A guide to volunteer succession planning

You may have a core group of volunteers who hold key roles and offer unique skills to your organization. But, what happens when they aren’t available?

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What is volunteer succession planning?

Volunteer succession planning is devising a procedure to ensure you have the appropriate people in place to take over crucial positions, should they become vacant. For instance, if the person who leads your volunteer orientation is out, or has left your organization, you need someone to fill that role by the time your next volunteer opportunity begins. By having a pre-arranged system in place, you can avoid any mishaps or blunders and can welcome volunteers without a hitch.

Another key factor to incorporating a volunteer succession plan is to foster a positive volunteer experience. After all, the reputation your organization gets is based upon each volunteer’s experience. A well-thought-out succession plan can help prevent events from spiraling into chaos.

Volunteer succession within your organization

Create a chain of volunteers who can fulfill fundamental positions and provide integral skills within your volunteer program.

Hatching a volunteer succession plan is simpler than it sounds. Most of it comes down to communication. This includes training, management systems, and support.

Let’s start with training. Your best bet for having an accessible second in command for any volunteer role is to cross-train your team members, whether they be volunteers or employees. When you have multiple people with the ability to achieve the same goal, you will always have an understudy who can take on the leader’s responsibility when the need arises.

Operate with a simple management system. Solutions exist to de-stress your volunteer management process. Find a system with tools that take some work off your plate such as scheduling, volunteer self-check-ins, and coordinating volunteer projects. When your volunteer management process can take care of itself, you’re more apt to have fewer hiccups when volunteer roles are left open.

VOMO works closely with organizations to understand needs when it comes to volunteer management, adding to our platform features each month to help streamline those processes. Check out our latest features today.

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Creating a consistent volunteer program approach

All volunteer programs are unique, but each of them can be broken out into some core areas to ensure your volunteers are managed effectively.

  • Promotion – how volunteers find your projects and how they are listed creates awareness of what opportunities are available
  • Communication – providing updates and reminders of arrival details, latest protocols and more is critical in today’s environment
  • People Management – ensuring background checks are complete, check-in is smooth and collecting other pertinent information sets you up for success
  • Reporting – among the most important, ensuring your volunteer reporting is consistent no matter who is leading the effort helps align all stakeholders

Need help with creating a consistent volunteer experience? A VOMO expert can help you today.

Ensuring volunteer support is critical

Make sure you have on-site support for your roles. This could include anything from mechanical operations to volunteer surveys. If something goes awry, you need to be able to resolve your issue as quickly as possible; having live support will help you achieve your solution in a more timely manner. Live support ensures that whoever needs to be there is there.

At the end of the day, your mission is what matters. Enacting a volunteer succession plan will stabilize both your employees and volunteers, ensuring your organization operates smooth service opportunities to create a maximum impact.

Need help ensuring your volunteer program is able to withstand changes and transitions? We're here to help.