Working with volunteers
(It was a) socially good atmosphere and a chance to exchange ideas and skills.
iT4C volunteer quoted in "Evaluation Report: Volunteer matching service" by Paul Ticher and Andrea Eaves
Working with an IT volunteer is similar to working with any volunteer. If you have a volunteer policy please feel free to apply it to your IT volunteer.
Your volunteer may not be used to working with charities. He or she may be used to the faster-paced environment of the commercial world. Please try to provide information when the volunteer requests it and support them when they need it.
The following tips may be useful:
There was a significant team effort by all the hospice staff and a willingness to share concerns and commitment to improvement, which made my role both productive and supportive.
Chris Harvey, iT4Communities volunteer for St Francis Hospice
- Decide who's responsible for the project within your organisation. Make sure the volunteer knows who this is and how to contact them.
- Discuss how much time and resources you - and your volunteer - can commit to the project.
- Have a clear specification of what needs to be done. Get input from as many people in your organisation as possible.
- Listen to the volunteer's advice. They have important skills to pass on. But you know your organisation best. If the proposed solution won't work for you, say so!
- Ensure that you'll be able to sustain the project after the volunteer has left. He or she will be able to advise on the skills or training you'll need.
Treat your volunteer like any other valuable volunteer or member of staff - remember to offer them coffee and biscuits!