People working in the production sector commonly refer to a call sheet. And based on the name itself, a call sheet is more than just a document that lists…continue reading
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What Is a Volunteer Sign-In Sheet?
Nonprofit and volunteer organizations organize plans, including activities, events, locations, and schedules. And during volunteer hours, there is no assurance if every individual who signed up to serve is around. So, organizations introduce a volunteer sign-in sheet to know who the present volunteers are and what time they arrived. As stipulated in most volunteer agreements, each volunteer is expected to write their important login details in the sign-in sheet—name, time in, time out, contact details, etc.
America had approximately 62.8 million volunteers (25.3% of Americans) in 2016.
Also, Statista confirmed that there were about 1.56 million IRS-registered nonprofit organizations in the US in 2015.
Why Are Volunteer Sign-In Sheets Important?
Volunteer sign-in sheets are important for documentation. For example, anyone present, absent, and late during every volunteer hour will be recorded for daily report purposes. The same goes for determining where certain volunteers are currently located. Volunteers could be assigned to different locations, so the sheet covers such info. The form also includes contact information in case any volunteer needs to be contacted for emergency meetings, updates, and other instructions.
Why is the documentation for volunteers essential, you might ask? Documenting the volunteer’s details under sign-in sheets aims to keep operations organized. Volunteers might not achieve their common goals without keeping track of their tasks, whereabouts, and work schedule. More so, the records provide which individuals are highly involved in volunteering. As other people might claim they contributed a lot to the service, records might prove otherwise.
Sign-In vs. Sign-Up Sheets
The words sign in and sign up both refer to starting something. But they are different. Signing in is synonymous with logging in, meaning an individual already has an account to start a session. Meanwhile, signing up is similar to registering. So, to sign up means a person has no account yet and is still in the process of applying. And when the two terms involve volunteering, the volunteer sign-in sheet is used to record periodic logins of volunteers. In contrast, the volunteer sign-up sheet is the official application form signed by individuals interested in volunteering.
What Are the Elements of a Volunteer Sign-In Sheet?
You already know what volunteer sign-in sheets mean, why they are important, and how they differ to sign-up forms. But are you already familiar with what the said sheet itself contains? Generally, various elements make typical volunteer sign-in sheets. And they consist of the following:
How to Make a Standard Volunteer Sign-In Sheet
Based on a 2015 research survey, approximately 1.56 million IRS-registered nonprofit groups existed in the US. Imagine if all these nonprofit organizations continue without sheets to record every volunteer’s periodic logins during volunteer hours. How organized and successful such volunteer groups are would be hard to imagine. So, volunteer sign-in sheets must be implemented to assure that every volunteer’s presence and performance is recorded. And to make that happen, follow these steps on how to create a volunteer sign-in sheet.
Step 1: Download the Right Template
Free downloadable volunteer sign-in sheet templates are already available. You need not start from scratch because you can make use of pre-formatted templates. Just fill out the details to finish making the sheet quickly. And what else can you do? The templates are editable. Tweak the template’s content until the outcome meets your expectations.
Step 2: Input the Elements of a Volunteer Sign-In Sheet
You can transform a generic volunteer sign-in sheet into a professionally detailed one. Start by ensuring you got every significant element covered in the form. Can you still recall those volunteer sign-in sheet elements discussed earlier? Good. Incorporate the said elements down from the title to the signature.
Step 3: Organize the Format and Presentation
After you put all the necessary elements, be sure to observe an organized format and presentation. Remember that it is unnecessary to write long sentences and paragraphs since these sheets are not detailed letters. The key is to put plenty of blanks, lines, and tables. Those aspects will work as organizers, compared to writing lengthy sentences. But, be sure you arranged accordingly on where volunteers should write their names, time of arrival, and so forth.
Step 4: Keep Things Easy
Sign-in sheets should not be a time-consuming process. Thus, aim to keep each volunteer’s experience easy. You could provide instructions on the sheet so everyone will know what to input and how the format should be like. And if there are technical terms, acronyms, or words that can be simplified, change them. Volunteers might get confused if they are unfamiliar with certain terms that have not been introduced or defined yet.
Step 5: Update and Gather All Sheets for Safekeeping
Once all volunteers have already logged in by jotting down their details in the sheet, do not throw that document. Indeed, you need more sheets to update for the coming volunteer days to sign in. Yet, those records are needed for documentation. The previously used sheets will be useful in evaluation reports, particularly in checking if every volunteer complied with the expected hours, arrived on time, and more. Nevertheless, keep all records for safekeeping as you never know when those will be needed again.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
There are various advantages connected to volunteering. According to HelpGuide.org, you could make new friends, advance your career, discover new things, feel healthy, and even experience fulfillment after knowing that you helped for a cause.
Can I say no to volunteers?
Yes, you can say no. Indeed, volunteers are not recruited because it is a sense of sacrifice or purpose. Sometimes, a person who wishes to volunteer might not meet the standards expected from a nonprofit group or organization. Do not be afraid to say no, either. But, be sure to provide a reasonable explanation. It could be that the volunteer is unfit for the daunting tasks, does not have enough time to offer, and others.
How many hours should you volunteer?
Generally, it is enough to volunteer within 50 to 200 hours. Yes, people can do more than 200 hours to be wholly committed. But, people should have their free time for other stuff too, like school or work.
According to the 2013–2019 President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation Kathy Calvin, “Giving is not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference.” And Calvin’s quote is relevant to the many volunteers and nonprofit groups. Volunteering makes headlines because of its great intentions. But what matters is that volunteers are present, actually helping, and succeeding in the process. Although volunteers do not have to undergo assessments 24/7, the quickest way to know if they are taking action is to have them log under the volunteer sign-in sheet.