UK charity volunteer policy template and volunteering agreement for charities - sample policies for volunteer management to recruit, retain and manage your volunteers well. This resource is in 4 sections - a volunteer policy template, a volunteer agreement template, the biggest section with lots of volunteer management information and links to use and, at the end, a FAQs section.
You can download this volunteer policy template in Word from within the system. Register (everything is free), then login, to download this and 40 other policy templates for charities. Once logged in, click the in-system AI bunny icon, then his Policies button and tell him you want the volunteer policy template.
Complete our People questionnaire to identify ways to improve you volunteer management and be connected to charity volunteer resources, use our Help Finder to find new volunteers, including local corporate volunteering, or ask the AI bunny any volunteering questions you have.
Quick, simple and very effective. Nearly half our ratings are 10/10.
Find Funding, Free Help & Resources - Everything Is Free.
To access help and resources on anything to do with running a charity, including funding, click the AI Bunny icon in the bottom right of your screen and ask it short questions, including key words. Register, then login and the in-system AI Bunny is able to write funding bids and download 40+ charity policy templates as well.
Over a third of volunteers have said that things could be better organised. Getting that right is not only important in helping them achieve the most that they can, but also for retaining them.
I'm not a fan of pages of policies, mainly because they tend not to get read. However, you should have at least a simple policy and someone who takes responsibility for it and ensures it is applied consistently.
Use this short checklist as a volunteer policy template to check that you've covered all the issues that matter to you.
For formal volunteers, having a volunteer agreement is recommended. This is not a contract, but helps volunteers to understand their and the charity's obligations and how these will work in practice. Volunteers offer their time and skills to help us and are under no obligation to do so, but having an agreement helps volunteers and charities work better together and reduces the risk of problems occurring. Complying with procedures, such as data protection, health and safety and, if applicable, safeguarding keeps everyone safe and cannot be optional.
There is also volunteer management software available - here's a guide.
For informal volunteers, such as one-off help at an event, make sure they are briefed on what they need to know. For example, health & safety and action in the event of a fire.
For formal volunteers, having a volunteer agreement is recommended. This is not a contract but helps volunteers to understand their and the charity's obligations and how these will work in practice. Volunteers offer their time and skills to help us and are under no obligation to do so, but having an agreement helps volunteers and charities work better together and reduces the risk of problems occurring. Complying with procedures, such as data protection, health and safety and, if applicable, safeguarding keeps everyone safe and cannot be optional.
Here's an outline volunteer agreement with key headings you could consider:
Finding and recruiting volunteers is a bit like staff recruitment. We need to be clear on how many people we need, what skills and experience they might need, what we can offer that will make them want to volunteer, minimise any barriers that may make that less likely and then get that message to them.
Larger charities may have volunteer job descriptions, but even for the smaller ones, it can be useful to have a list of volunteer roles, any useful skills/experience and the time/flexibility required. That’s more admin, but you can download a template from Charity Excellence that has this, with a range of example roles and requirements already included.
Think about what it is you offer and do that will appeal to potential volunteers and what barriers they think may be preventing them from volunteering. Turn that into simple messages that you can use. You can also use these in wider communications, such as social media posts, or your newsletter, to encourage people to come forward. Seven in 10 volunteers say they have already or would recommend their volunteering to a friend or family member. Among those who have never volunteered, one of the most frequently cited reasons for not volunteering is that they have never thought about it.
Then think about who your volunteers might be, where to find them and how to reach them. About 80% of people volunteer in their local areas, with about 10% volunteering through employer supported schemes. Formal volunteers are more likely to be older, well-educated and from higher socio-economic groups. Having flexibility and being asked directly are most likely to encourage those who have not volunteered recently.
For example, people who volunteer for roles such as:
For social media, think about which platforms they might use. There are no absolutes, but business and professional people may be more likely to use LinkedIn, whereas teenagers are more likely to be on Instagram/Snap Chat.
For those hard to fill roles, using your trustees and business supporters to access corporates and business networks can be very useful. However, there are also a significant number of organisations that will help you for free. Here are some of the 100s of charity support organisations from the Charity Excellence resource base:
More than one in 5 people volunteer at least once a month for a group, club or organisation, but only 7% are both consistently and heavily involved. This suggests that keeping volunteers engaged and retaining them is a real opportunity.
Make sure that volunteers are welcomed into your charity and given some form of induction and, if necessary, training to make them feel welcome and to enable them to give and get the most from being a volunteer.
And make sure that you continue to engage and support them, on an ongoing basis. It doesn't have to be a formal system and it doesn't have to be a lot of work, but it does have to be done well, to work well. Here are some ideas of the kinds of ways in which you could do that:
And don’t overlook the power of simply saying thank you when you meet people who give their unpaid time to your charity.
A free volunteer guide from our friends at Access NFP which shows how you can refine your recruitment practices and attract more volunteers now, and far into the future; including initial strategy, application form recommendations, compliance and more.
With a foreword from Ben Hughes, a specialist in volunteer management for over a decade for charities such as Make-A-Wish UK and Barnardo’s, this guide is full of helpful information to enhance your volunteer experience.
Our friends at Access UK have their Assemble Starter package, which makes available their market-leading UK charity volunteer management software for smaller teams of volunteers. Get in contact with them to find out more.
Individuals may volunteer as many hours as they want to each week and their benefits won’t be affected. Volunteering is unpaid work for someone other than a close relative, such as a charity. If you’re a volunteer, you’ll have no contract of employment. This means you decide how many hours you want to volunteer each week. You won’t be paid for your work, but can be paid for out of pocket expenses. This includes money spent on food, travel or childcare costs whilst volunteering. You should always keep receipts for expenses - your benefit provider might ask for these as proof. Source - Citizens Advice. You may need to pay tax on your driving expenses if you get back more than you spent.
Your charity should have a written agreement setting out what is classed as an expense, plus how to claim and approve expenses.
Millions of people take part in volunteering, with many charities entirely volunteer run. In one sense, they don't support the charity sector - they are the charity sector. Here are some ideas to use in writing your volunteer management policy and recruiting and retaining your volunteers.
There are many reasons why people volunteer their time and skills, and each person has her of his own reasons, but here are some of the most common ones.
However, there are also barriers:
Benefits reported by volunteers:
A registered charity ourselves, we provide 8 online health checks, the huge information hub, Quality Mark and 3 online directories.
Quick, simple and very effective. Nearly half our ratings are 10/10.
Find Funding, Free Help & Resources - Everything Is Free
To access help and resources on anything to do with running a charity, including funding, click the AI Bunny icon in the bottom right of your screen and ask it short questions, including key words. Register, then login and the in-system AI Bunny is able to write funding bids and download 30+ charity policy templates as well.
I am not an accountant, nor a lawyer and no advice can be applicable to all organisations, in all circumstances, so this resource is no more than a guide to understanding. I've summarised the regulatory guidance and augmented this with my own experience and Internet research, but I am not competent to provide professional advice. I have included links to the source guidance to enable you to check this yourself and, if you think you might need professional advice, use Help Finder to find pro bono support.