Volunteer Events and Screening Volunteers | Track It Forward

Volunteer Events and Screening Volunteers

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Facebook banner with icons representing food trucks, clinking glasses and two people at a front desk

Recap for May 16th - May 22nd

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

Volunteer Events

There are countless ways to show volunteer appreciation and throwing an event is one of them! If you’re hosting an outdoor event, you could invite a food truck to be onsite for lunch. Our coordinator community has some tips on this process:

Facebook post stating: Has anyone had any luck inviting a Food Truck to a volunteer event? We are going to be hosting a volunteer event in June and would love to offer a Food Truck so volunteers can purchase food.

Comments from the group

  • “We did sno-cones for nurses week at several of our facilities. Volunteers worked the events but my company paid for the truck/sno-cones.

  • “I have had good luck reaching out to businesses who offered vouchers for freebies or sponsored free items. Other times they’ve offered a cheaper rate so we could provide something.”

  • “For our lage event we had 3 [food trucks]. We made them limit their menu, sent it to volunteers ahead of time and guaranteed them a minimum amount. There were different staff members that had connections, but I made the personal ask with one of their items in my hand.”

Add your own thoughts here!

Screening Volunteers

Although organizations are always looking for new volunteers, some people may not be a good fit. In these cases, it may be necessary to turn away potential volunteers - but what is the best way to do this? One way is to have qualifications listed on the volunteer website and in your volunteer handbook. Our coordinator community has some additional ideas as well:

Facebook Post stating: I'm a volunteer coordinator at an animal shelter. We recently ran into a situation where someone on our do not adopt list with some notes that suggested potential animal neglect (no charges brought) came to volunteer. There were other issues and he ended up resigning, but I would like to prevent this from happening again.
Does anyone have good language for adding a section to the volunteer handbook about reasons that a person might not be permitted to volunteer?  
We will have a lawyer go over the handbook before the official update to be sure that any changes to requirements are within the law.
Thank you for any advice you are able to offer!

Comments from the group

  • “Animal shelter volunteer coordinator here as well…you can put in the handbook that anyone listed on our [Do Not Adopt] list is prohibited from volunteering, we also run them against our database of animal citations as well.”

  • “There's nothing preventing you from *not* taking on a volunteer. My situation is a little different, but I meet with all prospective volunteers and if I don't think they're a good fit, I'll vaguely tell them that we don't have any current openings but I'll keep them in mind.”

  • “Do you require background checks for volunteers? If you have it in the budget, that's a great way to get an initial feel for volunteers (if they're questioning why it is required, etc.).”

See all of the comments here!