Getting Extra Help / Volunteers
Recruiting and Managing Volunteers
CTfC tips: Before embarking on a recruitment drive to get volunteers it is helpful to know exactly
- what you require from a volunteer
- how big is the job or role you are wanting to fulfil and whether it can be broken down into smaller tasks - how long do you need them for and how often
- who is going to manage the volunteer
- and clarity about who is overseeing the whole process of co-ordinating volunteer work.
For a one-off volunteer job there is no need for too many formalities. For a longer on-going role there will be things to consider such as whether you are:
How you ask for help is also important; people usually prefer to be asked in person and may not respond to a plea for help in a newsletter or poster.
- offering expenses such as travel or computer printing costs
- insured for employing volunteers and can meet health and safety obligations as an employer
- offering clear job specifications and management support
Resources: There are many organisations which support voluntary organisations including churches with excellent advice and publications, for example
- Online: Nationally, the Know How non profit and Churchcare websites have a range of advice on line and documents on manging and recruiting volunteers.
- Hard copy: Similarly ACRE Action for Communities in Rural England has a range of Village Hall Publications from health and hygiene to the role of trustees. We can send you their briefing on Managing employees and volunteers.
with your address.
- Training: Cumbria CVS run a rolling programme of information days free of charge on issues such as getting the best out of volunteers. They may also be able to help you find volunteers.
- CTfC has produced an information pack from the notes on a symposium for support for churchwardens in challenging times with considerations about leadership, managing volunteers and action planning.
Recruiting Volunteers - who do you know already?
- Your first point of call for new volunteers could be members of your congregation.
- You may know people with particular areas of expertise or who work locally with good contacts who will be able to help you.
- Many people will not respond to a general call for help but it is surprising how many people will respond positively to being asked to do a specific job, especially if it is time limited and in an area in which they are already confident.
- As long as people are given the opportunity to refuse they rarely mind being asked. This may even apply to local people who are not members of the church.
Volunteer Agencies: A number of organisations in the County will help you to find volunteers.
- Cumbria Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) Volunteer Network provides support for every aspect of the volunteer recruitment and management process. Volunteer recruitment and matching services are available through volunteer centres at Appleby, Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal and Maryport.
- Cumbria Prohelp: is a service designed to provide free professional assistance from local professional firms and individuals to community and voluntary groups. The sort of people who offer their help include accountants, architects, consulting engineers, IT specialists, marketing and PR professionals, solicitors etc. The people who offer their services do not charge and ProHelp cover their travel expenses. ProHelp would be typically beneficial for a church requiring some initial advice (time limited) in a specific area of expertise eg an architect to discuss plans for an extension or renovation, or a quantity surveyor. Cumbria ProHelp is managed by Cumbria Community Foundation. Details of how to apply are available
- REACH: supports voluntary organisations by helping them secure high-quality business, management, technical and other professional expertise on a voluntary basis. To do this, they recruit skilled career people who are willing to donate their time and find them placements in voluntary sector roles where their skills are urgently needed. See the REACH website for further information and how to register.
- TCV/The Conservation Volunteers (formerly BTCV) are helping young Cumbrians to find voluntary work, to help them feel part of their local community. Contact
- Corporate volunteers: some businesses e.g. banks, solicitors etc want to carry out voluntary work and might be interested in your project. Contact the business directly.