What Is a Volunteer Induction Checklist?

A volunteer induction checklist is a detailed and comprehensive checklist used to keep track of the different roles and tasks of volunteers. It is similar to a new hire on-boarding checklist; but instead of employees, volunteers are involved.  

According to an online article by CNN, about 25% of Americans take the time to volunteer. The average time spent volunteering per year was 52 hours. The same article also presented data revealing that at 27.8%, women volunteered more than men. Whereas men only accounted for around 21.8%. 

Benefits of Volunteering

The act of volunteering can bring about many positive effects and benefits. The term ‘helper’s high’ is no coincidence. When people volunteer purely for the sake of helping others, it can bring about a feeling of positive well-being and meaningful purpose. The following examples are just some primary benefits of volunteering. 

It builds character. Being a volunteer can help you discover or find what your passion is. Just the very act of volunteering is stepping out of yourself and doing something other-oriented. This simple act of going beyond oneself already builds character. It does not matter how small or seemingly insignificant the growth is, but if you choose to do something that will benefit others then that in itself can potentially build or strengthen your character as an individual. Acting self-centered or only thinking of your own needs and wants rarely builds character. If anything, it can even erode one’s character and principles. But by volunteering for a cause you strongly believe in without expecting anything in return, you are able to grow and develop your character. It’s a direct way of helping others. Volunteering is essentially synonymous with helping. Not only is being a volunteer a way to step out of yourself and your comfort zone, it is an excellent way of giving back to others and to your community. Just by helping others, that is already a gift in itself. The giving of yourself, your time, your resources and even your talents is the very essence of volunteering. When you go out of your way to volunteer and do good for others, it is a direct way of helping people. When you help people, they not only benefit from it but even you can gain something just by your act of helping. As mentioned earlier, the helper’s high is not an imagined concept. It is a real feeling experienced by those who proactively engage in volunteerism and service. It broadens your network. Since volunteers rarely get paid for the work they do, the field requires a high degree of passion and commitment. And yet, many people do it because they are able to gain something other than monetary benefits. Being a volunteer can help broaden not just your horizons and experience, but it can even help expand your network. This is especially true if you are engaged in a cause or advocacy you are truly passionate about. You get to meet all kinds of people that share your goals and passion. You get to surround yourself with like-minded individuals and you all share a common goal and objective. This promotes solidarity and fraternity. And in growing your network and learning from other people, you are able to deepen your knowledge or even develop and nurture new skills.

Ways to Volunteer

There are many ways to help out and volunteer. All you need to do is find something that suits your interests and needs. You might also want to consider your schedule, especially if you have a full-time job or have other important commitments to attend to. The following examples are just some classic ways you can get out of your way and reach out to others.  

Help your community. The most direct and practical way you can volunteer is by starting with your immediate community. What are the needs in your locality? Who are the people that are most in need in your community? You do not have to look far to be of service. Sometimes the best way to help is by helping those right in front of and around you. You could initiate a cleanup drive for the environment or a soup kitchen for the homeless in your neighborhood. There are countless ways to volunteer, you just need to pinpoint the need or the problems present in your community. It does not even need to be anything grand or big, small acts of service can already go a long way. What matters at the end of the day is the people who are impacted by your volunteerism and acts of service. Indulge in an advocacy. Volunteerism is very much related to advocacy. For many people, they willingly give up their time and resources to help advance their personal advocacies or the causes they truly believe in. If you are unable to commit to your community for whatever reason, an alternative way of volunteering is by focusing on your individual advocacy. Whether it is promoting environmental conservation, animal rights, women’s welfare or alleviating social inequality and poverty, there is always an issue or problem that needs attention nowadays. By volunteering your time, talents and resources to help a cause you believe in, you are already in the business of helping and serving others. It is often said that the highest form of service is the giving of oneself. When you dedicate yourself to an advocacy without agenda or expectation, it is essentially a noble act of offering yourself. Donate and support. Many people lead busy lives and do not always have time to spare for volunteering. If you are unable to volunteer in-person or on-site physically, another option is to donate or lend whatever support you can. There are a lot of opportunities and channels to help different causes and advocacies. From education to wildlife preservation, many non-government organizations make it easy and convenient for their supporters to donate financially or via other means. With online payments and digital banking made easier nowadays, you can make a donation with literally a click of a mouse. Volunteering does not need to be a grand or loud gesture. As long as you have the right intentions and passion for helping, the amount does not really matter. It is the impact and quality of your service that will truly make a difference in people’s lives. Encourage others to volunteer. Another way of volunteering is by sharing the spirit of helping. You can encourage your friends and family members to volunteer as well. Serving or helping others can be quite contagious. When everyone is involved and focused on a shared goal, it builds camaraderie and promotes a keen sense of belonging and unity. Volunteering together as a family or as a group of friends is a great way to spend quality time together as well. In a sense, you are hitting two birds with one stone. You are strengthening your relationships and bonds while at the same time helping other people in the process. You can gather your friends to repair a community center, organize a trip with colleagues to an animal shelter, or bring your family along to distribute relief goods for victims of natural disasters.

How to Create a Volunteer Induction Checklist

To create a volunteer induction checklist, you need a firm grasp of what you expect the volunteers to do. And if you need a quick but reliable template for reference, you can easily download a sample template from the collection above. Pick one that suits your needs or preferences and follow the basic steps below. 

Step 1: Establish a Format

The first step in creating a volunteer induction checklist is to decide on a format. Since it is a checklist, you can choose to incorporate a traditional checklist with numbers and boxes. Make sure to organize it in a clear and defined way. Arrange the numbers and entries neatly and make sure the checkboxes are sufficient in size. Again, you have the freedom to decide on the fine details of the format. You can choose to use bullet points, check boxes, and other symbols for your checklist. Keep your document to a maximum of a couple of pages. Checklists are meant to be brief and straightforward.     

Step 2: Define the Roles

The next step after deciding on a format is to define the roles of the volunteer. The content of this section would depend on the kind of volunteer work required, of course. What is expected of the volunteer? What responsibilities will be awarded to them? It is important to be specific and clear when defining the responsibilities. Volunteer work can cover a wide range of functions, so identifying the scope of work and its limitations are crucial. Examples of roles could include coordination, recruitment, or even supervisory roles.    

Step 3: Outline the Tasks

This section is essentially an extension of the previous one. It contains and enumerates the various tasks related to the role of the volunteer. List the tasks individually and be sure to use action-based language. You can arrange them in numeral order or in bullet points. What matters is that there is a logical flow of ideas and the reader is properly guided. Tasks can range from arranging, preparing, coordinating, evaluating, to fundraising. If you need help in this section, you can refer to the sample templates found above for more ideas. Simply find a template that meets your needs and edit it the way you want.   

Step 4: Note Other Reminders

The last step for crafting a volunteer induction checklist is to list down any other important reminders. An officer may need a guide or reference on how to conduct the proper induction of new volunteers for a particular program or event. This section is dedicated entirely for such; whether it involves planning, preparation, process or procedure, these reminders are meant to help you stay on top of things. You can note these reminders in plain bullet points or whatever format you prefer.  


What should be included in an induction checklist?

An induction checklist ought to include specifics pertaining to the volunteer’s roles, tasks, activities and any other important reminders that could help the volunteer transition better into his or her role.

How do I write a volunteer policy?

To write a volunteer policy, you need to establish a directive and a purpose. Volunteers would want to know some background on what they will be engaging and more importantly, their role in it. Refer to the previous section for more detailed instructions on how to create a volunteer induction checklist.

What are the 3 main types of induction training?

According to an article published on ShareYourEssays, there are three main types of induction training. These are general induction programs, specific orientation programs and follow-up induction programs.

A volunteer induction checklist should not just be comprehensive, it should also help you keep track or enable you to stay on top of things. Browse the wide selection of sample checklists above to get started on your own volunteer induction checklist today!