The Volunteer Management Handbook deals with motivation of volunteers, creating volunteer placement, promotion, recruitment, selection, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation, emotional support, retaining and recognition of volunteers.
This handbook has been created as a tool for organisations and programs that want to engage local volunteers in their activities, and for those that want to participate in regional short- and long-term volunteer exchange programs. It can be helpful to the existing or potential volunteers’ managers. It can also be helpful to the paid staff, so that they can understand better the work and the needs of a volunteer. It is designed to present the steps and the process of an effective volunteer management in a way that is understandable to wider public.
The “VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK”, that also had one successful edition in the past and became reference for many national similar publications in the region, will be dedicated to youth workers who involve local or international volunteers in their work. This handbook deals with subjects history of volunteering, motivation of volunteers, creating volunteer placement, promotion, recruitment, selection, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation, emotional support, retaining and recognition of volunteers. In the initial part of the handbook, general issues i.e. basic concepts, values and categories of volunteerism are discussed. In the third chapter, possible reasons for people to volunteer are defined and three frequently mentioned motivational theories are explained with their possible applications to the work with volunteers.
The next chapter brings the discussion about the situation within the organisation (its structure, climate and teamwork), once the volunteers are engaged in it. Important topic of the differences, similarities and relations between the volunteers and the paid staff is discussed. In the fifth chapter, there are details of preparing and planning a volunteer programme within the organisation and instructions for writing a quality volunteer job description. The following step in the volunteer management process and in this handbook is the quality recruitment of volunteers and development of a quality recruitment message. The final step in the pre-engagement of the volunteers is to conduct quality selection and placement process. There is information about the most powerful method of selection, the interview, and there are advices on what to do when the interviewed volunteers are not suitable for the available position. The selection and placement of volunteers is followed by the process of their introduction to the organisation, the work and the colleagues.
In addition, a training programme for each volunteer should be developed and specific coaching, counselling and supervision should be provided to each volunteer. Special attention is given to using online tools in managing volunteers. The next point discussed in this handbook is the evaluation of the volunteer work and the programme, where importance of a two-way evaluation process is underlined. The next chapter deals with recognizing and retaining the volunteers, with the importance of these processes and some concrete ideas for recognition of volunteers. The final chapter gives information about SEEYN volunteers and outcomes of the regional volunteer exchange.
This handbook is part of the long-term SEEYN project “Practical Guide Through YOUth Work” with the support of the European Union, within the Erasmus + programme, Key Action 2 (Capacity building in the field of youth).