Volunteers are going to be your key players in the chapter – as a new chapter leader, you will need to establish the grounds for continuous team-work. Volunteers are AFS’ local benchmark, who bring our missing and values to various local stakeholders. However, they will need someone to be there to coordinate the work of the chapter. Volunteer management is a very broad term, one that takes time to master. AFS has developed a comprehensive tool that describes each step a volunteer goes through during their career with AFS. We call it the Volunteer Journey. You can find a variety of resources in this chapter that will aid you whilst leading the volunteer force of your local chapter, and also give you insight into intergenerational collaboration.
At any given point, there will be a mixture of experienced volunteers and new starters in your chapter. This means that recruitment and onboarding will become one of the continuous focal points for any local leader. The Chapter Development Toolkit, developed by AFS International, with its segment on volunteer recruitment can give you a few tips on how to approach this topic, as well as how to tailor your recruitment approach to stakeholders that already contribute to AFS, however, are yet to declare themselves as volunteers.
The basics of volunteer orientation and training
One of the easiest ways to lose volunteers is the lack of training. From the moment a new volunteer joins AFS, we have to make sure that they receive appropriate training on the organization and the roles they are looking to undertake. At any given time working with people, we need to be able to recognize the different learning styles they have. This resource will help you understand how to train your volunteers and what kind of learning types you will most likely encounter.
How to make volunteers show up?
Many chapter leaders share the common frustration of finding it challenging to make their volunteers show up on various AFS activities. Each volunteer has their own set of priorities, motivation, time availability. When we talk about volunteers, we can never come up with a universal strategy to ensure 100% attendance. However, the tips outlined in this article will raise your chances of encouraging your people to show up.
How generational stereotypes hold us back at work
The age gap in the volunteer force is a struggle for many organizations – not only for AFS. Listen to this talk to get a glimpse of what having a variety of age groups represented in your team can bring, and how to learn to focus on the unique qualities of each individual, instead of putting them in an age box.