Member Volunteers, Volunteer Nametags, and Coordinator Email Addresses | Track It Forward

Member Volunteers, Volunteer Nametags, and Coordinator Email Addresses

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Banner with icons representing membership, nametags, and email

Recap for June 5th - June 12th

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

Member Volunteers

Do you work for an organization that requires volunteers to become monetary supporters, or members? Is this a policy you’re thinking of incorporating? It can be difficult to get volunteers on board with such a policy, even if membership provides significant benefits. Some creative ways to incorporate this may be a resources and training fee, as some of our coordinator community suggests. See more below!

Facebook Post stating: Hello! Do any of your programs require volunteers to “become a member” of your organization (or make a small donation) before they volunteer? How is this received by your volunteers? We are a library and need support for our Friends group. Membership is only $10.00. It’s been tough to convince our volunteers to become members, but that is a huge way they can support our funding for upcoming library locations and we really need it. Becoming a member would give them access to additional volunteer opportunities at their book sales, free books, and the chance to organize other events. We also have a Foundation organization where you can purchase a book plate. Maybe we can give volunteers a menu of different options for them to give. I know there’s pros and cons but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about to make our volunteers into donors. I’m curious about how it’s worked out for you.

Comments from the group

  • “We also do a training fee. It's $35 and volunteers also pay for their own background checks. Making it required from the beginning is important and also helps to ensure a level of commitment. We do offer financial assistance to anyone who cannot afford the training fee. It works well for us.

  • “I work with the Volunteer Coordinator at Lone Star Flight Museum…Just recently they did away with the [membership] requirement. But have offered a special low cost volunteer membership that has benefits of one of our more expensive levels including multiple guests and and discounts in our gift shop…In our case, most of the volunteers have elected to become members.”

  • “Could there be a way that you get the volunteers to drive promoting membership to others, rather than getting them to buy it themselves as they’re already giving their valuable time for free…Also the ones who can afford it may be more motivated to join up when they see the effort being put in to advertise it.”

Add your own thoughts here!

Volunteer Nametags

Nametags should be simple - but with so many options, it can be difficult to decide! In the end, you’ll want something that is straightforward, cost-effective, and official. Take some ideas for our coordinator community!

Facebook post stating: Hey Everyone! I was curious what everyone uses for nametags? We have wooden ones made for our staff, but they are very expensive. Our volunteers have been using buttons and a sharpie, but some volunteers would like a more professional look to their name tag. We used to make magnet ones in-house, but our printer stopped liking the file. It was also a little time consuming to make one nametag. I'm open to suggestions and recommendations that is on the cheaper, but nicer side.

Comments from the group

  • “Yellow lanyards and we use a label maker to put their name on the front and back…I typically only give these out after a volunteer has worked a few shifts to ensure they are serious about volunteering…For one-day-only event volunteers, I make them sticker name tags.”

  • “Label maker and plastic branded name tags, although you could use anything almost and the label maker makes it look a little more formal. We also engrave those name tags for certain volunteer milestones as recognition.”

  • “We use the snap together buttons but with a printed template nametag inside. That way they all look the same and have the logo on.”

  • We have volunteers upload a picture for us and then create a Hello my name is Name tag on Canva with their picture and our logo...We also have a volunteer who comes in every 1-2 weeks to make them for us. Volunteers love them and we have them return them when they leave us.

See all of the comments here!

Coordinator Email Addresses

Volunteer coordination begins with recruitment and vetting of volunteers. Most prospective volunteers will reach out via email, and it’s a good idea to create a general inquiry or general coordinator email if possible. This can help with consistency for future coordinators and volunteer inquiries. See how other coordinators are addressing the issue:

Facebook Post Stating: Hi everyone! I hope everyone is well! My name is Jamison and I am the Patron Services and Volunteer Associate at a dance non-profit in Washington DC. I am so thrilled to have found and be a part of this group! 
My first (of many) questions is regarding the initial email connection. Currently, if people are interested in volunteering, they are told to email me directly:

Comments from the group

  • “Many organizations have both. The generic address might be an alias or a distribution list that includes your own named address and possibly some colleagues too. If you leave the organization, IT redirects the address to the new person and volunteers continue writing to volunteers@.”

  • “I do both. A generic email goes on our program business cards and brochure but I also give out my own cards depending on where I am.”

  • “If you were off for any reason or on holiday it’s good that others could pick up too! Generic email should be on applications/leaflets poster etc.”

Join the conversation here!