Volunteer coordinators are responsible for recruiting and managing groups of volunteers, as well as individual members of a volunteer organization. They must have strong communication and management skills, since they must work with many different kinds of people.
As a volunteer coordinator, you would be responsible for furthering the mission of non-profit, voluntary and public sector organizations by recruiting and training volunteers, providing them with effective leadership, and by effectively managing volunteer programs.
One of your main responsibilities would be to manage volunteers and their relationships with those they come into contact with, including employees and service users of an organization. You would also assign volunteers to specific roles, and oversee, direct, support and evaluate them.
There is not set path for becoming a volunteer coordinator; you can typically get into this work with a degree in almost any field. However, some fields may be more helpful than others, based on the field in which your organization volunteers, and in terms of developing job-specific skills.
In terms of job-specific skill development, having an education in a field related to human resources management, social work, or non-profit administration/management are arguably the most relevant degrees for developing the management, fund development, conflict resolution and leadership skills you’ll need to do this job, regardless of the field in which your organization volunteers.
you’ll need the following skills to succeed as a volunteer coordinator:
• Interviewing skills
• Training, coaching, team building and leadership skills
• Planning and administrative skills
• Marketing skills
• Conflict resolution skills
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite
If you display competence and dedication in your work, career advancement opportunities will open themselves up to you. Examples of career opportunities in this field include (but aren’t limited to):
• Becoming a volunteer manager (either with your organization or an outside employer)
• Moving across sectors, for example from non-profit into corporate social responsibility (CSR)
• Becoming self-employed as a contracted volunteer coordinator
• Becoming the director of your organization
• Starting your own organization
• Moving into a different field wherein you use many of the same skills, but develop new ones, such as human resources management
You should have the following attributes if you’re looking to become a successful volunteer coordinator:
• A demonstrated commitment to volunteerism
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Excellent organizational abilities
• An outgoing, energetic and optimistic manner
• Comfort with public speaking
• The ability to balance the needs of the organization with the needs and interests of the volunteers
• Patience and tact when dealing with others
• A tolerance for ambiguity
• An interest in helping others
• An interest and commitment to developing and maintaining relationships with organizations that need volunteer services
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