Many Crown land managers (CLMs) operate with the assistance of volunteers. Volunteers provide a range of support services and often have a personal interest in Crown reserves. For example, volunteers may be members of a showground society, club members using the reserve for meetings of a local Landcare group.
Volunteers can help with tasks such as:
To attract the services of volunteers, consider the following:
Where practical, a work description should be developed for volunteer roles. As with a job description for a paid employee, a work description outlines any special skills or experience required, and the amount of time required of the volunteer. Similar techniques that are used to recruit paid employees (such as behaviour-based interview questions) can be used to appoint volunteers.
Where possible, volunteers’ preferences regarding the type of work they do should be accommodated. This is likely to generate greater commitment from the volunteer, and reduce risks associated with carrying out unfamiliar tasks.
An important part of managing and retaining volunteers is providing recognition for their efforts. There are a number of cost-effective ways to do this, such as:
CLMs should confirm with the volunteers, before the volunteer work begins, what they expect regarding reimbursement.
Similar to volunteer CLM board members, volunteers are not paid and generally don’t receive any financial incentives or rewards for the work they do. However expenses related to the work carried out for the reserve can be reimbursed.
Any costs should be assessed as reasonable, acceptable, necessary, incurred for the general purposes of the Crown reserve and consistent with the CLM’s finance policies for out-of-pocket expenses. This could include travel costs, and payments for goods or materials (such as building materials, protective clothing or tools).
Volunteers should be required to provide a receipt before any reimbursement is made.
Note that any regular payments or allowances paid to volunteers may indicate that the volunteer is in fact an employee, which could have taxation implications.
Information on attracting and managing volunteers can be found on the NSW Government’s Community Development website.
This Crown land manager web resource was printed on 30 May 2023. The information contained in this web resource is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of writing May 2023. However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that the information upon which they rely is up to date and to check the currency of the information by referring to the website (www.reservemanager.nsw.gov.au).
© State of New South Wales through Department of Planning, Industry & Environment 2023.
Page link: https://reservemanager.crownland.nsw.gov.au/administration/managing-people/volunteers