Guidance for volunteer-involving groups

Charity mentors

Did you know that there’s a free mentoring service for leaders in the not-for profit sector throughout Kent and Medway? Charity Mentors was established in 2019 to provide high quality mentoring and support for strategic decision-making. Learn more about the service.

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Equity, equality and diversity

Template equality and diversity policy
Ensure that all your systems are fair, open and objective.

Equity, diversity and inclusion: why they matter
We live in an increasingly diverse society, so it’s important to understand and respect diversity and be sensitive to differences in others. 

Equality and diversity – what they mean
Volunteer Scotland advises on what an inclusive and diverse voluntary organisation looks like.

Understanding the concepts: the volunteers’ perspective
Whatever your background, the organisation you volunteer for should treat you with equity and fairness, and show you how equity, diversity and inclusion relates to your role. 

Removing barriers to volunteering for disabled people
Inclusion Barnett is a peer-led deaf and disabled people’s organisation which has offered some insights in to, and practical tips for, removing barriers to people volunteering. 

Supporting diversity in the workplace
Some ideas for incorporating and managing EDI in the workplace, from the Charity Learning Consortium.

The value of socio-economic diversity
Although aimed at creative industries, this report gives useful guidance on how to drive improvements in society and people’s lives.  

Building an inclusive volunteer programme
The questions to ask and the steps to take in creating volunteering opportunities open to all.

Calculating expenses
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Expenses

Template expenses reimbursement policy
Volunteers should never be out of pocket as a result of their involvement. 

Expenses claim form template
Ensure volunteers are aware of how to make a monthly claim.

Volunteer expenses: what organisations can pay
Volunteers are not paid for their time, but can get money to cover expenses. This document explains about the different things that can be claimed.

Tax rules for students who volunteer
This guide is from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.

Tax rules for organisations paying expenses
It’s important to understand how you should treat volunteer expense payments for income tax and National Insurance purposes. Learn more here.

Draft expenses form
Make sure your volunteers have a consistent way to claim expenses by using a standardised claim form such as this.

Expenses for volunteer drivers
This comprehensive document for organisations recruiting volunteer drivers also explains expenses (on page 6).

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Funding

Kent Community Foundation
KCF funds small community and voluntary groups that are charitable in purpose and are working for the benefit of people in Kent and Medway. Here’s how to apply. 

What’s available in Kent
Kent County Council has a hub for funding resources sought by community and voluntary organisations in Kent.

Increase your charity’s fundraising effectiveness
This free, online toolkit helps voluntary organisations increase their impact and funding. 

Getting the figures right
Budgets are an important component of a fundraising application. These two webinars help explain about budgets and flow forecasting. 

Online fundraising platforms
Explore the many free and low-cost options for digital fundraising. 

Advice on fundraising strategy
Leaders in the not-for-profit sector can benefit from this free, high-quality strategic support scheme. 

Funding for All – expert advice
A Kent and Medway-based organisation which will help develop skills in grant applications and income generation.

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Governance

The Charity Commission
Make sure your charity is adhering to the required rules – and also learn more about the role of trustee.

The Fundraising Regulator
As well as providing the Code of Fundraising Practice, the organisation has a substantial resource library.

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Your go-to portal for all things to do with data management and protection.

The Charity Governance Code

This is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Find a wealth of resources – many of which are free – at the NVCO Knowledge Bank, including this introduction to governance.

Community group secretary – what’s involved
An introduction to setting the agenda, taking minutes and communications.

Being a treasurer
A look at what the role requires – from bookkeeping to annual audits.

Becoming Chair – what it involves
A half-hour webinar explaining about the Chair’s role and responsibilities.

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Impact and insights

Evaluating your volunteer programme
A breakdown of evaluating your volunteers’ contribution and communicating their impact.

Government data on volunteering
A breakdown of evaluating your volunteers’ contribution and communicating their impact.

The volunteer experience
NVCO’s latest survey takes a deep-dive into  the world of volunteering – its impact on individuals and society.

UK Civil Society Almanac 2021
Essential data and insights on the voluntary sector from the NVCO.

What do we mean by impact?
Understand more about ‘impact’ and about the methods and resources that can help you measure it. 

What do we mean by impact?
Whether you want to improve health, education or employment, measuring wellbeing can show you the wider impact you have on the people and communities you support.

Measuring wellbeing
Whether you want to improve health, education or employment, measuring wellbeing can show you the wider impact you have on the people and communities you support.

A questionnaire for volunteers
Although fairly old, this academic resource still offers a comprehensive questionnaire to record people’s reasons for and outcomes of volunteering.

Volunteering in sport
With some six million adults involves in volunteering for sports, this sector is one of the largest volunteer sectors in the UK. You can learn more about it here.

Inductions

Induction checklist
What to include in the induction pack and what you need to inform your volunteers of.

Volunteer handbook – suggested content
This includes details of the role, the organisation and any related policies and procedures.

Managing volunteers
Just as with paid staff, volunteers should receive supervision, reviews, training and performance management.

Supervision form template
Use this form to record your regular discussions with volunteers.

Training needs analysis template
A helpful document to identify areas of support for your volunteer

The induction – getting things off to a good start
Providing a good induction is vital to a successful volunteering placement. Discover what aspects should be covered when they first start.

The volunteer agreement
The volunteer agreement should make it clear what an organisation will offer a volunteer and also what it expects from its volunteers. Learn more about what should be included in this document.

An example induction checklist
Make sure you’ve explained all that you need to, so that your volunteers can carry out their role effectively.

An example volunteer agreement
A guide to what sort of things an organisation might want to include for volunteers.

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Involving young volunteers

Involving young volunteers – an overview
Thinking about involving children or young people in volunteering? Check out these considerations first.

Creating a role description for young people
You will need to include everything you would have for an adult role, plus some extras…

Recruiting young people
You have your role description – now it’s time to think about finding some volunteers.

Evaluate the risks
Before you take on young volunteers, it’s essential to do a thorough risk assessment.

Induction and training
Take the time to do this properly and both parties will reap the rewards

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Keeping information safe (GDPR)

GDPR: a guide for charities
This is a useful guide for anyone who has responsibility for data management within their charity, whether they are a trustee, finance director or volunteer.

Template confidentiality policy
Ensure your volunteers understand the basics.

The seven principles of GDPR
Article 5 of the UK GDPR sets out seven key principles which lie at the heart of the general data protection regime. Learn all about it here.

GDPR: Keeping on top of responsibilities
Learn how to improve data protection in your organisation.

Fundraising and GDPR
If you are responsible for fundraising with your community group or voluntary organisation, this helpful guide from the Institute of Fundraising covers the key aspects of regulation.

The Information Commissioner’s Office
This should be your go-to resource for everything data-related. It includes details of how to report a data breach, a data protection self-assessment tool, a Freedom of Information self-assessment tool, and a template for making your own privacy statement.

The rules of using photography and video
While images are great for publicity, you need to know the data protection rules around using them first.

A graphic depicting communication channels
Image by Megan Rexazin from Pixabay

Marketing and communications

Go digital: the tools to use and the steps to take
Don’t be daunted by digital – this toolkit takes the terror out of working in the online world.

Kent Volunteers branding
Download our branded graphics to help promote the website and volunteering opportunities.
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Delivering sessions online
Knowing how to design and deliver engaging online sessions and events is essential in reaching the wider community. This toolkit from Lloyds Bank Foundation gives you the confidence to do that. 

Develop a Twitter strategy
This online guide explains how to build your charity’s brand on Twitter.

Creating a digital marketing strategy
Use this set of four templates to implement an effective strategy.

Build a community on Instagram
This video presents a masterclass on best practice and Instagram’s platform features.

Sourcing free images for your comms
Using stock photography doesn’t have to be expensive – this article highlights a few of the best free resources.

TikTok – what charities need to know
Before jumping headfirst into this platform, read this insightful article from Citizens Advice.

Accessible communication – a checklist for getting started
There are many things you can do to make your communications more inclusive, as this guide explains.

10 tips for improving your comms
Looking for ways to grow your audience and increase engagement? Look no more!

How to write a communications strategy
The good folk at the Department for Social Change have shared this helpful guide.

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Policies and procedures

Policies and procedures
A look at the different policies that may be applicable to your organisation.

Volunteer policy template
This policy should be the foundation on which your organisation’s involvement with volunteers is based.

Recruitment policy template
Ensure the management staff and trustees of your organisation have given proper thought to recruiting volunteers.

Template volunteer problem solving procedure
This procedure enables volunteers to raise their concerns in an open and fair way.

Template confidentiality policy
Ensure your volunteers understand the basics.

Lone working policy template
Ensure you’re meeting your obligations under the Health and Safety Executive.

Model volunteering policy
This example from the NVCO sets out the principles and practice of involving volunteers.

Supervision policy
An example framework for the one-to-one supervision of volunteers.

Where to start with a Safeguarding Adults policy
Some helpful guidance to create a framework for your organisation’s bespoke policy.

Where to start with a safeguarding policy for children
The NSPCC shares some tips on writing a safeguarding policy for children and young people.

Small Charity Support: example policies
From data management policies to conflicts of interest, this website covers them all.

HR policies for voluntary sector employers
Find an array of policies and templates, from adverse weather to flexible working.

Policies: the must-haves
Discover the Directory of Social Change’s list of must-have policies and procedures.

The logo for the kings award for voluntary service

King’s Award for Voluntary Services

Do you represent excellence in volunteering? If you would like to find out if your organisation or group may qualify for a King’s Award for Voluntary Service, then the Kent Lieutenancy can assist you in the process.

What can a King’s Award for Voluntary Service bring to your voluntary group, charity or CIC?

  • The KAVS is the MBE for voluntary service and brings recognition at the highest level.
  • It will focus attention of funders on your organisation.
  • If you win a King’s Award, you will represent excellence in your field.
  • It will be a huge thank you to your volunteers and your group, and will be an inspiration to others in your community.

Eligibility checklist

  • Is your organisation or group doing volunteering work?
  • Are at least half of your group unpaid volunteers?
  • Have you been operating to a high standard for at least three years?
  • Does your work excel in meeting a community need?
  • Is your work respected, supported and recognised by your community and the people who benefit from it?

If you would like more information, email the Kent Lieutenancy Office or visit the KAVS website.

Using volunteers in your organisation
Planning how and when to make use of volunteers (and when not to).

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Recruitment

Using volunteers in your organisation
Planning how and when to make use of volunteers (and when not to).

The volunteer application
Things to consider, from the application form to choosing the successful applicant and declining others.

Volunteer application form template
Capturing the basics from interested volunteers.

Volunteer role description template
Make it clear to applicants what sort of person you are looking for.

Volunteer agreement template
Necessary to formalise the arrangement between both parties.

How to recruit trustees for your charity
This guide demystifies the process and promotes the practice of open recruitment for charity boards.

Recruiting volunteers
Tips for advertising your volunteer role vacancy.

The selection process
How to plan, conduct and follow-up on volunteer interviews.

Volunteer reference request template
It’s aways best practice to request references for your volunteers.

Who do you want and why?
All the key considerations for recruiting volunteers (spoiler alert: be clear about what the role entails!)

Writing a great role description
This article features examples of best practice and useful resources.

Reward and recognition

2024 – usefull resouce pack
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week. See how your organisation can get involved with this resource pack.

Retaining volunteers
How to keep volunteers motivated, interested and happy in their role.

Volunteer thank you letter template
Take the time to thank your volunteers properly.

Volunteer review form template
You should conduct regular reviews, even if they’re informal.

Volunteer feedback template
The questions to ask to help improve the volunteer experience.

Volunteers and staff: how to create a great relationship
How do you ensure volunteers have a positive experience? Volunteer Scotland have some top tips for voluntary organisations on how to foster positive relationships between volunteers and staff.

When to say a simple thank you
It’s so important to thank your volunteers – and you can do this in many different ways.

Volunteers Week – June 1-7
Celebrate the nation’s volunteers during the first week of June.

Rewarding volunteers – is more better?
This is an interesting discussion about types of rewards and the merit of incentivising volunteers.

Celebrate Trustee Week November 1-5
This annual event showcases the great work of the nation’s one million trustees.

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Safe volunteer environment

Health and Safety guidelines template
Make sure your volunteers know how to keep safe when performing their tasks.

Health and safety: get it covered
The law requires that every organisation appoints someone competent to deliver its health and safety duties: this can be someone in your organisation, especially if risks are low.

Protecting the safety of volunteers
This article covers volunteers’ rights, policies and risk assessments, health and safety and more.

Volunteering: your health and safety
Know your rights and know what to expect from the organisation who you are volunteering for.

Risk assessments: include your volunteers
Make sure you take the same measures as you would a member of staff to keep your volunteers safe.

DBS checks explained
Find out if your volunteers need a criminal record check, and what the check entails.

Safeguarding explained
Safeguarding is about preventing harm, harassment, bullying, abuse and neglect – check your organisation is doing all that it can to stop this.

How to safeguard people online
In this increasingly digital world, it’s just as important to have a plan for your online services.

Keeping children safe in Kent
This multi-agency partnership has been set up to promote the welfare of children in Kent.

Safeguarding adults in Kent
Another multi-agency partnership has created this practitioner guidance including policies and protocols.

Trustees

Being a trustee – what you need to know and do
Trustees have independent control over – and a legal responsibility for – a charity’s management and administration. This Government guide explains what the key duties of trustees are and what is required of them to carry out their duties competently.

How to recruit trustees for your charity
This guide demystifies the process and promotes the practice of open recruitment for charity boards.

The good trustee – an accessible guide
The NVCO, in conjunction with the Advocacy Project, has also produced an easy-read guide to help people with learning disabilities become charity trustees.

Communicating your mission statement
A mission statement is the foundation that should shape every aspect of an organisation. That’s why writing an effective charity mission statement is crucial.This short video gives guidance on how to do that.

Building a diverse board
Charity boards have traditionally been less diverse than the communities they serve – learn how to increase and maintain diversity.

Appraising your board of trustees
This self-assessment tool will help boards struggling to identify or resolve a particular problem.

Charity Mentors’ scheme
Leaders in the not-for-profit sector can benefit from this free, high-quality mentoring and support scheme.

Selecting and inducting trustees
Once you’ve successfully recruited your trustees, make sure you give them the best start possible.

Charity Chairs – the importance of self-care
Being the Chair of a charity can be demanding, so it’s important to look after yourself.

Improving governance – lots of top tips
From board effectiveness and governance reviews to resolving trustee disputes, NVCO has a wealth of resources to explore.

Celebrate Trustee Week – November 1-5
This annual event showcases the great work of the nation’s one million trustees.