Roles and responsibilities of a volunteer coordinator
Volunteering does not just happen. Most organisations need to take time to consider and coordinate how and when they will use volunteers. Depending on your organisation, you might decide to appoint a volunteer coordinator to do this work.
What is a volunteer coordinator?
A volunteer coordinator plays a vital role by driving your volunteer management program and providing ongoing support to volunteers. They also become the main point of contact for your volunteers.
Appointing a volunteer coordinator recognises the importance of volunteers to the organisation, and the importance of planning ongoing volunteer management. It also helps your volunteers feel satisfied that they are making an important contribution.
Appointing a volunteer coordinator
Think about where the role sits within your organisation and who it reports to. Consider how your volunteer coordinator will be involved so that their input can be included in decision making processes, meetings or consultation across the organisation.
Some organisations will also find it useful to include the volunteer coordinator on the management committee or board to have their experience and expertise available at that level.
Depending on your organisation, your volunteer coordinator might also be a volunteer, or it could be a paid position.
What does a volunteer coordinator do?
Every organisation functions differently and has different needs, so the position and role of volunteer coordinator may need to be adapted to suit your particular needs, and may well change as an organisation grows and develops.
A key role for volunteer coordinators is matching the skills, experiences and expectations of volunteers to available positions.
Volunteer coordinators could be responsible for the following activities – but remember, not all organisations need all of these or will manage them in this way:
Recruitment and selection
- Working out how many volunteers are needed and for what roles
- Developing position descriptions for each role
- Planning how and where to recruit volunteers and posting adverts
- Interviewing volunteers
- Completing relevant checks (like a police check or working with children check)
- Planning for volunteer retention and replacement
- Developing policies and procedures.
- Developing an orientation kit, volunteer handbook or introductory programs
- Evaluating the orientation program
- Presenting or managing the orientation for all new starters
- Providing training or demonstrations in use of office equipment or specific tools.
Training and development
- Arranging training and education opportunities
- Conducting performance review or evaluation
- Conducting a skills audit or organisational review.
Rewards and recognition
- Developing ways to recognise and reward volunteer efforts
- Promoting the recognition program
- Managing volunteer communications such as social functions, newsletters or social media.
- Helping volunteers feel welcome and supported
- Developing and managing policies, procedures and standards for volunteers
- Looking after the volunteer database and records
- Planning and goal setting
- Rostering and organising volunteers
- Delegating projects and tasks
- Managing any associated budgets and expenditure
- Communicating with people from diverse backgrounds
- Resolving conflict or managing the grievance process.
- Identifying risks and understanding their impact
- Developing policies and procedures that will eliminate or reduce those risks
- Implementing, promoting and evaluating these policies and procedures
- Maintaining current and appropriate Public Liability and Volunteer Personal Accident insurance policies.
Tools and resources
ClubsOnline (WA) - Club's Guide to Volunteer Management
Produced as a guide for sport and recreation clubs in WA, this booklet has great information on the key roles of a volunteer coordinator and includes ideas, a checklist and a sample action plan.
Volunteering Australia - Best practice
This section of the Volunteering Australia website lists resources and publications for volunteer coordinators, on topics including recruitment and screening processes, working with culturally diverse volunteers and recognising volunteers.
Volunteering Queensland - Resource Central
A collection of useful resources, checklists and templates for volunteer coordinators covering all topics for volunteer program management.
Volunteering Victoria - Training services
A list of Volunteering Victoria's training programs for program managers and volunteer coordinators. Also lists other organisations that provide management training.