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Tips for Hosting a Volunteer

The first thing to be aware of is that every Volunteer is going to be different. That being said, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you get the most out of having your Volunteer.

Before They Arrive

Choose carefully. You do not have to accept every Volunteering Request. Think about what you need and make sure that you choose the "right" Volunteer.

Discuss the details. Be clear about your expectations and make sure you ask the Volunteer to share their expectations. You should also confirm the details, including when the Volunteer will arrive, when they will leave, how much they will be able to work, any special needs, what the volunteer should bring etc. Most problems arise due to a lack of clear communication. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH INFORMATION!

Make plans. Both you and the Volunteer should be clear about the time and place of your first meeting.

Contact details. Make sure that you share contact details with the Volunteer, including mobile phone numbers and emergency numbers. You will want to be able to contact each other if there are any issues.

See How to Find a Volunteer for more details.

During Their Stay

Discuss the details, part 2. When the Volunteer arrives, make sure you teach them how your Community Based Organization works and what you need from them.

Be patient. Help your Volunteer understand your culture and Community Based Organization. This will help them assist you better.

Show your appreciation. In every culture, people like to be thanked. Your Volunteer is giving up his or her time to help you for free, often times at a significant cost. Make sure you let them know how grateful you are.

Honest, Fairness and Respectfulness. These explain themselves! They are critical virtues for hosting Volunteer.

Open mind, flexible attitude and sense of humor. If you enter every situation with these three, you are well on your way to getting (and giving) the most from this experience.

After the Volunteer Stay

How to thank the Volunteer. You should thank the Volunteer in person. We also recommend you share your experience on Volunteer Alliance so that other members can hear about it. Your review will help your Organization attract more Volunteers.