Volunteer Awards, Photo Releases, and Route Planning | Track It Forward

Volunteer Awards, Photo Releases, and Route Planning

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Banner with icons representing awards, a camera, and a map with a route

Recap for May 23rd - May 29th

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

Volunteer Awards

If you’re starting a new volunteer program or looking to refresh your current one, you might want to implement volunteer awards. But how many awards should you give out, and for which accomplishments? Our coordinator community has some recommendations below.

P.S. Track it Forward offers a Milestones feature that makes it easy to track volunteer hour awards and progress!

Facebook post stating: Hi everyone, I am currently planning our volunteer awards and wondered how many awards you tend to give away, and what they were? Any other advice would be gratefully received

Comments from the group

  • “I always have a few serious [awards] if people are hitting a milestone like 5 years, etc. But also fun ones, like longest distance to travel, best snack arranger, fastest envelope decorator.

  • “At my previous job we would give out annual awards which were paper certificates (100 hours, 500 hours, etc.), mainly just for the group recognition. We would also give out "lifetime" awards which were plaques or trophies and those were for number of years with the organization, or reaching a hours milestone. We also gave away some "fun awards" based on memorable moments from the year.”

  • “I have our staff submit names of the vols they feel deserve recognition that year. I compile the list and we narrow it down to 10-12ish people, including a volunteer of the year. They each get an award certificate and a gift certificate presented to them and we call them up to be recognized in front of the group during the potluck.”

Add your own thoughts here!

Photo Releases for Volunteers

An important part of volunteer recruitment includes marketing materials for your website, social media and more. One great way to recruit is to show current volunteers in action! To make sure you can use all the great photos you’ve taken of volunteers, you’ll need a photo release form. Learn more about how to incorporate these forms from other volunteer coordinators.

Facebook post stating: What do you all do for managing photo release forms. I work in adult education and we love to share pictures on our social media. We are very careful to be sure we have written and verbal permission before taking and sharing photos, but the process always seems like a mess. 
If we collect photo release forms as part of intake/registration/onboarding, we still ask verbally before taking the pictures. Do you collect photo release forms as part of your onboarding process?

Comments from the group

  • “The photo release is part of our waiver…Our language for the photo release is something like "Volunteer consents to the photographing of their person and property and the use of their photograph, name, likeness, voice, and words and grant the organization to use, reproduce, display, broadcast, alter, modify, and copyright all photographs.”

  • “Our application has generic photo/ audio visual/ media release (similar to the one above) they can choose to authorize yes or no. Our volunteers also sign an agreement/ consent form that lists out they understand they do not have permission to take pictures of our participants or other volunteers. (Along with other confidentiality statements).”

  • “Registration involves the statement saying we take photos and share them. One document for everything. I do ask if they care that I take photos. I've only ever had one exception and that was with kids and parents who didn't want photos of them online etc.”

See all of the comments here!

Volunteer Route Planning

Do you work for an organization that requires volunteers to make deliveries or drop off donations? If so, you might need help planning volunteer routes. Our coordinator community has some suggestions about different programs you can use to plan these routes!

Facebook post stating: Does anyone have to plan out routes for their volunteers that drop things off for clients? If so, what do you use to find the best route for many drop offs?

Comments from the group

  • “We use routific for volunteers to drop off groceries to multiple households. It’s easy to use and will map your routes automatically and you can adjust/make changes as needed. They send you a link that we text to volunteers showing them the addresses in order of the quickest route. The volunteers of all ages find it easy to use and we’re able to include info about the drop off, such as a description of the home, phone number etc.”

  • “I use Mapquest route planner.”

  • “We have meals on wheels service and just got a software called M2P which maps it out.”

Join the conversation here!