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Planning 1: figuring out your details

Whether you’re working for a film festival or an animal shelter (or anything in between), laying out some basic information about your job will make everything easier to plan later.

Consider the main details

  • The industry. What is the type of event or organization you’re planning for?
  • The field. What is the general purpose, focus, or cause of the event/organization?
  • The region. Where does your organization or event occur?

All of this may impact how you recruit, or require extra considerations in planning.

Organizers and team members

It’s important to remember that you’re not in this alone! As the volunteer manager, you’re not working not just with the volunteers themselves. You’re also coordinating the volunteer efforts on behalf of the core team and leaders of your organisation / event. It’s important that you reach out to your team in the early days of your involvement to find out who they are and what they’re responsible for. This will make it easier for you to do your job: creating the right tasks and matching them with the right volunteers.

List the names of your fellow coordinators and team leads, as well as what they’re responsible for!


We covered the main region your organization or event operates in above. But each event has its own locations and spaces where volunteers will be expected to work (or at least know how to direct others to).

At a film festival, this might be stages, backstage areas, refreshment tents, and so on. At an animal shelter, this might be individual rooms or parts of the shelter. For example, the cattery or dog runs.

Locations will be specific to your organization or event, so it’s important to outline them as early as possible to better prep your volunteer onboarding.

List the different locations your volunteers need to be aware of!

Schedule of events

Do you have a planned program or set schedule? Keep a copy of it handy while you’re doing your prework. It will help you answer a lot of questions about what kind of work is needed, when and where. Keep an updated copy in your Resources section or volunteer manual so that your team can access it quickly and easily when needed.

🤔 Does the event have a set start / end range?
🤔 Is the event recurring?
🤔 Do you have day-to-day operations throughout the year?


Upgrade your planning game and download the full Planning workbook as a printable template!

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