10 commandments for managers of volunteers


Whilst there are plenty of ideas for having an effective and healthy volunteer program, we’ve put together a list of the ones that we consider imperative for a truly successful program that is adaptable to most community organisations.

Here are 10 commandments, and whist they are not set in stone, we challenge you to think about them and discuss with your colleagues.

  1. Thou shall have clear role descriptions for volunteers
  2. Thou shall have all the supplies and equipment available for volunteers to complete their work
  3. Thou shall conduct quality screening, background checks and thorough orientation
  4. Thou shall be well known for appreciating your volunteers and having fun
  5. Thou shall cultivate leaders within your volunteer teams so that you can delegate responsibility
  6. Thou shall communicate a compelling vision for why people should volunteer in your organisation and what they shall gain from the experience
  7. Thou shall consult volunteers about upcoming changes that affect their work
  8. Thou shall provide ongoing training and opportunities for professional development
  9. Thou shall ensure board and staff higher in the organisation are regularly informed about volunteer efforts
  10. Thou shall ensure coffee (and chocolate) is abundantly supplied and replaced when supplies are low