Responsibilities and competences of the volunteer coordinator

To review the colourful, diverse list of activities, we summarise the coordinator’s duties and skills, primarily based on the project documentation of the European Union application entitled Wake-Up Call: Volunteer Manager Role![1].

The coordinator’s tasks are summarised in the list below. [2]

  1. Developing strategies  and regulations for involving volunteers, including strategy development, strategy implementation, evaluation of volunteer contribution to the organisation’s strategic goals, regulation of volunteering, development of rules of application, ensuring legal and regulatory adequacy, and obtaining resources for volunteering.
  2. Promoting volunteering, including volunteering within and outside the organisation.
  3. Management of volunteers, including management of recruitment and selection processes, management of training, motivation, reward and recognition, coordination of supervision and support of volunteers, planning and implementation of volunteering, coordination of monitoring and evaluation of volunteering.
  4. Developing and recognising volunteering  skills, including developing volunteers’ knowledge, skills and competences, supporting related documentation, managing their recognition process, ensuring that awarding of diplomas is consistent with existing processes and policies, supporting volunteers’ use of their volunteering abilities.
  5. Supporting the management of volunteering, including volunteer project management, data processing and internal and external reporting, contribution to budget planning, ensuring the quality of volunteer activities and services, participation in planning volunteering, information flow management among all parties involved, identifying and controlling health and safety risks, and addressing emerging issues.
  6. Managing volunteers’ employment relationships, including providing the right work environment and tools, building and maintaining partnerships to support volunteering, promoting an effective working relationship between volunteers and paid staff, continuously improving employee coordination skills, and developing volunteer coordination skills.7


Ideally, a coordinator will perform the following tasks, as presented at the closing conference of the Wake-Up Call project [3]:

Sense of initiative, ability to organise

  • Multitasking
  • Project management and coordination
  • Decision-making
  • Creativity and innovation ability
  • Independent work
  • Adaptive skill and flexibility

Digital and numerical skills

  • Administrative skills
  • IT skills
  • Financial and economic awareness

Social and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to lead and positively influence others
  • Understanding empathy and the needs of others
  • The ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Ability to deal with a variety of people
  • Willingness to teamwork and strengthen teamwork
  • Flexible and bias-free attitude towards other people
  • Promoting links between different sectors
  • Problem solving and analysing ability

Communication skills

  • Sophisticated oral and written communication skills
  • Ability of clear expression
  • Performing skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Sensitivity to, and ability to work with, confidential information
  • Data collection and clear oral and written reporting skills


To develop these knowledge and skills, a 36-hour training curriculum was developed as part of the project. The Volunteering Hungary – Centre of Social Innovation provides 2-day beginner and 3-day advanced training in Budapest. There are also additional learning opportunities for coordinators, from the simple exchange of experiences through conferences to more advanced training opportunities. All in all, this pool of knowledge and skills is so diverse that it is no coincidence that we associate ourselves with a superhero following what we read.

In this context, it is important to note that the volunteer coordinator’s own (and thus, indirectly, the organisation’s) best interest and skill is the ability to delegate and renew, accompanied by the continuous development of self-knowledge. The benefit of this latter and of the relationships with other coordinators may be that burnout avoids our superhero.


Tip: The coordinator’s activities are summarised in the Volunteer Manual of the Museum of Fine Arts as follows:

The volunteer coordinator (hereinafter referred to as coordinator) is responsible for the management of the Volunteer Programme. Coordinator tasks can be shared by multiple coordinators.

The coordinator’s tasks:

  • ensuring the necessary staffing for the volunteer team, recruiting volunteers, concluding a volunteer contract, expounding volunteer rights;
  • administration of volunteering;
  • modifying and terminating the volunteer relationship as required;
  • clear and unambiguous definition of volunteers’ responsibilities (this can also be done by prior consultation between the professional contacts in each area);
  • coordinating the work of museum departments and volunteers;
  • cooperation with the professional contacts in individual work areas;
  • representing the views of both the museum and volunteers;
  • keeping volunteers informed at least weekly and on extraordinary events;
  • preparation, initial and ongoing training of volunteers;
  • moderating the internet interface, which is the basis of the relationship with volunteers;
  • editing the visitor information, Hands On!, and museum pedagogical help calendar;
  • scheduling of volunteers’ tasks not listed in the calendar (this will be agreed with the volunteers either by the coordinator or the professional contact);
  • monitoring and evaluating the volunteers’ work (reward, reprimand – this is done partly by the professional contacts and partly by the coordinator in consultation with the professional contacts);
  • receiving and discussing constructive and helpful ideas;
  • provision of work equipment;
  • organisation of community programmes to help volunteers integrate and develop.


[1] A “Wake-Up call: Volunteer Manager Role!” című projektet a Pro Vobis National Resource Center Romania ( valósította meg közösen az Association for Civil Society Development SMART Croatia (, Brivpratigais. LV (, Önkéntes Központ Alapítvány (,, Organizations Slovakia ( és a Platform of Volunteer Centers szervezetekkel együttműködésben 2014. november 1. és 2016. április 30. között, az Európai Unió finanszírozásában az Erasmus+ Program keretében, 2014-1-RO01-KA205-002734 szerződésszámon.
[2] Occupational Profile For The Volunteer Manager. Cluj-Napoca, Pro Vobis National Resource Centre for Volunteerism, 2016.
[3] Frimmerová, A.: Skills and Training of Volunteer Managers. (előadás). The Volunteer Manager: Key For Excellency in Volunteer Management, CEV Capacity Building Conference, workshop, 2016. április 7-8. Bukarest, European Volunteer Centre. (utoljára megtekintve: 2018.08.10.)


This article based on the following document:

Practical Guide for the Establishment and Operation of Volunteer Programmes at Institutions : abridged English version