Preparing for Volunteers

There are many things to do before you ever recruit the first volunteer.  The resources here discuss the many things that are needed to prepare your organization.


See also: Policies

21st-Century Networks, Sarah J. Butler
Barriers to Preventing Abuse, John Patterson with Charles Tremper and Pam Rypkema, Child Abuse Prevention Primer for Your Organization, Nonprofit Risk Management Center., 1995
Do You Stick Your Neck Out When Advocating for Volunteers?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
The Domino Effect of Setting Goals for Volunteer Involvement, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
The Fair Labor Standards Act and Other Obstacles to Progress, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
A Great New Report to Praise, Criticize, and Use, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Helper Triage: Volunteer Management in Emergencies, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Internal Marketing, Izabella Csordas, pp. 97-99, Foundation for Museums and Visitors, Hungary, 2012
Lessons Learned About Leading Volunteers From a Volunteering Working Mom, Sheri Wilensky Burke, Energize Hot Topic, 2019
Letting Volunteers into the Team’s Locker Room, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2015
The Middle Management Barrier, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
Mixed Messages: What Do We Really Think about Young Volunteers?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
Retention of Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis and Rob Jackson, Energize, Inc., 2015
The Rise of the Knowledge Philanthropist, Colleen Kelly & Lynda Gerty, pp. 28-29, Vantage Point, 2013
Volunteer/Staff Ratios and Relations, Sarah Jane Rehnborg, et. al., pp. 28-30, RGK Center for Philanthropy & Community Service, 2009
Volunteers as the "Third Branch" of an Organization, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Volunteers? Donors? Let’s Call Them All Supporters!, Sheri Wilensky Burke, Energize Hot Topic, 2018
The Wall of Executive Indifference, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Why Is It Labor Unions vs. Volunteers?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997

CNIB has produced this material for how to create a corporate culture embracing volunteerism. Although focused on serving people with vision loss, the resources are intentionally applicable to any organization and can be downloaded for free in Word to be tailored to individual situations.  Includes the documents "Spirit of Partnership" and "Philosophy of Volunteerism." The manual is accompanied by a Creating a Culture of Volunteerism Training Guide.

, 2017

Produced by the National Centre for Volunteering (UK), this booklet examines how developing the right policies leads to a more diverse volunteer corps.

, 2002, pp. 20

Tobi Johnson of VolunteerPro provides this free guide for the newcomer to volunteer management -- lots of good context and tips.

, 2016, pp. 57

Created as a "A Guide for South Australian Local Government" by the City of Salisbury in SA, this contains many useful tips for determining potential risks in volunteer work, even if the legal issues discussed will not be the same in all locations. Also suggests ways to create volunteer position descriptions from a health and safety perspective.

, 2014, pp. 60
Nonprofit Risk Management Center

Major source of information and publications on all aspects of risk and liability for nonprofit organizations in the U.S. (much is relevant in other countries, too).  Volunteer risk management is one of their featured areas:

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Book cover

A compendium of the best techniques for leading volunteer engagement, proven to work in a myriad of settings.

Book cover

Demystifies risk management and sets out in plain language what every volunteer program needs to know about this sometimes scary, always critical subject.

Book cover

A walk-through of the importance of developing policies for and about volunteers, with clear examples and templates.

Book cover for From the Top Down

Outlines the key executive decisions necessary to lay the foundation for successful volunteer involvement: policies, budgeting, staffing, employee-volunteer relationships, legal issues, cost and value of volunteers, and more.

book cover image

Understand the concept and practices of virtual volunteering and integrate online service successfully into your overall volunteer involvement strategy.

No tips have been recorded yet.