Seeking volunteers for your charity?

Seeking  volunteers for your charity?

The normal methods of recruitment will be :

  • word of mouth
  • personal recommendation
  • advertising in national or local press

Websites where you can advertise volunteer roles include Volunteering England, Reach and TimeBank and Do-it.org.

KnowHowNonProfit has guides on where to find volunteers and the volunteer recruitment process.

Make Criminal records checks

If your volunteers will be working with children or vulnerable adults, by law you can get a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS, formerly the Criminal Records Bureau) on them.

The DBS will search police records to identify people who are unsuitable for certain types of work, especially work involving children and vulnerable adults.

Legal status of volunteers

Your charity could get into legal difficulties  if you don’t clearly distinguish between its paid employees and volunteers. You do not have a contract of employment as a volunteer, so you do not have the same rights as an employee or worker.

A written role description for your volunteers can help make it clear what the expectations are.

Expenses for volunteers

Volunteers will not be  paid for their time but would normally be paid for any out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses could include:

  • travel
  • postage and telephone costs if working from home
  • essential equipment, such as protective clothing

Volunteers should provide receipts for any expenses they incur.

If a volunteer receives any type of reward or payment other than expenses, they may see this as a salary and they could be classed as an employee or worker. This then gives them some employment rights.

Insurance to cover volunteers

 

It is important to have adequate insurance cover for your charity.

Check your charity’s insurance covers any volunteers. Even if your charity doesn’t employ staff, you may still decide to take out employers’ liability cover for volunteers.

Check whether your insurance policy:

  • includes volunteers
  • covers the activities volunteers will be doing
  • states any age limits for volunteers

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