There’s a good chance you’re already using online tools such as Facebook, Twitter and your organisation’s website to recruit your volunteers, so why aren’t you using online tools to engage and train them?
There are several challenges to training and engagement which are unique to the volunteer sector:
- Organisations which rely on volunteers are usually on a tight budget and don’t have the money for expensive training programs.
- Volunteers are already giving up their time for free, so they are unlikely to want to take extra time for training.
- Volunteers are less likely to be committed and long-term than paid and permanent staff, so the turnover is higher and training needs to happen more often.
- For events, there are usually many volunteers who are all new at the same time and only on board for a very brief period.
For these reasons and more, Intuto’s online training courses
are the perfect solution to training volunteers online.
Intuto’s basic package costs just $40USD a month - a fraction of the cost of face-to-face training sessions which require printouts, snacks and takes up valuable time from your day. Use Intuto’s courses again and again, with no increase as you add members. In fact, you can train unlimited volunteers online for the same low price – saving your funds for more important things.
This also means that, instead of asking volunteers to give up extra time for training courses and seminars, you can simply send send them a link to the training course when they register. They can undergo training in their own time, wherever they want, and still be prepared to start when you need them. This also means people are more likely to commit to volunteer stints as they know that all of the hours they put in are benefitting their chosen cause, rather than being spent on boring OHS courses. Of course, even though you aren't paying your volunteer workers, you still have an obligation to ensure they are observing health and safety rules to maintain a safe environment.
That said, volunteers rarely have the commitment of paid/permanent staff, and there is always going to be a certain level of volunteer turnover. For volunteer organisers, it’s frustrating to put time, effort and vital funds into training and engagement for short-term helpers. Training volunteers online is a huge time and energy saver – not to mention a more efficient use of vital funds. You just need to create each course once then give each new volunteer a log in so they can get up to speed at their own pace.
This also helps volunteers, many of whom work irregularly, feel engaged in the community or organisation they are assisting, which is an important part of the experience. With Intuto’s comment and discussion function, as well as access to updated training and information, you can keep your volunteers active and involved.
Of course, for one-off event volunteers, a whole new set of problems presents itself. For fundraising drives, fairs, festivals or concerts, a mostly unpaid staff is expected to manage a large-scale event, often taking on roles that they have never undertaken before.
Mass training sessions in advance of the event are often impractical and costly, but preparation is essential for the smooth running on the day. Training volunteers online with Intuto’s custom-made courses offers a way to train volunteer staff in the lead up to an event in an efficient, cost effective and yet thorough way.
You just need to create courses on Intuto’s training platform for each different group of volunteers – ticket checkers, donation collectors, security, guest assistants, cleaners – as well as a basic housekeeping course so volunteers know where to find bathrooms, dining halls, entrances and exits, and are aware of what to bring, when to arrive and emergency protocol. As soon as volunteers have registered, they can log in to whichever training course or courses are relevant to them. When you run the event again next year, just update necessary details in the courses and you’re good to go.
Intuto’s platform also allows you to embed maps, videos and even knowledge checkpoints so you can be sure your volunteers are fully prepared and engaged. With Intuto, training volunteers online is an inexpensive and easy-to-use solution to many of the training problems of the sector.