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Volunteer Cultivation: Part 3, The Comprehensive Orientation

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

The final step of onboarding potential new volunteers is to provide a comprehensive orientation day. This group meeting will serve as a foundation for volunteers to not only understand the inner workings of your center but also fosters relationships with other volunteer hopefuls, helping potential new volunteers to feel connected and valued. This experience can also ensure that potential volunteers are equipped to make an educated decision about whether a long-term commitment to your center is in their future.

In this article I will lay out the most important items to touch upon but you are encouraged to get creative and make this experience one that speaks to your center’s heart and unique approach.

Center Operations and Funding

An effective orientation begins with an introduction to how the center operates and where funding comes from. Understanding the financial backing of your organization, offers volunteers a broader perspective, fostering a sense of accountability and stewardship. It highlights the importance of their commitment, knowing that it directly affects the center's ability to maintain excellence.

Mission, Vision

Diving into the center's mission and vision ensures that volunteers are in agreement with the overall goals of the organization. This alignment motivates them to work passionately toward these objectives. It instills a sense of purpose and commitment.


Educating potential volunteers about the range of services your center provides and what the typical client needs is not only informative but also can be inspirational. It emphasizes the impact they can have on individuals and families in need.


Providing basic education similar to what would be discussed in an options consultation provides a framework for understanding the most essential services at the center. This knowledge is crucial for volunteers who are seeking to work directly with clients. This education can also aid them in speaking to friends and family about the center’s value in the community.

Staff and Volunteer Roles

Offering potential volunteers a detailed breakdown of each role grants them clarity and will help them to grasp your expectations, understand what necessary skills that are required, and what level of training might be provided. This will ensure that they are placed in the role that best aligns with their individual giftings.

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