Volunteers are the lifeline of many nonprofit organisations. These organisations depend on them to plant trees, serve hot meals, pay bills, staff telephone hotlines, provide tutoring, lead scout troops, organise funding events, coach youth sports teams, stuff envelopes, and many more jobs. Those not-for-profits who need to recruit volunteers can use the following step by step guide:

Before you begin

Before you begin the actual recruiting process, you need to decide upon the functions volunteers have to perform for your organisations, the experience and skills they need to have, the way you will find these volunteers, the selection process you will use, and the way they will be retained.

 Get the word out

Prepare a compelling short message calling out for volunteers. This should include the service needs of the community; the cause your organisation is working for; and the way your volunteers will benefit in terms of the good they will do, and the experience and skillsets they will gain.

 Volunteer applications

It would be good if you can design a simple application form for your prospective volunteers. This will help you know their experiences, skills, etc, and accordingly decide whether the candidate suits the role.

Volunteer interviews

Conduct a non-formal interview with your prospective volunteers. The interviewer should let the potential volunteers to talk about themselves. The organisation should get to know why the applicant wants to volunteer with them. The reasons can be a belief in the organisation’s cause; attempting to learn new skills; wanting to meet new people and make contacts, utilise one’s skills and give back something, gain experience and keep active. The interviewer should ensure that the prospect has understood the volunteer roles, and should give him time for raising concerns or questions, if any.

Volunteer appointment

Once you have chosen the fitting candidates for volunteering with your organisation, contact them and set a tentative start date and induction time. On this day, you can seek references for your volunteers and conduct health checks on them.

Declining volunteers

Now that you have recruited your volunteers, you need to tell the rejected applicants the reason you have not accepted them as a volunteer. To ease the blow of rejection, you can suggest a nearby volunteer center which may have more suitable volunteer roles.

We invite you to post your volunteer job description for free at www.employs.com.au


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