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Membership Management

Your Association Volunteer Guide

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks February 12, 2014
Table of Contents
3 min read

Volunteers make the world go ‘round for association leaders. They plan and coordinate events, help with publicity and recruiting, and even lend skills like videography, writing, and cooking!

For those reasons, many associations have a critical piece of literature called their Volunteer Guide or Manual. It basically outlines the volunteer roles and any other critical information that’s necessary for a volunteer to do his or her job well and represent the association! Here’s some more information about this important document:

Your Association Volunteer Guide 

When to write it

When you start getting more questions from more people than you can answer reasonably. It’s best to write and distribute a document like this in advance of a big event. For example, if you’re having a large meeting or conference with volunteers you and all of the people helping will be running around like crazy people completing tasks. You don’t want to have your tasks constantly interrupted by endless, repetitive questions from well-meaning but under-informed volunteers. You may very likely still get interrupted, but a manual will definitely help!


What to include in it

This is pretty subjective according to the events your association puts on and the association itself, but start with common volunteer questions:

  1. What time and where do I show up?
  2. What should I wear?
  3. To whom do I refer inquiries that I don’t have an answer to?
  4. Is there a map of the venue or surrounding area available?
  5. How long is my volunteer shift?
  6. How do I articulate the mission and purpose of the association or the event?
  7. To whom do I refer questions about ticketing or accomodations?
  8. Where’s the calendar of future events?
  9. When and how can I enjoy the event, and what’s my cost?
  10. How long is my volunteer shift?
  11. What is the best way to spread the word about this event?

As you can see, some of these are event-specific and could make a supplemental one-page addition, and some of these could be content for a long-standing guide. Both are useful, but it’s up to you to determine what’s best for your association. If it makes sense to type up a quick FAQ for each event instead of a standing guide, that might be best. If a guide is the way to go and you have a volunteer chief who can answer all those day-of questions, that could work too. 


What not to include

User names and passwords should never be included in a document like this, especially if electronic payments are being taken. You have ever reason to believe that they’ll be safe, but err on the side of caution here and tell necessary volunteers face-to-face or better yet, enter them yourselves.  

Do you have a volunteer document? How do you use yours? Leave a comment below and start the discussion!

If you need more help planning events, we've got you covered! Download our free guide and make sure you don't forget a thing, from volunteers to catering:

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.