Volunteers

CUC’s Volunteer Guiding Principles

You are the CUC!!!

We believe a healthy organization is characterized by healthy individuals who have committed to work together as an organization, not just as individuals. We, the staff of the CUC, commit to do the following:

  1. Nurture and strengthen a network of volunteers
  2. Clearly and publicly define the process for volunteer recruitment and selection
  3. Develop committees which include both new and experienced members
  4. Provide a position description which includes clear and specific information about our needs and expectations and the commitment we’re asking for
  5. Always have a time-limited term, in order to provide opportunities to as many people as possible
  6. Provide opportunities for you if you have not previously been involved in the CUC
  7. Provide balanced and appropriate opportunities for you as a seasoned volunteer
  8. Provide opportunities for you to work in your area of expertise or to explore new areas.
  9. Provide an orientation, training, support and feedback for you in your volunteer role
  10. Engage you in choosing your area of interest.
  11. Find a match between your needs and ours so that the work you do can be meaningful and enriching.
  12. Encourage you to limit the number of volunteer opportunities you take on at a given time in order to develop our volunteer base
  13. Accept graciously if you decline an opportunity or decide to leave a volunteer position before the term is complete
  14. Seek your feedback so we can continue to improve the volunteer process which is central to the CUC structure

created: October, 2002 revised: September 1, 2004

Volunteer Management Theory

(source: volunteercanada.ca)

The central idea of volunteer management theory is the volunteer management cycle.

volunteer management cycle

Planning is essential for the success of any volunteer program and involves

  • designing volunteer positions
  • creating application forms
  • developing applicable policies and procedures
  • educating others in the organization about involving volunteers

When you have taken care of these planning items, you have a solid foundation to support your volunteer program.

You are now ready for the Recruitment stage. Be creative as you brainstorm the who, why, where, when and how. Who would be the ideal volunteer? Why would they be interested in your volunteer opportunity? Where and when can you reach these people? How can you create a recruitment message that encourages potential volunteers to volunteer for your organization? Remember that part of recruiting is also selection. Consider the criteria you will use to select or ‘say no’ to potential volunteers. What screening process will you use? For resources on the screening and safety aspect of volunteer management visit the UUA’s Safe Congregations, or Volunteer Screening from Volunteer Canada.

When you have recruited your volunteers, you will need to provide them with Orientation and Training to give the general information about your organization and the specific

information about the volunteer position. Orientation and training help your volunteers feel confident and prepared. You also decrease the chances of problems occurring by helping volunteers know what is to be expected.

The Supervision and Evaluation stages are for your benefit and the volunteers. You need to know that the volunteer is fulfilling their role effectively and the volunteer needs affirmation too. Regular evaluation provides you and the volunteer time to assess how the volunteer placement is going and if changes could be made to improve the volunteer’s satisfaction or performance.

 Recognition is the next stage in the Cycle and it happens in an informal way every time a “thank you” is said. Formally, volunteers are thanked through celebrations and recognition events planned in their honour. It is important that the thank you fits the volunteer; you need to know your volunteers so that they can be thanked in a way that leaves them feeling truly recognized.

With good planning and management you will retain your current volunteers and be ready.