared for utilization of volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>All volunteers are valued for their skills and contributions and are treated fairly </li></ul><ul><li>You ensure your volunteers have a sound understanding of the organization, it’s structure and mission </li></ul><ul><li>You resolve conflicts face-to-face, in person </li></ul><ul><li>Your volunteers understand the goals and objectives of the program and are well trained and equipped </li></ul>
  6. 6. Recruitment <ul><li>It is easier and more cost effective to retain and retrain the volunteers you have than to recruit new ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Share your volunteer needs with your volunteers and organization membership </li></ul><ul><li>Consider which demographic might fulfill your volunteer needs based on your position description </li></ul><ul><li>Always present a problem, with the reader as the potential solution </li></ul>
  7. 7. Autonomy and Feedback <ul><li>The person tasked with a project or role must be given the autonomy to complete it with minimal oversight. </li></ul><ul><li>Review of a project must be appropriate to the maturity of the volunteer and the level of trust between them and management. </li></ul><ul><li>New volunteers should be directed more carefully – never assume they will know what you want. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback -- positive, constructive and instructive -- must be given promptly and always with great patience and diplomacy. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Retention <ul><li>Can a volunteer build career skills with your organization and gain professional references? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you present them with increasing levels of responsibility and new challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they understand how what they do benefits their community? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the work meaningful to them? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you listen and respond to their feedback? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they always feel welcome, honoured and valued? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Assessment <ul><li>Is the organization ready to utilize volunteers? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the job appropriate for a volunteer? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there volunteers available? </li></ul><ul><li>Are tasks well defined? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Task Design <ul><li>Detailed description of responsibilities, budget guidelines, delivery timeframe </li></ul><ul><li>Traits required for the job </li></ul><ul><li>List of things to be provided by the volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Historical information and samples of past work </li></ul>
  11. 11. Recognition <ul><li>Both informal and formal </li></ul><ul><li>Must be tailored to the volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Timeliness is critical </li></ul>
  12. 12. Troubleshooting <ul><li>Over-recruit – ALWAYS have a back-up volunteer, or plan B. Hint – it shouldn’t always be executives! </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Code of Conduct </li></ul><ul><li>Rights and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Firing volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Succession planning </li></ul>