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Guidance for Recruiting, Training, Managing, and Retaining Unpaid Workers


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Effectively recruiting, training, managing, and retaining volunteers can play a crucial role in helping a nonprofit organization accomplish its goals.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofits. Organizations may rely on dedicated volunteers to help with hands-on projects and programs as well as conventional office work. Many organizations are run entirely by volunteers.

This guide provides links to guides, articles, sample documents, and other resources to help nonprofit organizations of all types effectively recruit, train, manage, and retain volunteers.

Recruiting Volunteers

Training, Managing, and Retaining Volunteers

Volunteer Handbooks

Many organizations create handbooks for volunteers that contain important information about the organization, volunteer roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, and more. Handbooks can play a crucial role in a nonprofit’s volunteer program, providing structure, helping volunteers feel appreciated, and protecting the organization.

The following web articles provide a good overview of the purpose of a volunteer handbook and what information handbooks should include:

See the Volunteer Handbooks and Manuals topic at the WeConservePA Library for a large collection of sample handbooks from land trusts and other nonprofits, as well as templates that organizations can adapt for their own use.

Managing Liability and Risk

See the Volunteer Waivers and Release Forms topic at the WeConservePA Library for an extensive collection of sample volunteer waivers from land trusts and other nonprofits.