The challenge of recruiting and retaining volunteers is a hot topic among many not-for-profit organisations.
As the need for volunteers increases, so does the need to focus on volunteer management planning. Volunteering Redlands acknowledges this as one of the most important objectives in building the sector through the support and recognition of people involved in volunteer programs.
Also, we publish a regular e-newsletter on relevant topics specifically for managers and organisations.
Facts & FAQ
Are Police Clearances and Working with Children compulsory?
Many organisations require police clearances and/or Working with Children checks, depending on the role the volunteer is being asked to do. The organisation should indicate in the position description whether they are required, and whether the organisation supports volunteers to obtain checks.
Does an organisation have the right to discipline volunteers?
Yes. However, an organisation should always have a thorough set of volunteer policies and procedures to ensure that each situation is dealt with appropriately. Volunteer-involving organisations should always include grievance policies for volunteers and organisations, and have appropriate system to deal with issues.
Volunteers should also be made aware of that which is considered inappropriate behaviour within the organisation.
Does Volunteering Redlands have a pool of volunteers to send to organisations?
No. Volunteering Redlands refers volunteers to our member volunteer organisations. To list positions on Volunteering Redlands website, your organisation needs to become a member with us. For information, you may contact us or see Membership Services.
What details should a volunteer handbook contain?
Volunteer handbooks should contain any relevant information about the organisation, as well as volunteer policies and procedures, orientation information, Occupational Health and Safety measures and a history of the organisation.
Is there a standard for ‘out of pocket’ expense reimbursement?
The National Standards for Volunteering indicate that a volunteer has the right to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation for which you are working.
Can an organisation refuse a volunteer that is not suitable?
Yes. Volunteering Redlands recommends creating detailed, specific position descriptions, so that potential volunteers are clear on the expectations of a position. If a person is not suitable, perhaps there is another position within the organisation that would be perfect. If not, the organisation can refer them back to Volunteering Redlands to explore other options.
What is the recommended method of ‘retiring’ volunteers?
As they age, sometimes volunteers become less able to fulfil their duties in an organisation. It is best not to ignore this fact. Speak frankly but politely to the volunteer and suggest a change of duties if appropriate.
A procedure for retiring volunteers should be included in your organisation’s Volunteer Policies and Procedures.
Does an organisation have to be incorporated to involve volunteers?
How long do volunteer personal records have to be kept?
Volunteer personal records, like other staff records, have to be kept for seven years. They can then be archived.
How should volunteer personnel records be stored?
Volunteer personnel records and staff records are confidential and need to be kept in a locked room or cabinet.
Do volunteers have to be trained?
Definitely. Training helps volunteers to be more confident in their duties, and also makes them feel an important part of the organisation. In volunteer interviews/reviews, it is a good idea to ask volunteers if there is any further training they require and attempt to provide it.
What is the difference between Public Liability and Volunteer Personal Accident?
Public Liability insurance protects your agency up to a stated amount if a third party sues your organisation for personal injury (including death), or damage to property as a result of an occurrence in connection with your organisation.
Volunteer Personal Accident Insurance is like 'worker’s compensation' for volunteers. It can provide cover for people who become sick or injured while volunteering but not all agencies can afford it.