Volunteer Applications, Student Volunteers, Volunteer Appreciation & Networking Opportunity | Track It Forward

Volunteer Applications, Student Volunteers, Volunteer Appreciation & Networking Opportunity

Written by Kasey Murphy

Topics Discussed: Volunteer Applications, Student Volunteers, Volunteer Appreciation & Networking Opportunity

While volunteer coordinators and managers have similar tasks and responsibilities, it is so interesting to see how each program completes these tasks differently. That is one amazing thing about the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community on Facebook - you can learn so many new perspectives and methods to complete tasks! 

Volunteer Applications 

How are you guys doing your volunteer applications? We mail them out and wait for them to come back. Is there a virtual avenue you use?

Volunteer Applications have been talked about plenty of times, but again, there are so many different methods that different Volunteer Coordinators can do for processing volunteer applications.

Here is what some of the comments had to say about their process for receiving and evaluating volunteer applications: 

  • “We have an application built into our volunteer management platform that is linked on our website. In the past I have also used Jotform and Google Forms to create more affordable virtual applications”

  • “Google form on our website”

  • “This is something I have wondered as well. Our programs are geared towards senior citizens, but I think having the digital option will be an awesome option for them!”

  • “I send a pdf document. Some are able to fill the pdf via typing. Some print off and mail back, but most print off, scan and email back to me. Before Covid, we meet in person and I give them the application and then they give it back to me in person when they come for training. I love the Google forms idea.”

  • Formswift.com is a good pdf filler that can be sent, signed and received. It's free until you have to save, download or print. It's the cheapest I've found. And can be turned off at any time.”

If you are interested in going virtual with your volunteer applications or would like a more automated option when it comes to processing the volunteer applications - these comments are great suggestions! 

Student Volunteers

I'm the volunteer coordinator at an animal shelter up in Rhode Island and we partner with a university in Newport where students have to complete 100 hours of community service in an academic year. I am working on redoing our volunteer program and want to make a handbook for the student volunteers with different projects in them, our training and things to do during downtime. Does anyone work with universities or high schools and have certain projects for them? Thanks so much!

Allowing students to volunteer to fulfill graduation requirements is an excellent way to introduce the youth to volunteerism! 

While catering to student volunteers might not be something your organization has done, it is a great way to recruit volunteers. Writing a handbook for student volunteers is a wonderful way to fully allow students to be immersed in the volunteer experience. 

Let’s see what the comments had to say about student volunteers in their organizations and different projects! 

  • “I'm a professor and I just want to say thank you for doing this! I know for my students, it's really helpful when a community service experience is connected to experiences that they can put on a resume.”

  • “Things like developing 10 social media posts and then tracking the engagement that each post gets. Or for university students, being able to supervise some of the high school students so they get some supervisory experience.”

  • “We have a few SOP handouts for things like enrichment, nylon lead, feral boxes and dog houses.”

Resources For Providing To Student Volunteers 

Volunteer Appreciation 

With volunteer appreciation week coming up, there have been many posts in the Facebook group about just what exactly everyone is doing! There are so many unique ideas. If you are apart of the Facebook group and are looking for some ideas, I suggest searching “appreciation” in the search bar to view all of the volunteer appreciation posts! 

If you aren’t a part of the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community Facebook Group - join today! 

We are looking for ways to show appreciation for and thank our volunteers. What types of give backs does your organization do? Can be big, small, or in between!

Advice From The Comments: 

  • “I just got positive promotions this time because I haven't had my volunteers long enough to know them yet. But once I get to know them more, I always try to at least partially personalize it.”

  • “Last year we had food hampers delivered to volunteer homes. We recognise long service 5yrs, 10yrs etc.”

  • “Along with an event for National Volunteer Week (with light food, an author talk and a signed book) we give all of our volunteers a small gift at the end of the year. A brass bookmarks with our values on it was a big hit. We've given chargers, earbud, book lights and more. Anything left over we use for thank you gifts throughout the year.”

  • “Certificate of thanks for achievements. Recognition for good work and loyalty etc.”

  • “This year for Volunteer Appreciation Week (for the first time) we'll be doing two small gift cards from local restaurants in a card. They get refreshments each week, a brunch (when possible) to start our season, and then during the holidays each person gets a box filled with seasonal treats. During our holiday celebration, we also do various games and the winner of games gets a present. I also acknowledge folks that have gone above-and-beyond or have 10 years or more of service with a personalized gift.”

More Resources On Volunteer Appreciation

How Does A Volunteer Coordinator Networking Group Sound? 

Hi all! I was thinking of potentially doing a virtual video networking session for all the volunteer coordinators who might be interested in this Facebook group! 
It might be nice to be meet some people virtually that you have interacted with via comments on this page!
I would sort of moderate the whole networking session, and if we have enough interest I might have some more questions on what you would prefer. 
 I just wanted to gauge if this would be something that y'all are interested in! Let me know!

We are going to provide a Volunteer Coordinator Networking Group for volunteer coordinators to virtually meet! Track It Forward will run the group, and we want to make it as enjoyable for you as possible! Sign up by pressing “yes” on this poll!

More information to follow for those who are interested!