Training experienced volunteers to lead projects can be an effective way to build capacity for your ABWK program. 12 years ago, our program at Twin Cities Habitat started with mostly volunteer site leaders.
However, as projects have become more complicated we have gone to 70% staff/americorps lead sites. Yet, we still value and rely on well trained volunteer leadership. Over the years volunteer leadership has has greatly multiplied our capacity to serve more families.
Attached is our most recent Volunteer Leader Overview and Volunteer Team Leader Manual.
We begin with a two hour group training at our office. Then, once they have received the class training and their home assignment we schedule an on site training that introduces the homeowner and project to the Team Leader (We prefer 2 Co-leaders). Key to the success of the project and volunteer experience is good communication between the volunteer leadership, homeowner and staff.
The onsite training occurs 2-4 weeks before their group will be volunteering. The Team Leader communicates directly with the homeowner the day before the project begins reminding them of what will occur the next day.
Habitat staff works with the Team Leader to make sure all tools, supplies and materials are onsite prior to the start of the project. Habitat staff are also available to come onsite to support any issues during the project.
We only provide Team Leader training for groups that are adopting an entire project from start to finish. Team Leaders that are only giving leadership for one day to their group receive a different packet and are only required to show up 30 minutes prior to their project start. These projects are supervised by Habitat staff.