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In my opinion insufficient volunteer policies, ineffective planning, unexecuted strategy, uninformed orientation, inadequate training, failure to address the difference in learning styles, along with lack of understanding of the demographics of the volunteers can hamper the building of an effective volunteer training program. 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. Once the policies have been established, orientation and training become crucial. According to Connors, (2011) both orientation and training, although similar they are different. Orientation provides an overview to the organization that entails the policies and culture, while training provides the tools for success in order to accomplish goals set.
Connors, (2011) discusses a Quadrant -Style Learning which consists of three styles of learning that includes, 1). Visual is learning by looking and seeing, 2). Auditory learners learn by listening and hearing, 3). Kinesthetic were the learner learns by doing and touching. I have a mixer of these learning styles and depending on what I may be doing at the time, perhaps one more than the others. Last year I volunteered for a church that needed to clean up many unattended areas. Before we began our task we had an orientation process that laid out the expectations. Because I am aware of my learning style, I tend to listen intently, look for examples, and like to repeat the task given or give gestures at times what is expected of me. I eventually became frustrated because there was no structure during the training process by the organizers and I ended up wandering around searching for something to do. I had no direction, no examples, and no proper communication. On the brighter side the organizers did serve pizza to all of the volunteers in the end.
Connors, (2011) discusses in order for me to develop an effective training volunteer program I must have structure, set aside proper resources for adequate training such as finances and experienced volunteers, assess the needs of skills and knowledge needed in order to perform assignments, know the type of skills the training is supposed to bring forth , provide examples of what the outcome should look like, be aware of the demographics of the volunteers in terms of age, always take into consideration different learning styles, ask for feedback, allow room for creativity, and stay engaged with the volunteers. These are the components I would use, along with knowing the approach not to take because of my personal experience, to help develop an effective training program for volunteers in my organization. â€œIncorporating meaningful training opportunities into the volunteer program is an investmentâ€ (Connors, 2011, pg. 246).
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…