While this article focuses on volunteerism within community development organizations, there are some basic practices that any volunteer effort should utilize. These include:
- Clarify your organizational goals and hoped-for outcomes in working with volunteers.
- Identify what is unique about different types of volunteers (teens, adult residents, church groups, college interns, corporate teams, unemployed, etc.), decide which you are best positioned to work with, and then tailor the volunteer work to best tap those unique qualities.
- Do your best to match the work with each individual volunteer’s skills and interests.
- Provide an orientation to the work and the organization up front, and relevant ongoing training opportunities.
- Recognize and celebrate your volunteers!