Online Induction >> Volunteer Onboarding
Published 19/04/2023

Volunteer Onboarding: The Process, CheckList and Setup

The process of onboarding volunteers is a key element for any non-profit or social organization. It's an integral part of the process that ensures everyone on your team - both paid staff and unpaid volunteers alike - can work together efficiently and effectively to achieve shared goals. But what exactly does it mean? And why is it important?

At its most basic, volunteer onboarding involves welcoming new volunteers into the organization, providing them with all the information they need to be successful in their role, managing their expectations by creating clear paths to success, building trust between volunteers and staff members through ongoing communication, grooming existing volunteer skills while finding new areas where they can stretch themselves further and much more besides!

However, when done right volunteer onboarding has its advantages beyond simply getting new people up-to-speed quickly; in turn this allows them not only to contribute more immediately but also helps boost morale among existing personnel who observe how welcomed newcomers are being treated which generates good will toward them which inevitably leads onto better performance all round thus helping you get a stronger return out of every hour devoted volunteering.

Throw into this mix too that proper onboarding demonstrates your commitment towards all contributors inside your community as well as nurturing relationships from day one turns trusted allies out of these same people meaning greater longevity in terms of commitment than previously seen during the recruitment phase. As such then having a reliable onboarding strategy solidifies loyalty bonds ensuring continuous progress no matter who enters or leaves personifying sustainability instead of attrition mode .

In practice taking responsibility for crafting an effective volunteering procedure means devising instruction sets that not only meets everyone's needs upon arrival ie what forms must be filled/full restrictions if applicable/behaviour commitments etc but ties knits together seamlessly so transitions become practically invisible quickening learning curves correspondingly making sure whatever tasks assigned gain traction expediently whilst covering feedback preferences simultaneously.

Ultimately without descending too deeply into intricacies at least understanding core concepts surrounding 'What Is Volunteer Onboarding and Why Is It Important?' should now be clearer defining precisely why organisations spend budget time & effort establishing systems thereby taking advantage maximum benefit potential secured starting collaboration achieving common objectives!

See Example Volunteer Onboarding Templates and Examples

What to include in a Volunteer Onboarding Checklist

Your volunteer onboarding checklist should include essential information about your organization's mission statement or goals, structure or setup, any relevant legal documents related to volunteering (such as bylaws), expectations for success (i.e., performance metrics), training materials if required for certain roles, contact information for key personnel such as coordinators or supervisors, links to social media accounts/forums/blogs associated with the organization, emergency protocols in case tools aren't working correctly etcetera... These are just a few things to keep in mind when creating your document!

What to include in a volunteer onboarding checklist

- Introduction to the organization where you provide information about the organization's mission, history, and goals.

- Orientation to the role providing an overview of the volunteer's responsibilities and expectations.

- Training materials where you provide any necessary training materials and resources.

- Code of conduct where you review the organization's code of conduct and expectations for volunteer behavior.

- Safety protocols for reviewing any safety protocols or procedures that should be followed.

- Scheduling in order to discuss and agree on a volunteering schedule.

- Reporting to explain how and when volunteers should report their activities and progress.

- Contact information to provide contact information for the volunteer's supervisor or program coordinator.

- Setting up a follow-up meeting or call to ensure that the volunteer is settling in and has any questions or concerns.

Check out our library of different ready to go templates and samples right here:

The Volunteer Onboarding Process

The primary goal of any successful onboarding program is to make sure volunteers feel comfortable in their new role, which includes introducing them to the staff and helping them become familiar with their tasks. Depending on the duration and nature of your assignment, this process might involve orientation sessions or training seminars; information resources such as manuals and online modules; self-help worksheets outlining duties; contact details for other team members; and most importantly, guidance from experienced providers who can answer any questions and provide moral support during your experience.

Every organization's onboarding protocol will be different but some key elements commonly found among most cores include background checks for safety purposes; ensuring insurance coverage is up-to-date; collaborative discussion forums where possible mentors share advice about childcare tips or financial management skills related to volunteering activities. By understanding these important steps beforehand, you can ensure that your time spent volunteering will be both successful and impactful, so go forth bravely knowing everyone involved wants nothing more than you succeeding at making meaningful change within our world!

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