Working with Volunteers

Volunteers make lasting contributions to the efforts of organizations. Volunteers donate their time, effort, and skills to support organizations’ initiatives and events. It is crucial that volunteers are well supported and have a clear idea of their goals and responsibilities. This introduction to working with volunteers will help your organization effectively manage and plan volunteer projects.

Introduction to the Volunteer Management

As an organization it is important how you treat, engage, and interact with volunteers that are willing to give you their time. Below is a list of recommendations to consider when working with volunteers.

Be mindful of everyone’s time.  This means an event should start and end on time.

Provide volunteers with meaningful service opportunities and let them know the benefits of their service.

Volunteers should have a clear understanding of their responsibilities during an event.

Volunteers should be given proper training and safety equipment.

As an organization you should provide supervision at an event and identify leadership in case of emergency.

Provide a way for volunteers to sign in and track their time.

Provide a way for volunteers to stay in touch with your organization.


Introduction to Planning Volunteer Events

When planning a volunteer event it is important to be prepared.  The volunteers should understand what will be accomplished and their role in the project.  Below is a list of questions to consider before planning a volunteer event.

Is the idea feasible and realistic?

Are the goals and objectives clear?

How many volunteers will be needed?

Will the project have a budget?

Will equipment be needed?

What are the safety concerns?

How long is the time commitment?

What are the logistics?

What will the weather be like on the service day(s)?

Are there any potential problems or roadblocks?

Do volunteers need certain skills?


The lists provided are examples meant to help organizations get started and don’t represent a definitive inventory of management and planning techniques.