Organisations can involve volunteers in a variety of ways. Volunteers can bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to your organisation and enhance the service it provides.
For any group or organisation to build a successful framework which engages and supports volunteers, everyone from the Trustees (who after all are volunteers themselves) to a paid member of staff (who may not have any contact with volunteers) needs to understand the reasons why involving volunteers is a positive thing and how it can help your group.
Understanding the benefits that volunteers bring, can really help everyone in the group understand why volunteering is so important.
Benefits of involving volunteers might include; enhancement of your services, ability to provide a more flexible service, support for staff to provide more services, support with events – such as fundraising and awareness raising, bringing diversity to the organisation and bringing a new perspective to your group or organisation.
When it is clear why your group involves volunteers and what benefits that brings, it is important to reflect this in your group’s core values and aims:-
- is the value and benefit of involving volunteers reflected in the purpose and mission statement of your organisation? If not should it be?
- are you communicating the importance of volunteers to your paid staff, committees, volunteers, users and the general public?
- you may wish to consider reflecting these values in your practices, publicity and written materials produced by your organisation for example: annual reports, strategic plans, publicity.
This section offers information on the following: