Prepare the Organization for Volunteer Involvement

Pre-Recruitment Checklist:

  • top management has shown their support for volunteer placements and initiatives
  • staff are prepared to assist in the interviewing, screening, orienting, training and supervising volunteers
  • everyone is fully trained and knowledgeable about their role in volunteer placements
  • volunteer materials (flyers, brochures, job descriptions, handbooks, etc.) have been developed and produced
  • there is a place for volunteers to work
  • policies, procedures and record keeping systems are in place
  • legal and liability issues pertaining to volunteer involvement have been resolved
  • staff are ready to respond to the inquiries of potential volunteers
  • volunteer recruiter(s) can speak knowledgeably and enthusiastically about the mission and work of the organization
  • all staff know how to handle and direct calls from potential volunteers
  • systems are in place for evaluating the performance of volunteers and the outcome(s) of volunteer initiatives

To ensure that the potential volunteer's first impression of your organization is positive, staff must be trained and a volunteer management system must be in place before any recruitment effort is made.

Interview and screening procedures, orientation and training plans, evaluation processes and record-keeping and risk-management systems must all be established prior to making your appeal. Similarly, your organization's staff needs to be trained and ready to work with volunteers.

Even when no specific recruiting has been done, your organization may receive inquiries from potential volunteers. Everyone in the office who receives calls from people who express an interest in volunteering should know who key volunteer management staff are and be prepared to transfer the call or forward a message. Never ask a volunteer to call back! By the same token, many of your organization's employees are in contact with potential volunteers every day. Make sure that they know about the range of service opportunities available throughout your organization and where to refer individuals who express an interest in volunteering.