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Project Planning

Successful volunteer projects have many things in common. Pre-planning, plenty of supplies, tools, volunteer support, and dynamic on-site leadership. Here's a peek inside Volunteer Orlando's Project Playbook.

Group of volunteers smiling after completing their community center improvement project managed by Volunteer Orlando.

Project and Activity Preparation

(23) Obtain all project tools, supplies and volunteer support materials (items).

(24) Store items at Volunteer Orlando or have them delivered directly to the project site. 

(25) Help arrange transportation for participants if the project occurs offsite.

(26) Share project updates, on a regular basis with the group's primary contact person, recipient nonprofit organization(s) and venue representative.


(1) When does the group want to do its project? What time of day and for how long?

(2) What social "cause" does the group want to impact?

(3) What types of hands-on tasks will interest participants most?

(4) Does your project (meeting or event) have a theme?

(5) What are the group's goals for the project?

(6) Does the group want its project to occur in the community or where it is located?

(7) How many people will participate? Is its voluntary or required?

Volunteer with curious children during a Volunteer Orlando project at an Orlando area daycare center.

(8) What do participants do in the organization? Are they members, employees - new hires, sales team, managers, interns? Will C-suite executives participate?

(9) What is the age range of participants?

(10) Do participants possess trade or IT skills?

(11) What exertion level is best: no, low, moderate, a mix?

(12) Do participants have special needs?

(13) Does the group have existing partnerships with nonprofit organizations, locally or nationally? 

(14) Has the group done volunteer work in Orlando?

(15) What is the project's budget?

Volunteer displaying the piggy bank she decorated for a child during a Volunteer Orlando managed project.
Group of volunteers decode a riddle during their Volunteer Orlando managed project.

(27) Do necessary prep work at the project site.

(28) Draft the division of volunteer labor activity staffing plan with timelines, and review them with the group for approval.

(29) Design and obtain approval for the project's run of show.

(30) Cooperate with the group's media team to support project publicity, if applicable.

(31) Compose the project's flyer (backgrounder), for group leader's review, if bus/van transportation is utilized.

(32) Load and deliver supplies, tools and volunteer support items to the project worksite.

(33) Unload and store items at the project site.

(34) Review weather forecasts and share updates with the group's leader (if applicable).

Pallets of sod volunteers will spread on the grounds of a public school during their Volunteer Orlando school makeover project.
Fleet of buses Volunteer Orlando utilizes to transport volunteers to projects in the community.
Boxes of macaroni and cheese volunteers will add to food kits during their Volunteer Orlando project.
Truck used to transport supplies and tools for Volunteer Orlando's projects.

Project & Task Vetting

(16) We identify possible recipient nonprofit organizations, Title 1 public schools, and municipal parks. Verify the current 501(c)(3) status of nonprofit entities.

(17) Conduct site visits to determine each candidate's current needs. If the project will occur at a hotel, meeting place or office we preview the venue to gauge suitability.

(18) Prioritize possible tasks, based upon positive impact, supply and tool requirements, participant interest and ability, and budget.

(19) Estimate travel time and distance to-and-from the site, if the project will occur at a nonprofit organization.

Group of volunteers assembling bicycles during a Volunteer Orlando project in Kissimmee.


(35) The Volunteer Orlando team arrives hours early at the project site to stage supplies, tools and volunteer support materials in each work area.

(36) We greet participants as they arrive and ask them to select their tasks as they walk to the welcome area. (If not already pre-assigned by the group.)

(37) Welcome. We emcee an authentic and rousing greeting. This expresses genuine thanks, shares the need for the project and its positive impact. Next, we introduce an organization leader (and possibly a willing recipient of assistance, we call an ambassador) to add their unique perspective. Then, the group's leader speaks to their team. (optional).

(38) Volunteer Orlando's task leaders walk with their volunteer teams to their worksites.

Tools and supplies volunteers will use to make pavers stones and a walking path in a new garden during a Volunteer Orlando project.
Large pile of mulch volunteers will need to spruce up a Boys and Girls Club in Orlando.
Happy child appearing through the window of a playhouse assembled and decorated by Volunteer Orlando volunteers.

(20) Estimate volunteer staffing capacities for each task, based upon size of workspaces and time needed for completion.

(21) Determine supply, tool and volunteer support requirements to complete each task successfully.

(22) Recommend one or more recipient organizations to the group plus tasks for its review and approval.

Volunteer sanding a metal railing during a Volunteer Orlando project.
Groups of volunteers assembling picnic tables during a Volunteer Orlando project in Kissimmee.

(39) Each task leader explains their task's goal, steps to success, and positive outcomes. Conveys applicable safety information and urge participants to help at their own pace.

(40) Work. Teams start their tasks and finish within the project's timeline.

(41) Task leaders escort their teams to the wrap-up area.

(42) Wrap-up. Emceed by Volunteer Orlando. Includes a hardy congratulations for a project well done. Then a person from the recipient organization speaks to shares their perspective. The group's leader offers closing remarks (optional).

(43) The Volunteer Orlando team walks with participants to the departure area.

(44) Volunteer Orlando breaks down and cleans up the worksite.

(45) Work products are delivered to the recipient organization(s) for projects occurring at workplaces, hotels or meeting spaces.

(46) We update the volunteer group with project feedback.

Mattresses to be installed in a group home by volunteers.
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