Managing Volunteers: Case Study
Suppose you have recently been hired by the newly reformed
Blue Earth County Humane Society as the Executive Director (and chief cook and
bottle-washer—this is a one-person shop).
You have a volunteer Board of Directors, a building with a phone (and an
answering machine), and a contract with (which is just enough to cover
basic operations—heat & lights, cat & dog food, litter, etc.—but no
money for staff beyond your measly salary). Blue Earth County
Your Board has instructed you to develop a volunteer program to staff
are sitting down at your desk (actually, a kitchen table in the basement,
surrounded by yapping dogs and spitting cats) and begin to pre-plan your
volunteer recruitment campaign.
sketch out a needs assessment, keeping in mind both the objectives to be
accomplished and the types of volunteer jobs those objectives will require.
reach for the three-ring binder and review the Policies & Procedures
section. To your dismay, you find that
there is no mention of volunteer workers.
Sketch out which sections will need to be rewritten, and what might be
included (of course, you will take any proposed changes to the Board before you
you are ready to write the key job descriptions.
Volunteers Case Study, 2
So, you took your needs assessment, policy manual
revisions, and job descriptions to your Board.
They were enthusiastic and promised to give you complete support. They even formed a task force of the Board to
work with you on the recruitment campaign.
It is now Wednesday at 4:30 PM; the task force members will be
arriving by 5:00. You want to give them some structure so the
meeting will go smoothly and the group will stay focused. Sketch out the following:
How might you position the campaign? What are potential appeals, and how
would you place those appeals?
Sketch out an application form that would be
used in the process
How will you structure the interview?
Volunteers Case Study, 3
By the Heavens, it actually worked!
You got all the volunteers you needed, and it looks like they will be a
On the other hand—it worked, and now you’ve got to
do something with all those people!
Sketch out your orientation plan for the new
Outline the training scripts that you will use
for the major categories of volunteer jobs.
Develop your supervisory plan (especially your
database for volunteer records and your performance measurement plan)
Outline your plan for keeping your volunteers
Finally, sketch out the elements that will be
included in your individual performance and volunteer program evaluations.