Here are some of the key features of a great volunteer experience I had recently:
- A day of face-to-face training with lunch included. I felt confident to do the work after this training.
- A volunteer management database where I could log in and register for the shifts I wanted to work. I could also cancel shifts through the same portal if necessary. I had control over my schedule and where I volunteered.
- A responsive volunteer manager. I emailed her when I needed support and got a same day response.
- A start-up kit of materials to support my work. This kit included an ID badge, resource materials, and other essential tools – all in a handy carry bag.
- An email newsletter. The newsletter shared experiences of other volunteers and made me feel part of a larger team, even though I often volunteered alone.
- A methodology that had been tested. The project involved surveys which had been pilot tested before the project got underway. I knew that most of the kinks had been sorted out before I started.
- Lots of thank-you’s. This blog post was prompted by a recent thank you letter I received in the mail from the head of the organization I volunteered with.
Do the volunteer opportunities at your organization have some of these key features? If not, give me call – I’d be happy to help you improve your volunteers’ experiences.