Developing Volunteer Roles

Modified on Mon, 15 Jan 2024 at 02:40 PM

A volunteer role should reflect the values and objectives of your organisation. It should never be a role to replace paid staff and is generally undertaken for 15 hours or less per week. It may be that all roles in your organisation are volunteer roles or that some parts of your organisation run volunteer programs with volunteers involved. 

A volunteer role provides a volunteer with clear expectations and responsibilities. It helps identify support needs and accessibility requirements. Volunteers bring a variety of skills, experiences and perspectives to your organisation, adding value to both the volunteer role and organisation. Developing a volunteer role shouldn’t be a generic approach, but an opportunity to be creative and look at different approaches to volunteering. Volunteer roles that are flexible and adaptable will lead to more fulfilled and valued volunteers, an increased diversity in the volunteer program and volunteers who stay engaged longer. 

People want to gain valid and valuable experiences, by volunteering with organisations that match their values. Clearly demonstrate how the role will support the organisation’s values. Be open to discussing a role with volunteers who don’t ‘fit’ the role criteria, this can be an opportunity to tailor a volunteer role to suit a person’s skills, passions and abilities

Planning for Volunteer Involvement

Assess your organisation’s reasons for engaging volunteers and realistic ability to support them in their role. Begin by determining the following and if you answer ‘yes’ to all, you are ready to start developing a meaningful and purposeful volunteer role:

  • Does the role benefit both the volunteer and the organisation?
  • Will the role be 15 hours or less per week?
  • Are there effective management supports in place for the volunteer?
  • Does the role add value and not replace paid staff?
  • Will the role provide opportunity for the volunteer to benefit in some way?
  • Is there flexibility in the role regarding times and days of the week

National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

Standard 3: Volunteer Roles

Quick Guides

These downloadable resources have been developed under the National Volunteer Management Activity project.

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