3.4 Key points from Section 3
- Volunteers play a crucial role in voluntary organisations and volunteering is defined as an act of giving one’s time for free that benefits others without expectation of material reward. There are around 13.8 million people volunteering at least once a month. Volunteers take on diverse roles and have many reasons why they volunteer, although wanting to improve things and help people and working for a cause close to their hearts are the main ones.
- There are many ways to recruit volunteers and online advertising has become increasingly important alongside more traditional methods. Targeting adverts and roles to particular groups is becoming more common as it becomes harder to recruit volunteers in some areas. It is good practice to have more formal recruitment procedures including interviews where both sides can ask questions and ensure there is a match between the volunteer and the role.
- Supporting and managing volunteers has assumed a greater role in many organisations. This starts with induction and training so that volunteers understand what is expected of them, which also helps with retention. Engaging volunteers throughout their time with an organisation provides them with satisfaction in their role and helps keep them volunteering. Regular meetings, communication, consultation and feedback are all part of this.