Before recruiting any volunteers, your organisation needs to be prepared. It needs to know why it wants to involve volunteers in its work, how volunteer positions fit into the organisation and it must be ready to receive willing volunteers when contacted.
By having your organisation prepared you are preparing a positive experience for your volunteers, and ensuring that the right people will be assigned to the right opportunity.
Every organisation should have a volunteer policy in place and this step-by-step guide is designed to help you through the stages of putting such a policy together. Obviously, this is a guide and will not necessarily apply to every organisation or to every volunteer, but your local Volunteer Bureau or the centre will be happy to assist groups on an individual basis with specific issues.
A formal policy gives clear guidelines for decision-making and instruction on how to carry through or act on decisions made. It also assists in the management of potential risks that might occur involving volunteers, such as accidents and abuse. It ensures that things run smoothly and that volunteers are properly recruited and well managed, and it serves as an aid to effectiveness, which allows the organisation to get the most out of its volunteers.