On-site Logisitics

As the project manager, you will have many responsibilities during the actual service. One of the most important is managing the logistics that will make the event run smoothly. If the logistics are handled well, volunteers will have a more positive experience and be more likely to volunteer with your program again. Many of the project logistics are outlined below.


Have you developed and printed a schedule for the event? Have you briefed the other project leaders regarding the schedule? Have volunteers been assigned as task leaders? Has time been allotted for set-up, breaks, lunch, clean-up, reflection, and evaluation? Are volunteers aware of their scheduled service time?

Access to Event Site

Do volunteers have directions to the event? Is the project site accessible to people with disabilities? If the site is normally closed/secured during the time of your project, who will be available to provide access to the facilities? Is there a place where volunteers can put their personal belongings?


Have you designated an area for volunteer check-in? Have you created registration forms? Do you have pens, pencils, and/or markers? Do you have volunteer name tags? Have you recruited volunteers to manage registration? Have they been trained on the registration procedures? Whom can volunteers contact in case of a cancellation or emergency?

Weather and Attire

Have you made contingency plans in the event of inclement weather? Have you sent back-up plans and contact information to volunteers? Do you know how to contact volunteers in case of an emergency? Do volunteers know how to dress appropriately for the project?


Are there first-aid kits, a water station, phones, blank accident/incident report forms, as well as volunteer safety accessories on site? Do you have volunteer liability waivers that need to be signed in advance? Do you have blank forms on site? Are there special safety concerns for the use of special tools/supplies being used? Are there instructional handouts for any tools or equipment? Do you have a plan to monitor the site for safe use of tools, supplies, or equipment? Do you have a plan to encourage everyone to be safe and have fun?

Food, Beverages, and Breaks

Will there be food and/or beverages at the project? If so, do you have a station designated for this? Do you have a plan to distribute food/beverages to the volunteers? Is there a specific place for volunteers to eat/drink, or can it be anywhere on site? Do you have volunteers designated to staff the food/beverage station and/or distribute items? Do you have a plan to ensure that all volunteers get a break? Do you have a way to secure additional food/beverages if needed?

Reflection and Evaluation

Do you have a plan for facilitating a reflection activity with all volunteers? Do you have space and any supplies you might need for reflection? Do you have a plan for formal or informal evaluation? If needed, have you developed and printed copies of an evaluation survey? Do you have someone designated to manage the evaluation process?

Project Management

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Worried at the last minute? No problem! If you've planned your project thoroughly and you're prepared to handle the logistics of the day, you shouldn't have any trouble. Here’s a quick checklist to help you think through the project details and your role as the project manager.

Project Preparation

Arrive early: Verify that all materials are ready and tasks are assigned. Organize tools and materials in the space where they will be used. Set up stations for registration, water, first aid, etc. Verify that facilities are open and available (restrooms, electricity, etc.). Set out trash containers for easy access throughout the site. Hang project signage. Secure on-site storage, if necessary. Verify safety procedures, contingency plans, emergency call list, and other project details.

Volunteer Registration: Welcome and register all volunteers. Have volunteers sign waiver of liability and/or photo release, if necessary. Distribute name tags for all volunteers and staff. Distribute project T-shirts, if necessary. Offer brochures about your program or flyers about future volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Orientation: Gather all volunteers together for welcome and orientation. Thank volunteers. Present brief overview of the program, the project, and the community issue you are addressing. Be sure to discuss the impact the project can have on the community. Review the schedule for the day. Motivate volunteers through a group cheer or other activity. Discuss safety procedures and other important details for the day. Divide volunteers into task groups, with a task leader for each.

During the Project

Motivate and encourage volunteers: Thank them for their service. Manage the volunteers’ time for effective service. Make sure each person has a task to complete. Prioritize tasks; complete the most important jobs first. At the half-way point, ask volunteers if there is too much or not enough to do. Have back-up projects available for extra work.

Monitor safety: Be available/accessible for answering questions and troubleshooting. Encourage all volunteers and staff to have fun!

Project Closure

Clean up: Conduct a final walk-through of the service site, checking that all tasks have been completed, trash disposed of, and tools/materials put away.

Gather volunteers together and review the accomplishments of the day: Facilitate a reflection activity. Solicit feedback through a formal or informal evaluation. Thank volunteers and tell them of future service opportunities.

Safety Considerations

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Ensuring the safety of life and property is critical. By reviewing your project for possible hazards and educating your volunteers about safety, you will minimize the chances of personal injury or property damage. Always have a first aid kit on hand and a phone to call 911 if necessary.

The safety tips below may be useful while on site at an outdoor project. Please advise your volunteers to take these precautions, where applicable.

  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Remain hydrated!
  • Wear appropriate safety items such as gloves, goggles, dust masks, safety vests, and sturdy closed-toed shoes.
  • Watch out for sharp or dangerous objects such as broken glass or needles. Don’t ever pick these items up. Have volunteers stand by the object(s) while another gets the project leader, team leader, or CSO representative. Be cautious around bio-medical waste if encountered.
  • When finished with tools, be sure to put them in an appropriate place and with the points down. Please do not leave tools lying around as someone may be injured. Clean your materials/equipment before you leave.
  • If children are present, please watch them closely to be certain they are not playing with dangerous/inappropriate items.
  • If using a ladder, make sure that all the rungs are intact. When on a ladder, have a spotter. Make sure you are going up the ladder on the right side and do not stand on the top rung of the ladder. If using scaffolding, always have a spotter. Stay away from any electrical feeds.
  • Do not intentionally inhale chemical/gaseous fumes. Be on the lookout for poisonous insects, snakes, scorpions, etc., and keep your distance from them. Turn rocks away from you, not toward you. (Critters like to hide under them!)
  • Please do not wander away from the project, volunteer group, trail, or area where you are working.
  • Please report all incidents immediately to the project or team leader.

Tell volunteers where they can find the first aid kit. Whether indoors or outdoors, make sure to monitor and encourage safe behavior!

Know the Physical Address of the Site

When dialing 911 from a cell phone, the 911 call center may not be able to pinpoint your exact location. Always know the physical address of the service project, and be able to relay it to the 911 dispatcher. You or another volunteer/staff person may want to greet the emergency responders and direct them to the person needing assistance.


Logisitics - Knowledge Check