Volunteers generally come to their new role with varying levels of knowledge about the organization. An effective orientation program introduces the volunteers to the organization as a whole and to their specific job responsibilities.
Orientations/training sessions are an integral part of the volunteer experience, whether someone wants to volunteer on a 24-hour crisis line, or on a committee. While the extensiveness of training will depend upon the volunteer positions in question, it is essential that there is at least some sort of orientation to the agency (and its policies, programs, mission statement and vision), volunteer rights and expectations, and job descriptions.
Some agencies utilize manuals for volunteers to peruse before or after the initial orientation/training session. Manuals should give a brief history of the agency, its programs and services, funding sources, volunteer opportunities and expectations, pertinent policies, and day-to-day information.
Because agencies differ greatly in their volunteer programs, it is impossible to offer a "standard" orientation model
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