Top 10 Tips for Organizing a Group Volunteer Project

 

1. Get help from the Volunteer Center who is able to connect you with many agencies in need of volunteers.

2.
Understand the needs of the non-profit you want to help, and how you can add value. Also understand how they can contribute to your goals.

3. A
llow plenty of lead time when looking to plan a volunteer project with an agency. The agency will need time to identify a meaningful project and organize their staff. A minimum of one month is usually best.

4.
Set realistic expectations with regard to volunteer recruitment. Take into consideration the culture of your company, etc. so that you can provide the number of volunteers that you commit to.

5. L
ess is sometimes more. Don't assume that a small group of volunteers will not be effective. Many agencies are happy to accommodate small groups of volunteers. Most agencies can handle a maximum of 20 volunteers per site. Some can accommodate only 5 volunteers, and a few can handle between 40 - 70 volunteers in one location.

6.
If possible, establish continuous lines of communication and outreach. Avoid connecting only around the time of a big event.

7.
Some non-profits may have extremely limited resources. Even an agency that you have a strong relationship with may find it difficult to organize a volunteer project if there is very little, or no, money for supplies.

8.
Think about the strengths, area of expertise, or resources you can share with current or potential agency partners. (i.e. specific employee skills, pro bono services, meeting space, in-kind donations of computers or other useful items, etc.).

9.
When choosing dates for your volunteer activities consult your agency partners first to find out when their greatest needs are.

10.
Be flexible and open to ideas. Being willing to share your own ideas.