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How to Achieve a Positive Volunteer Experience – Part 1

2017 July 10
by HandsOn Suburban Chicago

Volunteering is a wonderful life-lengthening experience. Studies show that volunteering can be beneficial to those served as well as to volunteers. Volunteers help organizations reach critical goals while sharing or learning new skills increasing their socialization

Volunteering can be a very positive experience, but ensuring that happens is as much the responsibility of the volunteer as it is the organization. In fact, the burden is on the volunteer to be diligent in researching the organization and its environment to find the right fit.

As a Volunteer You Have the Right

  • To have a prompt, personal interview with the director or coordinator of volunteers.
  • To be assigned a job that is worthwhile and challenging and that will use your skills or help you develop new ones.
  • To have a clear understanding of the job, including requirements, responsibilities, time commitment, training, and supervisory structure.
  • To be given a copy of the volunteer job description for your own file.
  • To receive orientation to familiarize you with the staff, facilities, and program.
  • To have periodic evaluations of your volunteer service with upgrading or change of assignment when feasible or desirable.
  • To be informed of agency benefits, such as reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and insurance, and of tax deductions allowable for volunteer expenses.
  • To receive regular recognition both formally and informally.
  • To be kept informed of what is going on in the agency through newsletters, staff meetings, etc.
  • To ask for a new assignment or return to HandsOn Suburban Chicago to explore other volunteer opportunities.

In upcoming blog posts, we will cover 2 more key topics that should help both prospective and current volunteers improve their service experience:  Volunteer Responsibilities, and How to Get the Answers You Need.

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