A volunteer program refers to a systematized way of preparing for recruiting, training, supervising, and also thanking volunteers to make it easy for people to volunteer in a nonprofit organization for example at Love Uganda Foundation and Footprint Volunteering Uganda. The volunteer program aims at reaching out to the various needs of people within our society. And these include; vulnerable people, wildlife, water and environment, Agriculture, human rights. Volunteering involves providing a safe health environment that could accommodate life and any kind of living.
To have a successful community and faith-based organization you have to implement a successful volunteer program the will attract volunteers to come to your organization. Some of the volunteer programs at Footprint Volunteer Uganda include; Elderly program, Childcare/Orphanage program, Widows program, Disabled program, HIV/AIDS program, Youth program, Water and sanitation, Healthcare program, Human rights, and Community development program.
First, you have to understand the role of volunteers in your organization. This will enable you to form good successful volunteer programs. Below are some of the volunteer roles in an organization.
- Volunteers in an organization help in the marketing efforts this is through creating posters, setting up events. And updating blogs on the website with information that encourages people to attend.
- They also help in providing information to the public via phones, emails, or even meet them in person. They answer questions and also provide more information about the cause.
- Volunteers also provide teamwork in an organization. That is to say, they work with other volunteers on projects to achieve targets. And also help in creating activity plans.
- They help in motivating others to get involved in the cause at hand. That is to say, encouraging them to donate money or get involved in signing up for fundraising events.
- Volunteers are good at keeping accurate records of the organization. They are responsible for keeping up-to-date records where necessary and provide reports to the top members of the organization.
What does it take to implement a successful volunteer program? There are several steps that you have to follow to have a successful volunteer program.
First, you have to have a plan so the step is called planning. This involves you to state the mission for example the mission of Footprint volunteer Uganda is “WORK FOR A CAUSE”. And the one of Love Uganda Foundation states that “Giving hope to Orphans, Needy, Vulnerable and Disabled children.” The mission statement helps volunteers to fit into an organization. It also helps the person to make consistent decisions, motivate others and also enhance communication in an organization.
Under planning still you have to know what you are going to use volunteers for in your organization. So of the questions, you ask yourself are:
- Will the use of volunteers in your organization expand your services. Or will a volunteer program help you to save money?
- Do you have to find out how the use of volunteers affects the collaborative efforts? Are the partners able to work with volunteers?
- How will the staff react when the volunteers come around?
You have to be able to explain to your staff; what will be the work of a volunteer, what are your reasons for recruiting volunteers? And you have to be to create healthy teamwork between the paid and unpaid staff.
Secondly, you have to know how you are going to recruit the volunteers so the second step is recruiting. Volunteer recruitment refers to attracting and inviting people to consider involvement with the organization. Many organizations have less paid staff and more volunteers. People tend to volunteer for an organization that promotes a cause. And they always want to know if their contribution will make a difference. Some of the active particular areas they may which to volunteer are children welfare. And also abuse prevention so you have to assess your image.
In addition, there are so many ways on how to recruit volunteers to your organization that is to say;
- You can contact the local volunteer center
- You can also use the current volunteers in an organization. These are the best people to use because they are committed to the organization and believe in it.
- The organization can also use social media or mass media such as newspapers, newsletters, televisions, radios, and billboards.
- Registering with volunteer referral organizations
- Getting referrals from staff, ministers, friends, and religious leaders such as deacons
- You can make personal appearances at senior centers, career fairs, and other venues or events.
The third step is the training of volunteers in an organization. This involves developing your orientation program. This will help volunteers to see how the volunteer’s position will fit within the context of the organization.
To add to the above, you should assign orientation leaders. Volunteer manager or staff trainer usually conducts orientation. You should ask experienced volunteers to mentor and orient new volunteers. In addition, you should schedule an orientation, develop orientation such as a volunteer handbook, orientation packet, and reference guides. You should introduce the volunteers to the staff and other volunteers.
The fourth step is managing where you will assign a supervisor to a volunteer and regular communication with the volunteer. Evaluating volunteers to see their performance and share the results. This is to show that you care about the volunteers and the quality of their work.
Lastly, evaluating is the last step that calls you to describe your program to the volunteers in the organization let’s say a teaching program or health care program. It also involves designing the evaluation that includes reviewing and documenting the effects of your services and their importance to the community. There is also a collection of data, analyzing data, and report results.
In a nutshell, implementing a successful volunteer program requires a lot of research and paperwork to ensure that the mission, objectives, and goals of an organization are achieved. There are better programs at Footprint volunteering Uganda for volunteers to work in.