How to welcome new volunteers

How do you help your new volunteers settle in? From your initial phone call or email to when you meet them face-to-face, first impressions are very important.

 Dawn Bracken
Dawn Bracken
Volunteer Network Manager, Join In

Dawn's top tips

Join In’s Volunteer Network Manager (and London 2012 Games Maker) Dawn Bracken knows a thing or two about welcoming volunteers. Here are her top tips for making your volunteers feel welcome:

  • Say hello – be there to greet them on their first day.
  • Be friendly and upbeat – they may not know the club, so it’s important to make them feel at ease on their first visit.
  • Have an induction session – it’s a great way to introduce people to their role in the club and discuss what you both want to get out of the experience.
  • Provide a mentor and point of contact – and ensure each volunteer has regular catch-ups with your Volunteer Manager so they can give some feedback.
  • Introduce them to the rest of the club – meeting members, staff and other volunteers is a brilliant way to help new volunteers feel part of your team.
  • Share the news – mention who has joined the club in your monthly club emails, so that everyone will know who’s volunteering.
  • Could you give new volunteers a club t-shirt? It can help them look and feel part of the club.
  • Shadow support – in their first session, new volunteers may find it easiest to learn about their new role by shadowing a current volunteer.
  • Clear expectations – make sure that you and your volunteers are clear about standards expected and what you’re looking to achieve. That way everyone will benefit from the experience.