Your nonprofit undoubtedly needs volunteers, but you can’t accept just anyone who says they want to help out. Asking your applicants to fill out a volunteer form can help you determine if they make a good fit for your organization. You can also see what their skills are and how they line up with the tasks you have available.
We put together this guide on how to create a volunteer application form to help you figure out the elements to include.
Describe Your Organization
At the top of the form, post a paragraph or two about your organization and what you do. This section serves as a friendly welcome and also gives more background information on your nonprofit.
Ask for Basic Information
Every application needs a section where the applicant can fill in the basic information you’ll need to contact them throughout the screening process, such as their:
- Full legal name
- Phone number
- Email address
Depending on what type of screening you do for your volunteers, you may need more in-depth background information, such as previous addresses. You should speak with your director or legal advisor to see what you can and cannot ask volunteers to provide.
Request Work Experience
Include a section for the candidate to list their current workplace, if applicable, and relevant past work experience. You may discover through this section that the volunteer speaks another language or has carpentry skills that could be a huge boon to your organization.
Find out Why They Want to Volunteer
When you’re making a volunteer application form, also include a space for the applicant to explain why they want to work with your organization. Their answer will give you an idea of their commitment and interest levels in regard to working with your organization.
Ask for References
This is one of the most important tips on creating a volunteer application form. You should always include a place for your applicant to list references. While it’s not a job interview, you do want to know the character of a person before you bring them on board. Ask for the name, phone number and email address of the reference. You can include space for two if you’d like, but at least get one.
Include a Spot for Times Available
Volunteers often need to clock in at certain times to perform their tasks. Ask your applicant what days and times they can work and for how many hours. While you may not use them all of that time, this information can aid you when you’re drawing up volunteer schedules and filling gaps in coverage.
With platforms like Volgistics, this can also be used for automatic volunteer and assignment matching.
Write up a Checklist of Volunteer Jobs
Finally, include a short section with volunteer positions available and ask the applicant to check all that interest them. This list might include:
- Greeting people and helping them with check-ins
- Sorting donations
- Assisting with marketing
- Various other activities
Using these volunteer application best practices, you can come up with a form that fulfills all your needs as an organization. If you want a place to store relevant documents, such as copies of driver’s licenses and other information, consider using volunteer management software from Volgistics. Contact us today or set up a free demo.