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In order for the volunteer program to run smoothly and effectively, organizations need to have policies and procedures in place that set guidelines for all volunteers to follow. According to NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit, (2015) the policies on volunteering set the framework for the volunteer program, and the policies is where the volunteer can define their role and how they should be expected to be treated. The volunteer policies and procedures can also be used as a training tool and provide legal protection if their policies are ever challenged in court. Connors, (2011) explains that when an organization fails to provide guidance through policy, it not only does the volunteer a disservice, it also contributes to managerial and fiscal negligence. Connors, (2011) also lays out seven reasons why policies and procedures for volunteers are needed:
- Policies enable volunteers to know where they stand, offers security in knowing how they are expected to be treated and guidance on what to do when things are not going well
- Policies help to establish continuity if there is a leadership change
- Policies help to ensure fairness and equity to all
- Policies both clarify and communicate values and expected behavior
- Polices articulate organizational positions on important matters of ethics and obligations
- Policies set out organizational beliefs, people’s rights, how business is done, and how people work with one another
- Policies communicate expectations, specify standards, and state rules
The steps I would take to overcome resistance from the Director and staff would first be to include them in the policy planning and creation process. By including them in the process no one will feel excluded. Next I would make every effort to communicate any changes through face-to-face or video conference meetings and emails where all can voice input or concerns. I would also effectively communicate clear expectations that volunteers should be valued as support towards paid staff in helping to set the company’s goals and mission only, not to replace paid employees. Setting these few upfront points with the Director and staff can help alleviate misconceptions of the role of the volunteers and help combat staff resistance.
Connors, T. D. (2011). Wiley nonprofit law, finance and management series: volunteer management handbook: leadership strategies for success (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN-13: 9780470604533.
NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit. (2015, December 15). Volunteer policies [Web page]. Retrieved from https://knowhownonprofit.org/people/volunteers/kee…
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