Volunteer Training Part III by Nancy Leeds

By at July 23, 2012 | 5:26 pm | Print

Volunteer Training Part III by Nancy Leeds

Volunteer Maintenance

Are you guys sad that this is the final part of my three part treatise? Me too. It is the smallest piece, but by no means the least important!

Volunteer Upkeep

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization”

Training Doesn’t End after Volunteers have been Trained

•Check In with your volunteer after 10 mins and every ½ hour after that. Thank them every time (do you notice a theme?) Ask how the calls are going and if they have any questions. Casually listen in on calls and see if there is something you can encourage or that needs to be nipped in the bud. Ensure that the volunteer is coding the responses appropriately.

•Know your volunteers. A good volunteer coordinator and organizer knows their volunteers. They know their name, face and story. It is critical that the organization develops a close relationship with volunteers.

•Praise in public, correct in private. Reinforce positive behavior by thanking volunteers in front of everyone. “Doris you’re a rockstar! Thanks for pushing it up to 100 calls.” Correct mistakes constructively, with encouragement and one on one. “Sandy, you’re doing such a good job and you obviously know your stuff. Hey, do me a favor and don’t worry about arguing with Romney supporters. It drives me nuts too, but we have so many calls to get through, why waste our time on people we can’t convince? Awesome job so far..”

•Team Cohension. Make your volunteers feel a part of the team. Do not put a volunteer in a room alone. Introduce volunteers to other volunteers. Organizers should take 2-5 minutes out of their calltime to visit with the volunteers and thank the volunteers.

Check Out

•Debrief. Ask how the calls went and if any issues you came up that you should know about. Ask if there were any particular calls you need to know about (someone who wants to volunteer or wants to vote by mail.)

•Look it over. Quickly go through your volunteers’ tallies and call sheets BEFORE they leave. The last thing you want it to be stuck with a pile of data you can’t decipher.

•Reschedule. Ask every volunteer who comes in when they can come back. Get them to commit to as much as possible in person. “This was great. Can you come every Thursday?” If they can’t reschedule right then, at the very least schedule a time to reschedule. “Okay then.
I’ll call you on Monday when you’ll have a better sense of what your week looks like”. No volunteer should leave the office without being rescheduled.

•Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Two little words, you can never underestimate their importance.

Nancy Leeds is a Democratic Campaign Operative and Masters in Public Administration Candidate at Columbia University. After the Iowa primary in 2008, Nancy recruited 100 shifts in 3 days for John Edwards. She is the author of Campaignsick (campaignsick.blogspot.com) a blog about voting rights, electoral politics and best practices in Campaign Management.

campaignsick.blogspot.com       campaignsick@gmail.com

Management & Strategy

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