Developing Customized Toolkits for Your Volunteer Facilitators

3 May

Here are a few tips to consider when developing customized toolkits for your volunteer facilitators:

1)      Make sure the tools selected fit the program that the facilitation project is part of. Try to increase your facilitator tool search to include existing facilitator activities that are customized to the specific type of service that the facilitation is needed for.

2)      Make sure the mission, vision, and values of your organization are reflected in the toolkit. Your organization’s mission, vision, and values should be included at the beginning of the toolkit and should be followed closely by the team developing the toolkit. The toolkit developers should prioritize facilitation tools that best reflect all three. When done correctly, the volunteer facilitators will have a greater understanding of how their role as facilitators helps your organization realize its mission, vision, and values.

3)       Make sure that the facilitation tools selected recognize and enhance the skills that each volunteer facilitator brings to the table. Instead of selecting tools that limit facilitators to structured facilitation questions, provide them with tools that help them customize questions through their own inquiry that are best suited for each facilitation process they lead. For an example, see The Art of Powerful Questions.

This resource includes a host of questions for your volunteers to ask themselves before facilitating so they can master the art of asking good questions. It also includes malleable, open-ended questions they can customize to fit the project.

I would like to leave you with an important recommendation when developing customized facilitator toolkits for your volunteers. Include them in the process! No volunteer facilitator toolkit is more customized to the project than one created by volunteer facilitators for volunteer facilitators. They will feel all the more connected to the facilitation content and will feel proud of the final product they all played a role in constructing. As a volunteer contributing to my current assignment, I do feel a sense of pride in the toolkit I am developing and feel closely connected to the content.

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