Volunteering is widely recognized as a key strategy of community engagement and participation 👍 Providing much-needed support and services at a community level, volunteering also delivers on civic and philanthropic values within society at large 😎 Volunteering has been widely highlighted in “big picture” discussions about community development, social inclusion, social capital, and community health 🙌 It is also frequently cited as a key expression of civic engagement and participation generally in society, and rates of volunteering have been used to measure overall community health.1 Volunteering is recognized as a key activity in national and international circles that promotes social inclusion and social justice, beginning at the grassroots level but extending to societal changes at local, national, and international levels. The United Nations Development Programme articulates the benefits this way: “Volunteering brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It contributes to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.”2
Working with a council run institution for older people, we were asked to help create at volunteer recruitment strategy. At the first meeting we asked, what the overall objectives were to involve volunteers. The answer was: We don’t have any! Or more precisely, there was one objective: More volunteers. That was why we were asked to help create a recruitment strategy. Instead of talking about recruitment strategy, we’re have spending the whole of the first day discussing the context that characterised the institution. This discussion was very valuable as it’s having shown the challenges that could arise, if the Volunteers and staff were to work together, but there was no particular support amongst the team leaders, and the rest of the staff, to work with volunteers. (last modified 26 days ago by Daemon Whitehouse from Uvira, Dr Congo)
Knowing what motivates volunteers Knowing what motivates someone to volunteer is important in assessing whether you can meet their expectations. For example, if someone says they want to volunteer to meet people, then the volunteering opportunity must involve working with others. Sometimes people can’t pinpoint exactly what has motivated them so you may have to dig a little so check your opportunities suit. A volunteer’s original motivation for joining is not always the same as their reason for staying, so it’s always worth asking what motivates them to stay. This will help to alert you to new opportunities that these volunteers might like to try.
Developing a strategy for managing volunteers starts with setting the stage for successful volunteer engagement. The Volunteer Lifecycle Framework below shows all the activities that need to be planned within the volunteer lifecycle. Using the tools and tips we provide, both within this Guide and in our trainings and community of practise, will help you create an infrastructure that you can re-evaluate and evolve over time as your programme grows or changes focus. You’ll want to assign a paid staff person or series of people who will have ultimate responsibility for each phase to make sure tasks are completed and programme oversight is established. (last emended 22 days ago by Nicoli Gonzales from Shishi, China)