3 R’s for Volunteers - Long Island Cares, Inc

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Transcript 3 R’s for Volunteers - Long Island Cares, Inc

Alisha Summers & Lisa Owens
Volunteer Coordinator & Program Coordiantor
What are challenges your agency currently
faces with volunteers?
In this workshop we will discuss strategies to
help your agency recruit, retain and recognize
volunteers and accomplishing these on a
The average age of a volunteer is increasing each
year with there being a tremendous generational
age gap.
How does knowing this make it challenging to
your organization and its needs to serve?
One of the most difficult tasks when working
with volunteers is recruiting them. Have you
found yourself questioning where to find
volunteers or wondering what it takes to secure
their participation with your organization?
Why Recruit?
1) It helps spread the work among the
2) Helps generate new ideas
3) And most importantly, it helps to serve
those in need
There are 4 steps that can be followed to help
recruit volunteers for your program/organization
1) Define
the Job
With this you are defining the type of job that will
be done. Helping potential volunteers know the
type of work needed.
Anyone helping to recruit volunteers should have
a good understanding of what the job will entail
and be able to relay that on verbally and/or in
written form
Determine Qualifications
Once you have determined what job you are
seeking volunteers for, you can then begin to
think about what qualifications you would look for
in potential volunteers
This helps to clarify and establish expectations
and requirements of the volunteer.
It will also help potential volunteers understand
the role they will be playing within your
To aid in the process you can develop a volunteer
job description which could include information
such as:
v Purpose- what the job is and why it is
important to your agency
v Responsibilities- try to be as specific as
v Qualifications- list any specific skills or
knowledge that may be needed
v Time Commitment- Let the volunteers
know up front the hours and commitment
that is needed (weekly, monthly, long-term,
one time, flexible, etc.)
Develop a list of potential candidates
v Where can you look?
v Membership lists if part of a congregation
or organization
v Other community organizations/programs
v Schools- if your program/organization is
not age restricted
v Being a member agency of Long Island
Cares also means you are able to utilize
our volunteer resources as well
Interview the volunteer
This can be a difficult step in the recruiting process as many
volunteers may fear rejection. But most often volunteers will be
flattered to just have been asked
When hosting interviews think of the following:
When: You want to host interviews as soon as possible
Where: It is always best to host an in person interview if
possible. If the interview cannot be hosted at your location
make sure to choose a location convenient to both you and
the volunteer
What: Have all the materials you will need with you. This
may include program information, contact information, job
description, etc.
*During the interview process you are also able to have any
additional volunteers the individuals would work with present, as well
as have the potential volunteer shadow an existing volunteer to see
how the program works and job responsibilities.
Final Thoughts
Offer training and in-depth orientation
Have current volunteers share how they began volunteering at
meetings or gatherings
Be interested in volunteers not only as volunteers but also as
Don’t over recruit. If you have too many volunteers and not
enough positions volunteers may feel as though they are not
Recognize the efforts of the volunteers by saying thank you
Final Thoughts With a Budget
What inexpensive recruitment
techniques have been a success to
your organization?
What recruitment techniques have not
been successful for your organization?
After successfully recruiting volunteers your
goal is to be able to maintain your volunteer
This can be challenging given the variety of
circumstances behind why individuals
We will discuss what makes volunteers stay
and why they sometimes decide to leave and
how your organization can gain long term
volunteer support
What makes volunteers stay?
1) Understand your volunteers motivation-what makes your
volunteer interested in volunteering his/her time
2) Skill Development-sometimes an individual may want to utilize
the skill set they have acquired and currently use in a work
setting. Other times volunteers may want to explore other
opportunities and develop new skills. They may choose to do
something outside of their workplace skill set
3) Personal growth- Many volunteers may want to broaden their
horizons seeing other opportunities and possibilities. For some,
volunteering may help them make career or education decisions
4) Challenge- Some volunteers may be excited about growing
through challenges and new experiences
5) Client Contact- Many times volunteers desire to engage with
individuals in order to see the direct effort of their efforts.
Some volunteers are encouraged by the thankfulness of clients
Why do volunteers leave?
v Inadequate training and orientation- Allow volunteers to
have training to detail job function. Also take time to
explain the mission and goals of the
program/organization. This helps volunteers to mesh
with the program.
v Communication- Ask for volunteer feedback. Make sure
volunteers know who they contact with questions or for
additional support. And always remember to keep
volunteers updated
v Working Conditions- Make sure any paid staff gives
volunteers the same respect they would any other
coworker as they are a valuable part of the team. Make
sure volunteers are comfortable and safe within the work
conditions. And work with the volunteer on job duties
rather than just assigning them
Final Thought:
There is no such thing as a bad
volunteer, just the right person in the
wrong job!
What does recognition mean to you? Is it
something you strive to achieve or
something gained as a result of an
Recognizing volunteers can actually
assist you in not only retaining
volunteers but also indirectly in
recruiting volunteers
We will discuss how you can recognize
volunteers and their efforts to your
Recognizing volunteers helps to
validate the volunteers role with the
v Recognizing volunteers also helps to
increase and maintain morale and a
positive attitude of service
v Understand the various types of
volunteer recognition on both large
and small scales
Think about the times in which you would like to
recognize volunteers and their efforts. This can
be done on a monthly, yearly, or quarterly basis
depending on available resources
You can do multiple times and styles of
recognition including recognizing their ongoing
efforts and also formally
Make sure any volunteer recognition is age and
group appropriate. You typically don’t have to
spend a lot of money to let your volunteers know
they are appreciated
Recognition Tips
Make it a priority- Don’t delay in thanking and
acknowledging the time and efforts of volunteer contributions
as the more time that passes, the value of your gratitude
Do it often- It begins with saying “thank you” and saying it
Do it in different ways- change the ways in which you thank
volunteers whether it be in the form of cards, spontaneous
treats, or formal recognition events
Be sincere- make each occasion meaningful and reflect on
each individuals personal contributions
Be consistent- If you establish standards by which you
recognize volunteers, make sure to maintain those in the
years to come
Make it unique- Learn what volunteers like and how you can
make them feel special
◦ Recognition Ideas
v Remembering volunteers birthdays and
v Occasional surprise treats to say “thank you”
v Hand written cards or letters
v Holiday parties
v Writing about volunteers accomplishments and
contributions in newsletter or publications
v Volunteer of the month/week/year awards
v Certificates
v Knowing volunteers by name
Final Thoughts
Be creative, volunteers appreciate the
thought more than the price tag of
Recognizing volunteers will help build their
confidence in their overall performance and
help them to feel connected to the cause and
purpose of your program/organization
Positive feedback from volunteers will go a lot
farther than negative feedback
Final Thoughts With a Budget
Does your organization have a budget
to recognize volunteers?
By working on the recruitment, retention and
recognition of volunteers you will find
yourself better able to serve your clients
As with all things, implementing these
strategies takes time and team work, don’t
feel bad if it doesn’t work right away,
continue to develop what works best for your
As your program/organization continues to
grow, so will these strategies