How to Provide the Right Amount of Nonprofit Volunteer Training
The degree and extent of training volunteers at your nonprofit depends on the type of job you’re asking them to do. Volunteers who answer telephones, for example, may need more training than those volunteers who stuff envelopes for the publicity committee.
If you need to provide a full day’s training or training over a longer period, consider consulting with a professional trainer to either provide the training or help you to design the curriculum.
Although you may be concerned about investing too much of volunteers’ valuable time in training, remember that key motivations for volunteering include meeting people and enjoying time with friends. Trainings can be great opportunities to introduce volunteers to one another and build camaraderie among them. It’s a good idea to schedule refresher training sessions for ongoing volunteers, too.
In addition to on-site training, you should give volunteers written materials that restate the information covered in the training. Include with these materials attendance requirements, whom to telephone in case of illness, and other necessary information that volunteers may need to know when carrying out their tasks.
Larger organizations that use many volunteers sometimes publish a volunteer handbook. Such a handbook doesn’t need to be an elaborately printed document; it can be several typed pages stapled together or a simple loose-leaf notebook. The more information you provide, the better your volunteers can perform.