Questions to ask before you involve volunteers

Careful planning is the key to building a good foundation for involving volunteers.

Before you rush into recruitment consider the following:

  • Why are you involving volunteers?
  • Is everyone in your organisation aware of plans to involve volunteers?
  • How will people be affected; including staff, trustees, service users and other volunteers
  • Do you have the human resources to adequately support volunteers?
  • Do you have poeple who are skilled and trained in supporting volunteers?
  • Have you budgeted for the costs of involving volunteers; volunteer expenses, training, staff costs for supervision, admin costs and for DBS checks?
  • Are your roles rewarding for volunteers and meet the needs of the organisation?
  • Do you have the necessary space and resources eg spare desk or computer?
  • Volunteers bring fresh ideas, enthusiasm and experience. Are you ready for this?
  • Have you considered any risks associated with involving volunteers?
  • Is your insurance cover adequate?
  • What policies and procedures do you already have that should be reviewed in the light of involving volunteers?
  • Do you need any new policies and procedures such as a volunteer policy?


When is it not appropriate to involve volunteers?

  • When you have been unable to resolve the points above
  • To replace a paid member of staff
  • When volunteers will be delivering a service that is usually paid for and the recipients could clearly pay