Selecting Volunteers

Tuesday August 24, 2021 comments

Any accounting business and tax advice contained in this podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of specific issues. Nor is it a substitute for format information. Nor is it sufficient to avoid tax related penalties. If you have specific questions that you need advice for, be sure to schedule a strategy session and not solely rely on information in this podcast. All right, back to the episode, everyone. 

This is Chyla Graham. Welcome to another episode of The Nonprofit Ace Podcast. I'm a certified public accountant based in Denver, Colorado and my goal is to help more nonprofit leaders feel comfortable talking about money and asking questions. So lately, I realized all of my episodes have been about volunteers. And I got one more, just one last volunteer related podcast episode. 

This one is about selecting the volunteers you need. So I know I talked maybe three weeks ago about where to find volunteers. But I also want you to consider are these volunteers, the volunteers you need? Sometimes we are eager to get help and we don't truly vet are these people who can serve us in the best way for our current direction. 

So maybe your organization started off with a working board, people who are like I want to do the thing, I want to do the applications, I want to help out in the programs, they were a working board. They were like we  are hands for you to use but your organization may be growing. And now you need a board that's less hands on and more thinking about higher level, I need to govern this, I need to make sure that we have things in order, I need to make sure that the staff is free to do what they do.  While the board is thinking about how do we grow and expand and what's the next thing on the horizon. 

That can take a shift you might need to consider are the people who are your board members when you are a working board the same people you need to have now when you are more of a true governing board. The other thing to think about is are these volunteers positioned in the most appropriate way?

So if you have someone who is like, hey, I want to volunteer and you ask them where they want to volunteer, and they say anywhere, and you don't ask them, well tell me more about the work you do, the things that you're interested in, you might be placing this person in the wrong place. So not that they won't thrive and won't do a good job wherever you put them. But if you hear that, if you ask them what they do and what they like to do, and you hear Oh, I love to do social media, I do content creation, I do a blog, maybe that's where you should say, Oh, we could really use your help, if you need it of course, and managing our social media and supporting our social media team and supporting our marketing team.

By positioning the people where they are best utilized, you have a better chance of them staying because they know that their work is appreciated. The other thing you do want to take into consideration is are you asking them to do things that they would typically charge you for?

This is what might play into your value of donated services. But the other reason this is important is because you don't want to overstep your boundaries, you want your volunteers not to feel like they're being taken advantage of. And so really being clear about the parameters about Hey, could you volunteer X number, that way you don't go over and infringe on Oh, they could be using this time to actually do work with paying clients. So really think about the parameters you're going to put around the volunteers that you're using. 

You want to think about, am I utilizing this volunteer to the best of their capabilities? And you want to think about, is this a volunteer, we need to get to the stage that we want to go to. So is this the right season for this volunteer? So that's it. That's it for this week, I think I'm done with my whole volunteer kick of what you should do and who you need and with what all that looks like. But if there's something else that comes up for you about volunteers, and maybe how that might play into your financial statements or the growth of your organization, do reach out. 

I am Chyla Graham, you can find me on LinkedIn at CNRG Advisory. The best place to find me for that would be Instagram. But LinkedIn is the best place if you're going to actually send me a message. I will check my LinkedIn messages. Alright, bye. Thanks for listening to another episode of The Nonprofit Ace Podcast. Until next time, bye.



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