RVA provides a comprehensive package of support for Reading’s volunteer involving organisations. We are able to assist in the development of new volunteering opportunities, promoting those opportunities and providing training for volunteer managers and in some instances for your volunteers too. Our aim is to make volunteering accessible to all. Our work with organisations in developing opportunities is at the core of our promotion of equal opportunities and diversity.
The following procedure outlines the process that we take organisations and groups through, when we are contacted with an enquiry about creating a new voluntary opportunity.
This procedure is intended as a checklist when working with organisations. It is underpinned by our commitment to promoting equal opportunities and diversity in volunteering. Organisations who use our services are expected to share this value and Reading Voluntary Action is able to offer support in developing an equal opportunities/diversity policy and if necessary translating this into action at a practical, procedural and day to day level.
Our advice and training services are available to all not-for-profit organisations that involve volunteers in their work. These may be registered charities, smaller voluntary community or faith groups, clubs and societies, or public bodies such as the local council, public sector care providers or hospitals.
Our work in the field of volunteering is supported by grants from Reading Borough Council and others. The continuation of this support depends upon our providing the required monitoring information about the outcomes of our service. For continued availability of our service, it is therefore essential for organisations who use it to fulfil our requirements for feedback about the utilisation of RVA-referred volunteers.
1. Volunteer involving organisations are welcome to come to our town centre office to discuss their requirements, or alternatively our staff are also able to meet with you at your workplace. We will provide an introductory outline of the services and support available.
2. Our staff will discuss with new client organisations the volunteer role that is envisaged. Attention is given to good practice in volunteer management and the need to be responsive to prospective volunteer enquiries. Organisations will be asked about the support available for new volunteers in terms of induction, supervision (with consideration of whether the role is ongoing, short term or ad-hoc), appropriate training and accessibility of the volunteering venue. We also emphasise:
As a partner agency in Investing in Volunteers, the IiV framework provides a useful reminder of areas to consider (and for future development) - see http://iiv.investinginvolunteers.org.uk/about/the-nine-indicators
Although RVA does not process DBS checks, we can signpost you to local umbrella organisations and pertinent websites if required.
Volunteering for all: RVA actively seeks to make volunteering accessible to all and will be happy to support you in developing volunteering opportunities that welcome everyone regardless of their age, gender, gender reassignment, marital status, physical or mental disability, religion/belief, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, HIV status or unrelated criminal conviction.
3. Volunteer recruitment advertisements are developed using our specialist online volunteering task matching database and appear on RVA’s volunteering website www.rgneeds.me which receives several thousand views every month. As well as a highly developed set of task information, advertisements include core information about your organisation and a link to your full listing on the RVA Directory http://www.rvadirectory.org.uk/home
4. Our town centre shop is staffed by trained volunteers who use the online tools to advise our visitors about the choice of possible roles and provide a brokerage service with organisations looking for volunteers.
5. As well as the website and our shop, there is a range of ways that we promote roles and tasks on behalf of our client organisations. These include a weekly e-newsletter for public subscribers, our Twitter feed, regular local press. You can link to a sample of the public Volunteering Opportunities mailing here. The key volunteer recruitment contact of any organisation advertising with us will automatically be subscribed to RVA’s weekly Voluntary Sector Digest mailing list and its sister mailing the fortnightly Digest for Volunteer Involving Organisations so that they can receive relevant news and information, including essential updates on our volunteering service. Unsubscription is a simple process if desired.
6. Once all the details of the task are entered onto our database, prospective volunteers can be matched to the role, either by self-service online or with the help of our advisers, and can obtain the information required to make contact with your organisation. However the prospective volunteer has accessed the information, organisations are expected to start their own relevant recruitment procedures once contact is made (e.g. interviews, references, DBS checks etc).
7. The automatic text display on all advertised opportunities includes:
You should note that often smaller groups may be run by volunteers who may not be able to respond immediately. If you have not heard back within 2 weeks, please contact us and we will investigate on your behalf.
Complaints from the public that organisations are not responding to their enquiries will be investigated in the first instance by checking with the organisation, to find out if there is a specific problem. However if the situation remains unresolved, we will suspend the voluntary opportunity on our database.
8. Organisations/groups using our free service are required to keep RVA informed about the response and appointment of volunteers. The quality of service we provide for organisations and the public is underpinned by ensuring that information we publish is current and that we do not continue to promote opportunities that have been filled.
9. As well as helping keep the recruitment listings up-to-date, your feedback about the difference our service makes to your organisation, specifics about the numbers of volunteers working with you who have been sourced through RVA, their match with your requirements etc., is also vital to us because:
Your support in supplying this information is much appreciated and we will be in regular touch with you about this. Each task will be archived after 3 months, unless you specify a sooner date or let us know it has been filled. We will write to you for feedback at that point and help you decide how to take things forward as necessary. The feedback requested is very simple and you can see a sample archive email and feedback form here.
So as soon as you know your vacancies have been filled, please let us know to archive the opportunity so that you don't get fruitless approaches from prospective volunteers. This can be very disheartening and reduce the credibility of organisations and the sector in general. You'll also find it easier to give your feedback while it is current.
If your ad hasn't provided the desired level of contact from prospective volunteers, it is unlikely to do so after 3 months without up-dating. So while we will automatically archive it, we are happy to work with groups to look at how we can improve your chances in future.
Lastly, if the ad has worked well but your requirements are ongoing, we still find that a refresh is a good idea, to demonstrate to site visitors that your ad is current, to double check that all the contact info etc is correct, and to gather feedback on the original instance of the advert before the trail to the information goes cold.
10. Data Protection: the information that you provide will only be used as described above and in our Volunteering Task Form, to promote your volunteer recruitment needs, to identify suitable volunteers for your organisation and to advise you of local events and information relevant to volunteering and the voluntary sector. We will not share information with third parties without consent but it should be noted that our volunteering advertisements link to publicly available information about your organisation listed on the RVA directory http://www.rvadirectory.org.uk/home (see 3 above)
11. Please note that RVA does not guarantee to publish all submitted volunteer tasks or to list all organisations on our RVA Directory. Tasks and descriptions may be edited.
For clarification of any elements of this document, please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Reading Voluntary Action promotes strength within Reading's voluntary sector by providing information, access to resources, volunteer recruitment and training to people who work in or with charities, community groups and voluntary organisations.
Reading Voluntary Action, 3rd Floor Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ