How are these changes helping your organization?
having the volunteers sign up for a time slot and not just show up!
Lisa, I would love to hear how this went over when you started it. I'm looking at doing this very soon at our shelter as well :)
Most (90%) of the volunteers loved it. The older volunteers gave me a little push back. "It's not the way we did it in the past, I can't use a computer", that kind of stuff.
Having volunteer mentors do most of the new volunteer onboarding. It saves so much time and gives them 1-on-1 attention.
We only allow 16yrs and older to come alone which has helped cut down on dogs getting loose and or accidents.
I really love having kid-specific education programs or volunteer opportunities! For me, that's mostly been something like having Scout troops come visit for a volunteer afternoon, or a short "kids' camp" during the summer, etc... things that engage the kids, but are pretty much supervised by staff the whole time.
I am, in theory, such a fan of including kids in rescue because it's excellent learning opportunities for them, and I think encouraging them to get involved in their communities early on is incredible!!! ....But I also think there's liability issues with the 'regular' volunteer shifts (where they aren't supervised, except for their parent -maybe). One of my previous shelters went above and beyond to allow younger kids to volunteer normally - using green, yellow, or red "stop-n-go" signs to indicate kid-friendly cats and dogs (green being "go" for kids). It turned into a bunch of bite quarantines that shouldn't have happened... and then a roomful of yellow signs and fielding SO many complaints from parents because there was only one or two cats their 11 year old could pet
We used to have our volunteer application on our website and running bi-weekly orientations. However we were getting so many people just coming to volunteer once to "pet cats or walk dogs". We've made it more of a process to volunteer, orientations are every 6 weeks, capped at 14 people and we spend the next 6 weeks really training people. Our goal has shifted from quantity to quality.