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Searching for, bonding with and retaining Volunteers
The search for volunteers is a difficult one for many organizations. The motivations to start volunteering vary greatly between people and time for volunteer work is limited. People are busy with other pursuits such as work, family and hobbies.
How do you, as an organization, deal with this? How do you persuade people to spend time with your organization, how do you make your organization (more) attractive, what is important to people and how do you use this to your benefit?
Proper volunteers policy
The basis of showing appreciation for your volunteers is a proper volunteers policy. Here you put into writing the position volunteers hold within your organization, the available travel allowance and a proper introduction program and guidance.
Eindhoven Doet can aid you in creating a proper and complete volunteers policy. It's always best to make all expectations of both you, as the organization, and the volunteer clear from the start. As such, it is important to put your agreement with a volunteer into writing. This can be achieved by creating a voluntary agreement, which includes the mutual responsibilities and conditions of employment of both the organization and the volunteer. To sum up, a proper volunteers contract contains the following information:
- The contents of the work to be performed
- Working hours and total hours requested
- Guidance and trainingRights and responsibilities
- Possible travel allowance
Volunteers and volunteer organizations in Eindhoven are automatically insured for the duration of their volunteer jobs, by means of a collective 'vrijwilligersverzekering' or volunteers insurance purchased by the municipality of Eindhoven.
- Volunteers are insured for private liability, accidents and personal property damage, legal aid and traffic liability.
- Volunteer organizations are insured for public liability
- Directors of volunteer organizations are insured against employers liability.
Internationals as excellent volunteers
Do you appreciate international experience? Several reasons which show internationals are excellent volunteers:
- Internationals are often highly educated and capable of completing complex tasks, such as fundraising, management and marketing.
- They provide access to a network of over 50.000 (extra) internationals. The eyes of an outsider will bring new insights to your organization.
- They often have spare time and like to stay active.
- Eindhoven Doet will visit you for an exploratory meeting. We can help:
- determine which activities are fit for international volunteers.
- with the translation of vacancies to English
- can offer advice concerning working with internationals.
- For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 040-2193399
Bonding with and retaining volunteers
When you've managed to attract volunteers, the next step is aiming to retain them. Unless you want to repeat the initial steps of training new volunteers over and over again. The best way to retain volunteers is to bond with them. Below are several points that may help in positively engaging with your volunteers.
- Be welcoming to new volunteers. Provide an introduction and show your gratitude and appreciation of their attendance.
- Appoint a specified, recognizable and available volunteer contact. It helps if a volunteer has a single contact to whom all questions and concerns can be directed.
- Consider the first period to be an introduction period. Provide the knowledge required of the volunteer for his/her functioning.
- Involve the volunteers in your company structure. Volunteers are employees, just the same as your paid workforce. Consequently, it is important for them to be part of work related meetings.
- Make sure you have a volunteers contract. It's important for both the volunteer and the organization to have an agreement in writing. It should include a job description, possible travel allowance and reimbursement of expenses, participation in training, etc.
- Conduct progress interviews. Spent time with your volunteers and pay attention to their motivation. The motivation of a volunteer may change as a result of personal circumstances or changes in the work environment. It is important to quickly identify these changes in motivation, in order to prevent escalation and possibly provide alleviation.
- Show your appreciation. It is important to recognize (consciously noticing the work of volunteers), acknowledge (take volunteering seriously), value (showing your appreciation) and reward (substantiate your appreciation) the commitment of your volunteers. Of course individual volunteers react differently to different forms of reward. Nonetheless, most volunteers welcome intangible appreciation such as commendations or the personal attention of a supervisor.
- The discount card for volunteers in Eindhoven is also a form of appreciation. The volunteer should apply for the discount card by themself. You can, however, bring its existence to their attention.
Services Eindhoven Doet
Eindhoven Doet aids volunteers with their development and helps them find meaningful volunteer work. Additionally, we support organizations willing to work with volunteers.
For this purpose we utilize and share our know-how. Many of our employees are volunteers or interns themselves and, as such, we are experienced with dealing with anything pertaining to volunteer work.
As a result, we at Eindhoven Doet are familiar with both the private and commercial aspects of volunteer work. We use a three-pronged approach based on development, mediation and promotion.
- Civilians and volunteer organizations in Eindhoven can contact Eindhoven Doet for personal advice concerning volunteer work.
- Stimulation of proper volunteer policy.
- Focus on the appreciation of volunteers, eg. by issuing the discount card for volunteers.
- Encouraging volunteer work among specific target demographics, including expats.
- Support and education of volunteers organizations