A volunteers first day

The following is a useful checklist to ensure that your volunteer has a welcoming, informative, and rewarding first day at your organisation. Remember that orientation is an important first step to making a volunteer feel welcome in a new place.

  • Give the volunteer a volunteer agreement with their role description attached.  Both parties should keep a copy to be referred back to when necessary.
  • Give a tour of the facility including all the areas that are available to the volunteer such as the kitchen, bathrooms, offices, etc…
  • Introduce the Volunteer to staff members and other volunteers working within the organisation. If your organisation is large it might be useful to use an organisational chart.
  • Go over the roles of other volunteers within the service
  • Give a brief history of your organisation and its mission and an overview of the services you provide.
  • Explain funding sources where necessary.
  • Describe the clients that are served by your organisation.
  • Explain the meaning of confidentiality and stress its importance. Ensure the volunteer signs a confidentiality agreement.
  • Show the volunteer their designated place of work and where they store items that are required for their work.
  • Give details of the procedures and policies that relate to them e.g. your policy on reimbursement of expenses and how to claim them.
  • Demonstrate equipment that the volunteer is likely to use eg. phone, computers, photocopier, etc..
  • Clarify who they should call or what to do if they cannot participate or attend on a scheduled day.
  • If necessary give a glossary of terms and abbreviations commonly used in your organisation.
  • Share staff schedules where appropriate and when and how people can be reached if the volunteer needs to contact a staff member/other volunteers.
  • Encourage the volunteer to give feedback and explain how and when to voice areas of concern or make suggestions effectively.

Above All

  • Smile and welcome the volunteer so that they feel at home.
  • Show enthusiasm, no matter how busy you are.
  • Help volunteers to meet and get to know one another and other staff members.
  • Thank volunteers for their commitment to your organisation.