We all know that volunteers are the backbone of every successful parent organization. As the Volunteer Coordinator, it’s time to get your ducks in a row before a new school year starts. You can make your job much easier with a little bit of upfront planning. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth transition for your volunteer team.
Approve Volunteers Before They Volunteer
If all volunteers must be approved before volunteering within the building, it is likely your responsibility to verify their approval status.
- Make sure that ALL volunteers have applied for their background checks (this includes you and all Board Members also).
- Work with the office staff to get regularly updated approval lists.
- Remind your volunteers to bring a government issued photo ID upon their first visit to the campus.
- Remember to mark the approvals through the Volunteer tab on your Membership Toolkit site, this will allow you to see quickly who is up to date and able to volunteer!
Make New Volunteers Feel Comfortable
Welcome your new volunteers with a phone call, an e-mail, or host an on-site orientation. Volunteers appreciate knowing where to go and how to use the tools available to them. This could include showing them how to use the laminator, where the PTO storage is located, or which bathroom they should use while on campus. It is helpful to include emergency procedures when on campus (i.e. lockdown, inclement weather, fire drills, etc….). The office staff will direct you on these safety measures. Your volunteers will have confidence and in-turn will be more willing to volunteer for you.
THANK AND ENCOURAGE YOUR VOLUNTEERS WITH FREE GRAPHICS!
Utilize the Talents Your Volunteers Naturally Have
Chances are, you have a volunteer pool with a wide variety of talents and experiences that can be used for the betterment of your organization. But, the only way to know that is to ask and then to listen! Recently, someone asked if I was creative or made crafts as a hobby. I said, “No.” What do you know—they put me in charge of decorating. What? If she had listened, she would have known that I prefer sales. I could have had record sales at the Book Fair had she listened to my response. Instead, she got a big receipt for reimbursement since I went shopping for decorations. Knowing in advance who has what talents can help you create committees that are sure to succeed!
Make Sure Your Volunteers Feel Appreciated
Remember to treat each and every one of our volunteers with kindness. If they are willing and have the desire to help, you want to develop trust and nurture those relationships. The goal is to have volunteers become regular volunteers who will return to help, and possibly one day will eagerly take on larger responsibilities within the organization. Letting your volunteers know how you appreciate them, at that your organization could not survive without volunteers, will make them want to help out again.
Membership Toolkit Tip:
Make sure you show up for your events with a good attitude! Organizing volunteers can be stressful but your helpers will feed off of you. If you show up excited and in a good mood, chances are you will all have more fun and your volunteers won’t view their involvement as work, but instead, something they would willingly do again!