What is the specific activity or project?
We developed a Volunteer Handbook specifically for teens who wanted to make a difference by volunteering in Bend. We asked every organization the same questions so the handbook had a standardized look and feel:
- Highlights about the organization – why would somebody want to support/volunteer at the organization?
- Address (physical) plus website
- What specific tasks or activities might a volunteer do? Do you take groups as well as individuals?
- Who should people contact if they want to volunteer?
- Are there certain times of the day/week when you especially want or need volunteers?
- Any requirements a person needs to have or do before coming to volunteer?
- Are there other needs? Any specific items or services that people can donate to the organization?
Why was it particularly meaningful and/or fun for your club to do?
This was a great activity to get a lot of club members involved because they could do research/interview various nonprofit organizations and public agencies in the community and get information, pics, logos, etc. Examples included: Park and Recreation District, Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, local food kitchens and homeless shelters, The Environmental Center, Central Oregon Trail Alliance (build and maintain mtn bike trails). We also included several inspirational quotes on the value and importance of volunteering/community service.
How easy or difficult was it to plan and implement? scale of 1-5 with 1 = easy, 5 = difficult
This activity is a 2-3 because it’s easy to create a template of all the questions you want answered. What takes time is following up, gathering all the information and making the responses sound somewhat similar, distribution to the rest of the school (and to other schools), and updating the handbook (we anticipate doing this about every 3-4 months).
Does it require funding or additional resources to launch? to continue?
This project doesn’t have to cost any money at all because it can be distributed 100% digitally. Otherwise, costs would include software (see below) and printing.
Tips and lessons learned?
We created the master file in desktop publishing (we used InDesign) rather than Word.
Are you willing to provide any resources (templates, timelines, samples, etc.) to help other clubs?
Yes! We are happy to share copies of the handbook and suggestions for what types of organizations to approach.