While every chamber needs skilled volunteers to be successful, office volunteers are a majestic species that show up every week and will handle pretty much anything you put in front of them.
My office is not used to having the wonderful people to delegate to, so we’ve started brainstorming tasks we can give them.
Office Tasks for Volunteers
- Assist walk-ins
- Answer general phone calls
- Review any documents that need a second pair of eyes
- Call members about a specific benefit or event
- Count out things
- Prepare envelopes or mailers
- Refill rack cards
- Call members to review contact & representative information
- Make copies
- Prepare packets/folders
- Stuff goody bags or welcome packages
- Research a specific need
- File paperwork
- Data entry
- Data mining
- Type minutes or notes
- Assist with social media
- Brainstorm ideas
- Help set up for events
- Check the general email inbox
- Inventory office supplies
- Check chamber website for old information
- Draft articles or blog posts for the chamber
- Design some fun social media posts (here’s how)
- Solicit businesses for donations
- Transcribe notes, letters, etc.
- Call newest members to invite them to your next event
- Write or prepare thank you notes, other letters
- Send referral cards
- Assist with event registration
- Design window displays
- Conduct phone surveys
- Tidy lobby
Things to Consider with Chamber Volunteers
Play to Their Strengths
Some people love making phone calls, some don’t. Some are great at mindless, repetitive tasks – others need more creative and original work. You’ll keep your volunteers engaged & around longer if you can match them with work they enjoy more.
Onboard Your Volunteers
Give volunteers an overview of things you think they should know, answers to FAQs, or other tips. If you have an onboarding of any kind, make sure they take it. But even just visiting with them a few minutes the first few days they come in will have lasting effects.
Of course, you may want policies or handbooks for any public-facing tasks. Some chambers have Volunteer Handbooks or Internal Social Media Guides (I recommend searching the Facebook group for help). At the very least, if they’re making phone calls for you, give them a script to start with.
Remember to Thank Them
Other times when a volunteer leaves and they didn’t have much to do, I tell them, “Thank you for coming in today. I know you think didn’t do much, but because you were here I was able to [quantifiable project].”
And once we get used to having multiple volunteers consistently, I want to start planning quarterly ‘thank you lunches’ with all our volunteers so that they can feel appreciated and meet each other.
Be Flexible with Your Volunteer’s Time
This one’s probably the most obvious, but we’re just so thankful to have help that we don’t care when it is. However, structure can also help their commitment.
Some volunteers we only call when we have a specific project in mind. Others come in at the same day & time every week. We let them pick the day & time, but recommend peak hours (ours are 10 – 2) so they don’t feel obliged to be here all day.