Some notes for leading a structured conversation designed to guide people through thinking about community care / looking after your volunteers. It’s more than just a CoC.
- Have you ever done volunteer work before (unpaid work, usually in your own time)?
- How much did you do and how did the work make you feel?
- When is asking for unpaid work too much?
- A few minutes or an hour here or there? (example: simple bug fix)
- How would you feel about being asked to spend several hours, days or a week doing unpaid work? (possible examples: reviewing a long paper, or reviewing abstracts for a conference).
- What about if you were asked to spend several hours a week for several months at a time? (e.g. organising a conference)
- Have you ever felt burnt out from volunteer work?
- If you’re managing volunteers - be as generous as you can afford to be
- Stickers are great, but a few stickers for hours of work can be a bit of a slap in the face.
- One of the best forms of payment is… money!
- That isn’t something we always have available to us though :sob:
- You should also do other things for your community and volunteers whenever you can:
- recommendation letters - half an hour to write but they can be the difference in making a job, or not.
- sharing exciting/useful opportunities and championing your members
- e.g. conferences with travel bursaries (example - eLife sprint)
- Funding fellowships
- Nominate them for awards!
- Bring them into the leadership [with caution, don’t burn them out further!]