Using a time and talent volunteer form is an excellent way to organize and delegate jobs that others could easily do.
Creating Your Own Time and Talent Volunteer Form
If you use volunteers to get something done in your organization--you need a time and talent volunteer form. Everyone from a small grassroots organization, to national organizations like the Girl Scouts have them and use them. Follow these quick tips to creating a useful volunteer form that will serve you well.
What Can Someone Else Do?
Think about everything it takes to run your group. There isn't a job that's too small. Make a list of all the jobs you could delegate. Sometimes group leaders have a hard time delegating but this is a time to really differentiate between what you have to do, and what others could do to help you. Write down each job on the form. It's much easier for people to check something off and it also gives people an opportunity to see what needs to be done. You are more likely to get help that will suit your needs.
Talents You Might Need
In addition to a check list of things that people could do that you would find helpful, you might include a write-in section. It's helpful to give people instructions such as, "list any certifications or positions you hold that would be pertinent." This gives people plenty of wiggle room. You can also ask people their occupation--this might inspire you to think of something else that could be useful to the group!
Another way to include a talent section on the form is to think about things that you don't always have a need for but could be useful. Some examples might be:
- Someone who is First Aid/CPR certified or willing to teach First Aid/CPR.
- Someone who is an expert in their field such as a CPA, an MD etc.
- Someone who is willing to organize an event.
- Someone who speaks a different language.
- Someone who has mastered a particular hobby.
It is important for people to know what they could be potentially signing up for. It's not always possible to be specific--especially if the job is ongoing. However, be as specific as you can. For example, rather than saying, "Need help sewing costumes on Saturdays, " say, "Would like volunteers to help sew costumes on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm." If you are prepared for the person who says, "I can only come from 1pm to 3pm," then you will get even more volunteers.
Organizing the Information So Its Usable
It's great to gather the information but if you have a lot of potential volunteers, it can be a nightmare to organize it. While this method might seem a little time consuming, it will be worth it in the end:
- Start with a spreadsheet. Across the top list jobs to be done. Down the side, list individual people. You will also find it very helpful to add a column for contact information--even just an e-mail or a phone number.
- Go through your talent and volunteer forms. Put an x where people are willing to volunteer. You can also fill in that box with availability.
- Don't throw away your original forms. After you've entered all your information, you should have one single spreadsheet listing all the jobs to be done and all the people willing to do them. However, keep your original sheets in a binder. You can use these to keep notes as you go throughout the year. Did you find out that Mary's mom is an ace at baking and is very organized? Ask her to head up the school wide bake sale next year.
|Name of Volunteer||Contact Information||First Aid||Lead a Class||Stuff Envelopes||Run Snack Shack|
Tips for Keeping Good Volunteers Happy
The more organized you are, the happier your volunteers will be to keep coming back. No one wants to sign up for a job that has unclear expectations in terms of time and ability. Try these tips to keep volunteers happy and volunteering:
- Have something to drink and/or eat at the volunteer site as appropriate.
- Make sure to thank your volunteers promptly. A handwritten card is sufficient, however, if you have someone who has volunteered substantially a small gift can be appropriate.
- Have everything set up for your volunteers before they arrive. No one wants to come to stuff envelopes only to have to wait around while you get the envelopes ready.
- People like to use their expertise. Don't assume that an MD won't stuff envelopes for you, but consider asking him or her to speak to kids, or in some other ways use their expertise.