Develop a volunteer driver program

Volunteer driver programs can help your consumers get rides to key destinations.

If you would like to start a volunteer transportation program in Massachusetts, these resources may help you.

Volunteer Driver Practice Briefs

These reports share best practices and lessons learned from volunteer driver programs in Massachusetts.

Additional Resources

Toolkit: Resources for Volunteer Driver Programs

    National organizations

    Examples from Wellesley

    See below for sample resources developed by the Wellesley Council on Aging containing information about screening and training volunteers.

    Additional Resources

    Liability and Insurance

    Driver liability is one of the biggest perceived concerns when creating a volunteer driver program. The presentations below offer some guidance, but each organization should check with its own insurance carrier to find out what coverage options are available. No matter what an organization purchases in terms of liability insurance, drivers who use their automobiles in the course of volunteer service are covered by their own personal auto insurance policy first, with an organization’s policy providing secondary coverage.

    Massachusetts organizations usually run a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) search on any volunteer. Some organizations also verify that the volunteer has adequate personal auto insurance and check that the volunteer’s vehicle has passed a safety inspection. Organizations can also ask a driver to request their driving records from the Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles.

    Additional Resources

    Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

    Volunteer drivers come from a variety of backgrounds. Many programs in Massachusetts recruit through placing notices in the local newspaper, which will sometimes run them for free, or through advertising for volunteers in the Council on Aging newsletter. To support their volunteers, programs often address some of the challenges faced by volunteer drivers (such as the rising cost of gas and wear on one’s vehicle) by offering mileage reimbursement or a small stipend to offset the cost to the volunteer.

    Guidance on how to plan your volunteer recruitment and retention strategy:

    Websites where your organization can connect with volunteers:

    Training Opportunities

    A strong continuing training component is an important element of a successful volunteer program. In addition to general volunteer training, consider driver skills refresher, passenger assistance, cultural competency, and other important topics.

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