Designing and Managing Volunteer Programs 

Harness productive labor without remuneration.

Open opportunity to foster passion and informally market program.

Chapter 13 pp. 279

Volunteer Program Provides Structure to:

•      1.  Recruit Volunteers.

•      2.  Screen Volunteers.

•      3.  Provide Orientation.

•      4.  Assign Positions.

•      5.  Provide Training.

•      6.  Provide Supervision.

•      7.  Encourage and motivate.

•      8.  Give Recognition.

•      9.  Evaluate the Volunteer Program.

pp. 279-280

Planning Volunteer Program

•      Clearly state reasons for using volunteers.

•      Get “paid staff” to help design and buy into program.

•      Make volunteer program integral part of organization.

•      Make volunteer program leadership part of job description for paid position.

pp. 280

•      Create job descriptions for volunteer positions.

•      Plan for meeting needs of volunteers.

•      Develop management plan for volunteer program

•      Evaluate effectiveness of volunteer program.

•      Plan to recognize volunteer effort.

Why does the organization need a volunteer program?
Clearly state reasons for using volunteers

•      Danger:  Don’t call in volunteers before you do groundwork.

•      Danger:  Have a philosophy first.

•      Danger:  It ain’t free.  A sound volunteer program will take considerable resources.

•      Danger:  Compute costs and benefits.

pp. 280


The UP-SIDE 1.

•      Volunteers bring in passion and commitment.

•      Nurture closer ties with community; “outreach.”

•      Strengthen public awareness.

pp. 281


The UP-SIDE 2.

•      Volunteers make great fund raisers.

•      Volunteers project service to others rather than vested interest.

•      Volunteers have new contacts and sources for fund raising.

•        pp. 282

What is the philosophy behind the volunteer program?

•      What are the specific goals?

•      How is the volunteer program related to the work of “paid staff?” 

•      How do you assure “paid staff” that volunteers will not put them out of work?

•      How many and what kind of volunteers will you need?

•      How will you measure program effectiveness?

 Building volunteer program?

•      Get “Paid Staff” and prospective volunteers into the meetings and into the decision making..

•      Involvement in building process will inculcate ownership and commitment to program.

pp. 282-283


Program Design Meeting
The Agenda

•      Attendance and absenteeism.

•      Performance review procedures.

•      Benefits, such as insurance, parking, and continued education

•      Grievance procedures

•      Reimbursement policies.

pp. 283


•      Use of agency equipment and facilities.

•      Confidentiality requirements.

•      Probationary acceptance period.

•      Suspension and termination.

•      Record-keeping requirements.

Lower Volunteer Turnover by:

•      Give volunteers policy notebook.

•      Have formal job description.

•      Give volunteers training manual.

•      Formally evaluate volunteers.

•      “Empower” volunteers.

•      Provide recognition.

pp. 283-284

Integrate Volunteer Program into Organization

Volunteer Coordinator

•      Major voice in relevant decisions and policy-making.

•      Access to superiors to represent volunteers.

•      Promote volunteers’ interests.

•      Keep organization from taking them for granted.

•      Point of accountability for volunteer activities.

•      Focal point for volunteer contact with organization.

Pp. 286-288

Volunteer Coordinator: Duties

•      Volunteer recruitment, interviewing screening, orientation and training.

•      Publishing volunteer accomplishments.

•      Help determine need for volunteers: number, type, and expertise.

•      Assigns job placement and coordinates schedules.

•      Manages evaluation and recognition.

•      Maintains all records.

pp. 287

What should volunteers do?

•      Use employee survey or staff meeting, determine: jobs

–    they do periodically.

–    that do not require expertise of paid staff.

–    they don’t like or are uncomfortable about.

–    that require skills that the staff lacks.

pp. 288-289


Aspects of a Job Description

•       Job title and purpose.

•       Benefits to occupant.

•       Qualifications for position.

•       Time requirements.

•       Proposed starting date

•       Job responsibilities and activities

•       Authority invested in position.

•       Reporting relationship and supervisor.

pp. 289-290

Meeting needs of volunteers

•      Give them something useful to do.

•      Allow them to do something good for others.

•      Provide an interesting work environment.

•      Allow them to gain useful experience.

•      Enhance their social life.

pp. 290-293

Management Style for Volunteers

•      Building trust

•      Foster cooperation.

•      Rely on teamwork.

•      Provide challenges.

•      Give them a chance to grow.

•      Give them a share in accomplishments.

pp. 293-295

•      Provide the opportunity for excitement.

•      Encourage commitment.

•      Put them in positions where they can use their best skills and can foster their strongest motivations.

Evaluation and Recognition

•      Evaluation

–    Create evaluation tools to assess degree to which volunteer has met job objectives.

–    Manager, peer and self assessment process

–    Assessment of volunteer satisfaction with duties,schedule,suport, training,opportunities for personal growth.



•      Recognition and assessment

–    Always “thank” volunteers for job well done.

–    Create recognition ceremonies.

–    Develop process to have organization respond to volunteer assessment of program.

–    Involve volunteers in program improvement.