Among the organizers using Konfeo are many non-profit organizations that often use volunteer support in their work. So today’s post is about them and for them.
Carrying out a successful event – especially a big one – requires teamwork, and your budget isn’t usually made of rubber. Volunteers participating in the organization of events, therefore, seem to be an ideal solution. At the same time, acquiring volunteers may not necessarily be the proverbial piece of cake. Recruitment, as well as subsequent volunteer training, requires some effort. The experience of many organizations, however, indicates that with the right strategy, this effort pays off.
How to design a volunteer program?
It is worth starting by defining the needs related to the event. When planning an event, think about all areas where volunteers will be very helpful. Ask yourself: do you need support at the reception desk, when you are greeting registered participants of the event, directing them to destinations, distributing leaflets, training materials etc.? Or you need help with technical issues? Think about how many people will be needed to complete each task.
Prepare a set of volunteering requirements in your organization. What skills and qualities should your ideal volunteers possess? For example, if you need someone who speaks a foreign language at the reception, or if the preparation for the event will require moving heavy equipment, mark it in the set of requirements. Also consider whether your volunteers are to be of age or not (if not, take into account the need to obtain permission to participate in volunteering from the legal guardian). Clearly defined requirements will help find volunteers responding to the needs of your organization, or – more specifically – a given event.
How to recruit volunteers for events?
Use social media. Publish an invitation for volunteers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to enable you to reach the widest possible group of potential recipients. Also, use your own mailing list. People on it already know your organization – contact them to assess their interest in volunteering. You can also contact local universities or distribute leaflets in the area.
It is always worth remembering that volunteers when offering their time, must feel special and appreciated. Think about some incentive – offer a discount for participation in subsequent events, a social meeting with coffee and cake after the event or other attraction.
How to prepare volunteers?
Before you choose volunteers, you must precisely define their responsibilities. Make sure that you not only find people willing to work as part of volunteering, but also those who can actually perform the tasks previously defined by you. Prepare a simple form to make sure that volunteers meet basic qualifications, ask about their interests and find out how much time they can devote. By using Konfeo, you can do it for free and start the registration in 5 minutes. The form can be placed on your website.
Provide volunteers with training. It is worth to book some time – it will minimize the risk of confusion at the last minute on the day of the event. The last thing you want to do is disorientate your volunteers during the event.
Create an information set for volunteers – you can provide it during meetings with volunteers or online. Regardless of the form, it must contain basic information: what volunteers should expect on the day of the event and what is expected of them. Don’t forget about the details, such as what to wear, what to take with you, where to go and what time to report on the day of the event. Choose employees who coordinate the work of volunteers. Also, indicate the contact person that volunteers can contact in case of doubt.
On the day of the event, thank the volunteers for their support. At the end of the day, ask them to share their thoughts and opinions about their experiences. Be grateful for any opinion, even the negative one. Consider it as a stimulus for further development.
Remember that volunteers are as good as their recruiters and trainers. A well-designed recruitment and training strategy for volunteers can be of enormous importance. Although volunteers are only a part of your business, their good cooperation with your employees can contribute to your success.