How to make the most of forgood volunteers – tips from a Cause

One of our valued Causes, Khulisa Social Solutions – Shared Service Centre gives feedback on managing individuals sourced through their forgood profile.

Ever wanted advice straight from the horse’s mouth? Khulisa knows what they’re talking about. During the first two months of #lockdown they have had more than 50 volunteers connect with them! Here is what Lesley Ann van Selm, Managing Director of Khulisa Social Solutions would like to share with all forgood Causes (and all the other NPOs out there):

“I have met the most incredible people who have brought so much into my life. Even though their days / hours with us might have come to an end, many of them are staying on unconditionally whilst others have left a legacy behind, not only in terms of Khulisa’s development, but those whose lives they have touched. Here are the lessons we’ve learnt.”

Lesley Ann van Selm

Firstly, we never respond to Offers which have been sent to multiple Causes – we only focus on direct need responses.

(NOTE from the forgood team: We understand why, Offers can be highly competitive and you have to respond quickly to get them. BUT. If you can respond quickly, Offers also represent some of the most amazing resources and opportunities.)

The individuals we really engage with and get the most value from are:

  • Professionals who really want to share their knowledge (the value of such individuals are incomprehensible).
  • Individuals from corporates who are wanting to demonstrate their volunteer authenticity.
  • Long-term potential partners (corporate, unemployed, employed, fellow-minded, NGOs, etc) who are in for the long haul and prepared to make immense investment (but of course not without equal input).
  • Those who have specifically responded to our requests. Some of these individuals don’t respond to our ‘within 24 hours’ follow up request for CVs / bios, etc.  Some of them are lost and lonely and just looking for a purpose in life or a reason to be valued.

(NOTE from forgood team: This is why we recommend sending all prospective volunteers a “screening” form of sorts…)

Individuals we don’t spend much energy on and rate with a 1 star:

  • The volunteers who only have good intentions – those who would like to do something but the minute we ‘chuck’ some real work at them evaporate.
  • Those with limited contributions but short staying power – those who make an attempt but peter out halfway after doing ‘just something’ (can be valuable or useless / waste of time).
  • Job seekers – in the hope that volunteering will lead to employment.

Individuals who we help by them helping us:

  • Students wanting to use their experience with us as part of their qualification (which we love) because this is normally linked to an assignment / contract.
  • Those who have good intentions but would never realise them without the guidance, mentoring and supervision of Khulisa using us as a springboard for development (which of course if they have the talent we are only too pleased to work on).

We, at Khulisa Social Solutions, have achieved real impact through the forgood platform. BUT we work WITH the platform. The good far outweights the bad, but Causes need to understand this is a two-way journey – what you put in, you get out!”

In summary…

Big thanks to Lesley Ann – we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Khulisa Social Solutions gets a lot of value through our volunteers because they follow these steps:

  1. They load relevant Needs (with focus on TIME needs – asking for help from skilled volunteers)
  2. They follow up with prospective volunteers ASAP
  3. They have learnt to screen volunteers to separate those who will make an impact from those who aren’t able to commit
  4. They RATE these individuals after the action has been completed.

If you represent a Cause and you’d like to chat more about how to make the most out of your forgood profile – pop us a mail and we can chat! contact@forgood.co.za

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