Nonprofits often rely on volunteers to provide much-needed assistance without incurring the expense of hiring employees. However, Project Leaders sometimes forget that volunteers need the same level of management as employees.
Volunteers should be given specific job descriptions and assignments, thorough and recurring training, clear reporting relationships, and periodic evaluations. In addition, you are required to maintain a confidential file for every volunteer. The file must include a standard Community Partners application (this form is provided by Community Partners and should be used for volunteers), a Waiver and Release of Liability form, emergency contact information, and information on what interests/skills the volunteer is bringing to your project.
Before beginning their service, volunteers must go through various procedures depending on the nature of their position. For example, if they are going to be driving for volunteer-related duties, they must provide proof of adequate automobile insurance and may have to provide verification from DMV of their driving record. If they are going to be working with children or other vulnerable populations, they must provide Live Scan fingerprint clearance.
Please contact your program liaison to determine which requirements apply to particular volunteer positions. Finally, remember to include volunteers in your regular communications and to make them feel a part of your internal organization. They are providing a valuable service and appreciate being thanked and recognized for their contributions!