Introduction Volunteering is offering to undertake an activity with or for a non-profit or community organizations to directly benefit another person, group or organization for no financial gains. In most cases, volunteering is commonly used for skill development through promoting human life. However, nonprofit organizations should take caution on who presents to them as a volunteer. This is because unqualified volunteers can cause harm to the non-profit’s clients.
This is why it is imperative for a non-profit to master the basic components of volunteer application form to ensure a good and effective procedure is followed during volunteer vetting. To be on the safe side, non-profits should consult with their legal counsels to be sure of the important safeguards. Legal counsels can also provide guidance in drafting and approving the non-profit’s volunteer application forms.
Volunteer forms can vary from an organization to an organization. However, the forms should bear the following similar components regardless.
Basic Components of Volunteer Application Form
Social security number and birth date – in order to perform thorough background checks for the volunteer, there is need to ask for their social security number that tells about the applicant’s social status.
Contacts – non-profit organizations will want to be closely connected to the volunteer even when they are not in the company. Another reason is for easier follow up and access to the volunteer whenever a need arises. In addition to the applicant’s contact, an emergency contact that is directly linked to them is necessary. In case of an emergency concerning the volunteer, this contact can easily be reached.
Volunteer experience – an organization may want to know whether or not the volunteer has any volunteer experience. This informs on what the organization expects from the volunteer and whether the experience gained is of help to the non-profit.
Language – some non-profits are international, sometimes operating in multi-lingual societies. Having the right volunteers in these settings is a great consideration while recruiting volunteers.
Current employer – if the applicant is working, the organization should seek to know their current employer. This may be used to weigh the flexibility of the applicant in consideration of the job requirements.
Criminal conviction and description statements – this helps the organization to establish the criminal records of the volunteer and whether or not the applicant has any legal proceedings against him/her.
Physical limitation – seeks to evaluate if the applicant has physical challenges that may hinder their effectiveness in discharging duties and responsibilities.
Education – the organization may ask for the highest educational level reached. Sometimes this is meant to determine if the volunteer is equal to the task or it may be used to gauge the applicant’s adaptability.
Previous organizations – tells the non-profit recruiting team the kind of organization the applicant has worked with. They are then able to determine if volunteer’s previous encounters would be of any help to the non-profit or not.
Skills checklist – shows the skills expected of the applicant on various volunteer positions. They are marched with the skills of the volunteer to determine if they fit or not.
References – these are people who can be contacted to inquire more about the applicant.
Reason for volunteering – this component seeks to establish the applicant’s main motivation to apply.
Availability – the applicant is asked for their suitable time, days and hours, that they are available for volunteering.
Disclaimer – states the organization’s stand statement on the matter. For instance, the organization can state it is an equal opportunity employer.
Signature and date – the applicant has to sign to authenticate the form after filling it.