Ice Breakers, Volunteer Interviews, and Getting a Coordinator Job | Track It Forward

Ice Breakers, Volunteer Interviews, and Getting a Coordinator Job

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Banner with icons depicting ice, shaking hands, and a briefcase

Recap for April 18th - April 24th

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Facebook community this past week!

Ice Breaker Ideas

Ice breakers are a classic way to help volunteers get to know each other. If you’re looking to do an ice breaker at your next volunteer meeting or event, take a look at some of the suggestions from our volunteer coordinator community!

Facebook post stating:

Comments from the group

  • “I like two truths and a lie...Writing up some questions as a guide for folks at each table to encourage talking points could be helpful…It could be fun to have people turn and talk to a neighbor about why they got involved in the first place and why they're still there.

  • “Bingo - who has a dog, has volunteered [a certain number of] hours, etc. and they must find someone and initial it.”

  • “I set little cards on the table that said ‘Get to know your neighbor’ with questions of ‘Name’, ‘What brought you to this organization’, and ‘Two things you want us to know about you’. I directed everyone to…use the cards to get to know their neighbor. Then they would introduce each other to everyone at the dinner.”

Add your own thoughts here!

Volunteer Interviews and Outreach

Some organizations may require volunteers to submit an application and interview prior to onboarding. In these cases, the follow-up process is more extensive and it can sometimes be more difficult to connect with and onboard volunteers. What should that follow-up process look like if volunteer candidates don’t initially respond? Here’s what our Facebook community had to say on the subject:

Facebook post stating: As part of our volunteer onboarding process, I send an invitation to interview after reviewing a prospective volunteer's application. About 20% of the time, the applicant doesn't respond to schedule an interview. 
In cases like this, do you follow up? On the one hand, it feels like a bad sign about that applicant's interest/reliability if they haven't responded to the initial email, but on the other hand I don't want a potentially good volunteer relationship to fall through the cracks because they missed one email.

Comments from the group

  • “I would definitely give them a call! I find that sometimes emails get lost or sent to spam, so getting in touch another way either reminds/notifies them or lets them know it's in their inbox but in spam, etc.”

  • “I usually send a follow up email titled something like "still interested in volunteering with us?" around the 2-week mark, whether they applied online, had a phone interview, or came to an orientation.”

  • “I always follow up. Two emails. And if they didn’t answer, I text or call them. I also ask on my application their preferred communication type. If they can’t make an interview they won’t make the shift. So they probably won’t be a good volunteer. Think of it that way. But I only contact those 3 times and give about a week between each outreach.”

See all of the comments here!

Volunteer Coordinator Job Advice

Are you looking for a volunteer coordinator job? If so, Track it Forward and our volunteer coordinator community are here to help! Check out our guide on Getting a Volunteer Coordinator Job, complete with practice interview questions. Our coordinator community also shared some examples of interview questions they’ve encountered:

Facebook post stating:

Comments from the group

  • “Have you ever had to “fire” a volunteer? If so, how did you handle it?”

  • “What would you do in your first three months as volunteer coordinator?”

  • “I think for most roles in the voluntary sector they will ask you about your own volunteering experiences if you have any.”

  • Article: Getting a Volunteer Coordinator Job

See all of the comments here!