Hot Topics Archive

Month Topic Update
Hot Topic for April 2020 Engage Virtual Volunteers While We Shelter in Place

Need to find ways to keep your current volunteers engaged? Or just need different kinds of help during this uncertain time? Consider Virtual Volunteers – they do work for you from home!

Could you use a graphic designer, researcher, writer, translator, proofreader, or video editor? Those opportunities can be posted on VolunteerMatch and marked “virtual” rather than “one location.” VolunteerMatch has also added to each volunteer opportunity posting a chance for you to answer this question: “Is this opportunity helping your organization respond to the COVID-19 crisis?” When you answer yes, your posting will get visibility in additional ways.

Here are some more resources to get you started:

Never a Better time to Explore Virtual Volunteering than NOW
How to Tap Into the Power of Virtual Volunteers

VolunteerMatch Covid-19 Hub

Virtual Volunteer Success Story – Brownwood Texas

Spanish Language Virtual Document Translator Job Description -  Salinas CA

Social Media Specialist Job Description – CA State Library

4 minute interview California State Library Virtual Volunteer – Social Media Specialist


What’s New for March 2020 New Resources

How to Find a Volunteer Management System that Actually Meets Your Needs


14 Volunteer Interview Questions


The Volunteer Perspective – Industry Insights 2019



What's New for February 2020 Online Book Sales

Mesa (AZ) Public Library's amazing online booksale operation (about $100,000/year) which is a volunteer driven project supervised by the library's volunteer coordinator. We are grateful to Mesa's volunteer coordinator who has shared a 10- minute video about the project, as well as the volunteer job description and a number of invaluable, well-researched training pieces that can be used to prepare volunteers to take on these roles. You can find it all here:


What's New for January 2020 New Resources

Five Survey Templates to Measure Volunteer and Board Satisfaction

The essential guide to managing volunteers at your nonprofit

Beware of these 6 trends lurking in your volunteer program


Volunteer Management: How to Get It Right


What's New for December 2019 New Resources

Archived Webinar

November 20 VolunteerMatch “Tour”

New Volunteer Job Descriptions

Creation Station Coordinator – Show Low AZ

Library Assistant – Show Low AZ

Computer Coach – Show Low AZ

Also New This Month: New Maker Space Photos

Hot Topic for November 2019 Archived Webinars


Writing Accurate & Useful Volunteer Position Descriptions - March 2020

Connecting with Today’s Volunteers to Transform the Friends of the Library - September 2019

Revitalizing Library Volunteer Engagement - 2018

Successfully Managing Library Volunteer Program Changes - August 2018


What's New for October 2019 New Resources

Do’s & Don’ts of Supervising Library Volunteers

Adult Volunteer Application – Huntington Beach

Volunteer Handbook – Pacific Grove

Beyond Retention: How to get better data to inform your volunteer engagement strategy


What's New for September 2019 Recognition, Part 2

Don't Just Recognize Volunteers, Invest in Them . . . and in Yourself

Volunteer Recognition: Matching Motivation to Rewards

When Recognition Hurts Recruitment (and what we might do about it)

Recognizing Online Volunteers and Using the Internet to Honor ALL Volunteers


What's New for August 2019 New Resources

Skills Based Volunteering ToolKit

Building Capacity Through Volunteer Leadership

Want to Write a Volunteer Program Annual Report? Here’s How to Start

Why Should We Pay Attention to Volunteering Trends

CRM Integration

What's New for July 2019 Recognition

Rethinking Volunteer Recognition

Volunteer Appreciation Guide

Volunteer Recognition: Just Say No to Years of Service Awards

3 Ways to Recognize Volunteers

Recognizing Volunteers in 2017

Celebrate Collective Accomplishments, Not Volunteered Time


What's New for June 2019 New Tools Shared by Libraries


Many thanks to these libraries who recently shared materials for us to share with you! Please send us yours in the “Share Your Materials” box below.

Social Media Coordinator Volunteer Job Desc -- Salinas CA

Spanish Language Virtual Document Translator – Salinas CA

List of Volunteer Job Descriptions – Corona CA

Volunteer Guidelines – Austin TX



What's New for May 2019 Return on Investment (ROI)

California's Get Involved Regional Leaders develop networking and training events for library volunteer engagement coordinators in their regions across the state. They decided a tool was needed for library volunteer programs to determine their Return on Investment, and then share that data both internally and externally in the form of an attractive but brief infographic that could also be used as a program's annual report. They developed this ROI worksheet to be used by individual libraries to create the data for the infographic, and included sample infographics.

Feel free to download and use this worksheet for yourself, and if you're interested in using one of the infographics, there are 3 templates with minor variations that can be found for your use here:

Infographic Template #1

Infographic Template #2

Infographic Template #3

And 3 different library examples using the templates here:

Example A

Example B

Example C

What's New for April 2019 Millennial Volunteers

Three Things We Know About Engaging Millenials in Your Cause

Millenials and Volunteering: Bridging the Generation Gap


What's New for March 2019 New Resources

NOTE: Please share your materials - volunteer job descriptions, handbooks, policies & training materials - with us for the Clearinghouse. Just click on "Suggest a Resource."

Position Descriptions

Genealogy Group Facilitator - Texas

Circulation Assistant – Texas

Volunteer Technology Coach – Texas

Training Materials

Shelving with Dewey - Illinois

Recruitment Success Story – Flagstaff, Arizona

Buckeye Arizona Library’s Experience with Get Involved

What's New for February 2019 Handling Common Problems

Can We Reject a Volunteer?

You Can’t Fire Me, I’m a Volunteer!

Controlling Complaint Conversations


What's New for January 2019 New Resources

Three Things We Know About Engaging Millennials in Your Cause

What's New for December 2018 Risk Management

Liability, Insurance, and Risk Management Issues for Volunteer Programs

Managing Volunteers: Balancing Risk and Reward

Checklist to minimize the most common volunteer risks

Nonprofit Volunteers – Minimizing the Risks 

Volunteer Background Checks: Giving Back Without Giving Up on Privacy

Background Checks – Nonprofit Risk Management Center


What's New for November 2018 New Resources

October 24th Archived Webinar – Where Do I Go from Here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways

Volunteer Engagement Roles Matrix

HandsOn Network Volunteer Leader Guidebook

What's New for October 2018 New Resources

September 2018 WebJunction Webinar: Revitalizing Library Volunteer Engagement

50 Project Ideas for Skilled Volunteers

Demographic Trends Shaping America and Service

What's New for September 2018 New Resources

August 22, 2018 archived webinar: Successfully Managing Library Volunteer Program Changes

What should you do when it’s time to change the policies and procedures that govern or guide the volunteers that work with your organization? How can you create a culture of inclusion and get buy-in for those new policies? This training will give you the tools to approach program changes in a strategic way. We will also cover what to do if volunteers either can’t or won’t adopt the policies, how to manage that situation, and what to do if ultimately you need to ask a volunteer to leave.

What You'll Learn: 

* Theories for change management

* Pitfalls and challenges around implementing changes in a volunteer engagement program

* Opportunities to build buy-in and support for changes

* What to do if you need to ask a volunteer to leave