Module 2 - Volunteer Management


Wikipedia is one amongst many organizations afloat purely on volunteerism. What is it that motivates people to give their time and energy into soething like Wikipedia?

There’s a power in volunteerism, and channelizing that is wherein the potential of volunteer management lies.

There are certain simple tricks of the trade to play for keeps.      


  1. About the Organization                                        

The first step to take with any volunteer is to explain what is it that the organization does. Talk about existing pool of activists, events done so far – and the sheer joy of working together for a cause!

  1. Regular Tasks
    Within 48 hours of inducting a volunteer, he/she should be involved in some task- the task can be small, but it should be defined. Filing pledge sheets, holding a small leafleting drive, calling up the network for prospective outreach are some examples of this work. Explain why the work they’re given is important and how they’re helping make the bigger picture better!

  1. Clear communication of Tasks
    While we’ve briefly touched this point, it is important to tell a volunteer what is exactly needed from him. Try and keep open channels of communication where clearly defined goals are set. Some activities may be one point ones - ‘ Get pledge sheets printed’  ‘ Call all volunteers’-  while some may have activities within them – ‘organize an event’ , for example. In that case, make sure the volunteer is aware of the steps, and the resources available to complete that activity. Ensure you’re there to answer any queries of first time volunteers!

  1. Involve and Celebrate
    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Make sure you communicate and celebrate the big successes of your volunteers! Cheer them on to achieve more and spend conscious time and energy into making them feel appreciated for all that they do. Hosting a potluck, a quiz game, or a movie night together to celebrate campaigns is a great idea!

  1. Innovate
    Doing the same kind of work can sometimes get a little dull – mix things up every once in a while to keep spirits high! The most innovative method of outreach may not be the most effective one, but there’s no harm in trying something new that everyone loves!FIAPO’s regular National Campaigns are a answer to this need!

  1. Opportunities for Work
    While there will be some volunteers with a fire in their belly; others will typically wait to follow leaders. A great practice is to ensure that all newly inducted volunteers have some tasks to carry out! Organizing a small event that volunteers can participate in – from writing a letter, to baking a vegan cake – all go a long way in forming a lasting connect. Make sure you follow up and ask about what they thought of the event, their involvement and their work!

  1. Be Giving
    Little bit goes a long way! Show your appreciation to committed volunteers, little gestures like a Volunteer of the month post on Facebook, small gifts, certificates or lunch coupons can pay off in the long run!

Use these to master the art of volunter management, and reach out like a pro!


Expert Speak


Successfully managing over 200 volunteers, the PRAYAAS team in Surat, led by the energetic Darshan Desai, is definitely one team to look upto. If you’d like his expert comments on volunteer management, please write to us at

Video of the month!


Passionate Habitat volunteer team leader Tom Gerdy discusses tips for successfully managing volunteers, and creating what he calls 'community opportunities' for everyone! Watch this 3 min video for 5 practical,

successful trips on volunteer management!!