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