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Megan Webb, Oakland Animal Services

Online volunteer training has significantly helped improve Oakland Animal Services volunteer program.

Volunteers attend a volunteer orientation where they are given a tour of the Shelter and an explanation of our vision and mission. They are then given a user name/password to access our online volunteer training to take our “Volunteer Basic” class and “Dog, cat or rabbit” basics. After they have successfully completed the online training, they are then able to sign up to be trained by a volunteer mentor.

Before we had the online training, mentors were not enjoying training. They said many of the people they trained weren’t committed to volunteering and would only come for one or two sessions and then would leave. They were becoming disheartened about mentoring since they felt their time was being wasted. And, they stated that some of the trainees were not mentally capable of learning the information they were teaching.

We then implemented the online training. This training helped to weed out the potential volunteers who weren’t truly committed to volunteering and the individuals who were not capable of learning the material since potential volunteers needed to pass the online test with an 80% or better. The mentors immediately found that the people they were training after the online training began were much more motivated to the process and the retention of trainees was much higher. They also found that the potential volunteers also started training with a much stronger knowledge base so that they could start further in the training and spend less time training each person.

We also now use the online training for continued education of our volunteers which helps them to build their skills without a large amount of extra training time. We highly recommend integrating online training for any volunteer program. – Megan Webb, Oakland Animal Services

Megan’s Custom Volunteer Program