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Volunteer Supervision

Track the following throughout the volunteer commitment: 

  1. Volunteer Hours
  2. Communication/Activity Log 
    Track dates and important conversations or activities (matched with a learner, assigned a project, etc).  Also note concerns and the reason the volunteer left.  These notes are helpful when volunteers return years later.
  3. Monthly Tutor Report (for tutors): 
    • month
    • tutor and learner names
    • changes in tutor or learner info (name, address, phone, email)
    • hours of instruction 
    • tutor prep hours
    • successes/competencies achieved
    • challenges
    • changes to the match
    • scheduled absences
    • support needed
    • suggested topics for tutor in-services 

List “completing the Monthly Tutor Report on time” as a requirement in the Volunteer Position Description and the Volunteer/Agency Agreement.  

Include why this data is important, the exact due date (the 5th of every month), and the consequences for not submitting regular reports (not allowed to tutor any longer).

File all Monthly Tutor Reports in the learner’s file.  If the current match ends, these reports will help the new tutor.

Track the following when a volunteer leaves:

  1. Exit Survey
    Ask for feedback on the volunteer experience. 
    • Was your volunteer experience what you expected?
    • Did you feel welcomed and valued by staff?
    • Did you receive enough training and support?
    • Did you have the materials and supplies you needed?
    • What was the best part of your experience?
    • How can we improve the volunteer experience?
    • Why did you decide to stop volunteering?
    • Would you like to continue receiving our newsletter?
  2. Update the Communication/Activity Log with the date and reason the volunteer stopped.  If the volunteer was a tutor, remember to update the learner’s file as well

How do we create a positive volunteer experience and limit liability?

The Charity Channel’s Volunteer Management Review recommends the following practices:

  • Create written position descriptions for all volunteers; identify direct supervisors.
  • Follow a documented and consistent procedure for screening and selecting volunteers.
  • Include clear position expectations, code of conduct and volunteer policies in orientation documents and trainings.
  • Provide initial training and then ongoing support and professional development opportunities. 
  • Treat volunteers as though they are members of your staff. 
  • Supervise and communicate consistently with all volunteers. 
  • Evaluate performance honestly.
  • Create plans to improve poor or inappropriate performance. 
  • Provide positive feedback and offer advanced volunteer opportunities.
  • When needed, fire volunteers in a timely and respectful manner.