Volunteer Grievance Policies and Other Hot Topics From Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community | Track It Forward

Volunteer Grievance Policies and Other Hot Topics From Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community

Written by Kasey Murphy

Weekly Recap: September 7 - September 14 

This week, the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community had a few posts that received great attention! The main topics included volunteer grievance policies, virtual 5k events, and volunteer management software! 

Please continue to post any resources you find helpful or topics of concern and interest to the group. If you are not part of the Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community, be sure to request to join! 

Volunteer Grievance Policies are methods set up to help volunteers express any concerns about the volunteer program. They may also be used to have volunteers express conflict with other volunteers or issues with volunteer management. 

It is important to have a way to address conflict within your volunteer program, volunteer grievance policies are a great way to do this. 

Grievance policies. How detailed is yours? Right now ours just directs people to bring their complaints to the Volunteer Coordinator (me). Do your policies include instructions for elevating unresolved complaints? I want to make sure I'm drawing a clear path for volunteers to have concerns heard, but I feel like I may be overthinking it.

When it comes to Volunteer Grievance Policies there are a few things you should consider. 

  • Who will the volunteer grievances go to - the volunteer coordinator? Anyone else in the organization? 

  • What is the process for volunteers to insert a complaint or concern? 

  • Is there a separate way to insert a concern that involves you (so you do not have to address your own complaints)? 

  • Is your volunteer grievance policy anonymous? 

  • How will you remind volunteers of the volunteer grievance policy and procedure?

Some Volunteer Grievance Policy advice from the comments: 

  • “I direct vols to me in the first place and then if it’s involving a member of paid staff follow grievance procedures. If it’s not a paid member of staff I use informal conversations to address the problem with both sides of the grievance. If that doesn’t settle it I have a mediation procedure.”

  • “We have them start with me and take it up the chain of command (VP, CEO, Board) but it's clear that I (the volunteer director) is the one that evaluates it to the next level not the volunteer. Volunteers are turned around and sent down the chain if they try to jump the chain of command.”

  • “We have one, we don't call it a grievance policy as it's an employment term. We call it a problem-solving policy and it involves the volunteer manager or volunteer officer in the early stages. It then involves my manager then head of dept. We focus on resolution but we do have a clear exit pathway when we can not reach an agreement.”

To view more comments or to help explain your organization’s Volunteer Grievance Policy, comment here. 

Resources For Volunteer Grievance Policies 

In other posts, volunteer managers were expressing their creativity in planning virtual events. Many nonprofits and other organizations use 5K races as a way to raise money and awareness. In these pandemic times, many have found a way to make virtual 5Ks successful.  

Hello Hello,
Have anyone in the group planned a virtual 5K during COVID?? If so, will you be willing to share your planning timeline????

Comments on Virtual 5Ks

  • “Yes, we have an annual 5k/10k every May. At the end of March, we pivoted and changed it to virtual. We were expecting a huge loss of revenue, but because of the decrease In expenses, we actually netted more $ this year than 2019!” 

  • “And we increased our reach, people from all over the world were able to participate, not just locals. Next year we will be back to a life event (we hope) but we will continue to include a virtual race.”

  • Contact Other Organizations or Large Networks of “Race Directors” 

If you are a race director or have planned any virtual races, comment on the Facebook group post here. 

Resources For Planning Virtual 5Ks

Lastly, we often generate a lot of posts asking about volunteer management software and different time tracking solutions for volunteer programs. 

While there are so many different volunteer software programs available, there are definitely pros and cons to different software programs, as they are all a little different. 

It is really important to evaluate what exactly you may need and what you will prioritize in a volunteer software program. Sometimes, larger volunteer software programs offer everything that you may want to prioritize, but they do not prioritize those features. This may mean that you are not getting the best deal for the features that you want to prioritize. 

At Track It Forward, we know that our software may not be for everyone. But, we would still like you to take a look at the different features that we prioritize, and how we may be able to fit seamlessly into your volunteer program. In addition, some of our guides may help you decide on other software programs as well! 

Resources on Finding A Volunteer Software Program