Volunteer Intake Howto

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Volunteer Intake Overview

  • Help each volunteer choose a program. (Adoption or Build)
  • Enter each volunteer's info into the database.
  • Point them to the right person (if no obvious match with Adoption or Build program.)


This is a tour of FG that is designed to inform people about our mission, programs, layout and safety protocols. Everyone who volunteers with us must have attended an orientation before they start.

After the orientation, prospective volunteers need to be entered into the system, and scheduled for their first shift if possible.

In order to come in for their first shift, a few things the volunteer should know:

  • How to sign in and out, and to ask staff to schedule them for their next shift.
  • Where the kitchen & washrooms are. Let them know that they can keep their food in the fridge if they like. Coffee is by donation (jar on the coffee machine).
  • Front door is closed on Sat & after 5pm
  • Set them up with staff or someone who will show them how to do their first task. Let the staffperson know that it's the volunteer's first time here, so that they get a safety orientation.
  • General Safety & first aid kit procedure
  • Who staff is

They'll also get a Volunteer Packet or Adoption Packet, depending on what program they choose to enter.

More info at Volunteer Orientation Tours

Help them choose a program

First determine if volunteers want to volunteer for a computer, or if they just want to help out. Ask individuals what they want to do.

Volunteer Database Intake Form

While folks are waiting for orientations to start they can stay busy and make life simpler by giving us their contact information.

Open the Database to the Contact Manager

  • Open a browser (e.g. Firefox) to the Free Geek Database
  • Click Contacts along the left side bar
  • Click the Search box and then the Create a new contact box after it appears.

Haven't we met somewhere before?

Search for the person's name:
(NOTE: sometimes people may already be in the database. Don't skip this step.)
  • Fill in first name and/or last name, Press search.
If a name (or names) appear below the little green box, ask if it's theirs.
  • If so, select their name and press Edit. Make sure all their info is current.
  • If not, or if no names appear, press Create contact.

Contact Manager entry

The following fields are essential.

  • Checkboxes
Adopters: Adopt and Volunteer
Helpers: Volunteer

HEY! If you don't click at least the Volunteer checkbox, the database won't let us record that volunteer's hours, and we won't be able to see them in 'hours' in the database. Oh, the horror!!!

  • First name, last name
  • Postal code (used to estimate demographic info for grants)
  • Phone number
  • Emergency contact in the notes field
  • Press Save record. Hooray!
  • Ask for additional questions.
  • Proceed to individual sections for Adoption, Build, or Helper additional info.

Adoption intake

  • Adopters can volunteer TUES-SAT between 1:00-6:00.
  • Let them know they need to come in for an orientation the first time they're volunteering. That's 4:00pm Wednesday or Saturday.
  • Give them an Adoption Packet before they leave (should be at Phone Desk)
  • Explain they'll likely want/need to take the GeekBox Adoption Class before receiving their computer.
  • Explain that they need to sign in at sign out at the Phone Desk so that their hours can be recorded.
  • Remind them that we will contact them when we are ready for them.
  • Thank them for their interest in Free Geek as they leave. Let them know they can call us if they have any questions.

Build intake

Currently we give them the build intake form where they check off all the stations required to enter build, they can do this after they finish their initial 24 hours of volunteering.