Volunteer Management

Explore topics in volunteer management, including recruitment and placement, orientation, retention, and recognition. This tutorial provides a foundation for your volunteer mobilization efforts. Click "Welcome" to begin.

Welcome

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Welcome to Volunteer Management, presented to you by the Corporation for National and Community Service in conjunction with Hands On Network! Hands On Network, an internationally recognized volunteer management resource organization, has developed a new generation of volunteer engagement techniques — tailored to today’s community service organization.

Volunteers can be your organization’s greatest asset as they significantly increase your capacity to serve the community. In this session, you will explore ways to provide meaningful service opportunities for volunteers; recruit volunteers with diverse skills and interests; and celebrate volunteers’ service. Learn to understand your volunteers so that you can support them in service roles where they will be successful and bring about real change in the community.

You may want to also take theUsing Volunteers for Project Planning andOn-site Project Management courses for more ideas on preparing for and working with volunteers. Also check out Utilizing Volunteers as Project Leaders to learn how to leverage volunteer leadership skills to increase your organization's capacity.

We hope you thoroughly enjoy this course! For questions and/or to receive additional information or training, please contact Hands On Network at training@HandsOnNetwork.org.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Better manage volunteers, their personalities, and their skills
  • Understand volunteer motivation
  • Develop a recruitment strategy
  • Recruit and schedule volunteers
  • Effectively motivate, engage, and communicate with volunteers
  • Connect volunteers to the mission of the project
  • Recognize different types of volunteers for their efforts

Volunteer Management – Notes & Next Steps

Download a this worksheet and as you go through this course, record your ideas to create an action plan for your volunteer management efforts: Vol_Mgmt-Notes_Next_Steps.pdf

Recruiting Volunteers

Without volunteers, most not-for-profits would suffer a drastic reduction in capacity to serve communities and achieve the mission of the organization. Recruitment is the first step in securing volunteer participation in your national service program.

Goals

In this section, we will review:

  • what motivates volunteers to serve
  • basic concepts related to volunteer recruitment
  • how to determine the types of volunteers you need for your program
  • what to include in a volunteer position description
  • strategies for recruiting volunteers

 

Understanding Volunteer Motivation

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Before you can begin recruiting volunteers, you first need to understand who volunteers and why.

In a report released in December 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted Americans’ strong commitment to volunteering. Between September 2005 and September 2006, about 61.2 million Americans volunteered at least once. Many factors motivate people to volunteer, including:

  • They were personally asked.
  • An organization with which they are affiliated is participating.
  • They have a personal connection to the mission of the project or organization.
  • They enjoy the type of work being performed.
  • They want to learn new skills.
  • They want to meet people.

One study from Independent Sector (2001) reports that of all people asked to volunteer 71% did so.

Volunteering is a great way to develop personal and professional skills. These skills include cultural awareness, creativity, problem solving, and teamwork.

Volunteering can also meet motivational needs, as outlined by McClelland and Atkinson’s Motivational Theory. According to this theory, people have three separate motivational needs, with one being predominate:

  • Affiliation – The affiliation-motivated person prefers personal interaction, works to make friends, likes to get involved with group projects, and prefers to be perceived as a “good” person.
  • Achievement – The achievement-motivated person prefers specific goals to work toward, seeks responsibility, sticks to tasks until completed, and sees problems as challenges.
  • Power – The power-motivated person prefers to impact and influence others, can work alone or in a group, can respond to needs of people or programs, and keeps an eye on overall goals of the agency.

Understanding why people volunteer and their motivational needs will help you target your recruitment strategies to engage the volunteers you need to achieve your project goals. While some people may only relate to their own personal reasons for volunteering, you must articulate the relationship between the service and the benefit to the community and/or the volunteer. You can convey this and other motivating messages in your recruitment communications and throughout the volunteers' service with your organization.

Preparing for Recruitment

Recruitment is the process of enlisting volunteers into the work of the program. Because volunteers give their time only when they are motivated to do so, recruitment is not a process of persuading people to do something they don’t want to do. Rather, recruitment should be seen as the process of showing people they can do something they already want to do.

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For example, people in your community may be concerned about the large homeless population, but they could feel overwhelmed by the thought of "curing" homelessness. In your recruitment messages, you can show them that they can do something (e.g., serving meals, collecting warm clothes, etc.) that will impact the issue of homelessness. They CAN do something to make a difference.

People know there are problems in the world-- that people, the environment, and animals need the support of people who care. As a volunteer recruiter it is your job to convince people that they are that person who cares, help them understand the personal incentives for volunteering, and point out exactly how they are capable of helping.

Your Program's History, Culture, and Cause

Before you begin to recruit, be sure you review and understand your national service program’s history, culture, and cause. Not only does this process help you inform potential volunteers about the program for which they will serve, it also gives you and other staff the opportunity to renew your committment to the organization, and to ensure you are prepared to engage and support volunteers. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How do we typically use our volunteers (committed or not, mostly service days, randomly, or regularly)?
  • Which programs are successful? Which are/were not?
  • With whom have we collaborated? Which of those unions were successful? Which were not?
  • What publicity (good or bad) has our program received that may affect our recruitment efforts?
  • Can we speak knowledgeably about our program’s mission/cause?
  • Do we feel comfortable speaking to how our projects will help achieve the mission of the national service program?
  • Can we clearly articulate to volunteers how their work will contribute to the program’s mission and goals?
  • Is our workplace open and friendly to volunteers?
  • Would we recommend volunteering in our program to close friends and family? Why or why not?

The ability to confidently and quickly answer these questions will come in very handy when recruiting volunteers.

Download the History, Culture, and Cause Worksheet to help you understand your program and get ready to recruit volunteers: HistoryCultureCauseWorksheet.pdf

Determining Your Volunteer Needs

Effective volunteer recruitment begins with a volunteer program that is well planned and executed and that offers meaningful work. Program staff should clarify the work that needs to be done to achieve the goals of the project/program and then segment that work into components that reflect the reality of today’s work force.

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]You will need to consider the type(s) of volunteers you need for your project or program. Think beyond your traditional volunteer base: Do you need someone with many hours to devote to the project, or people who want to serve only one afternoon? Is the project appropriate for children, seniors, or other people with different abilities and needs? Some trends and groups to consider include:

  • Long-term volunteering – Long-term service provides volunteers the opportunity to commit to a project or program that spans an extended period of time.
  • Short-term/episodic volunteering – Episodic volunteer opportunities include those that are of short duration and those that occur at regular intervals, such as annual events.
  • Family volunteering – Family volunteering provides volunteers the opportunity to participate in meaningful service while spending time with their families.
  • Student volunteering – Through volunteering with schools and youth groups, young people gain valuable knowledge and skills. Many schools integrate service-learning into their curricula by intentionally linking service to academic learning.
  • Internships – Through internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships, students gain valuable experience while serving the community service organization.
  • Virtual volunteering – Virtual and off-site volunteering allows community members to contribute time and expertise without ever leaving their home.

For many volunteer opportunities, you can work with an advisory team or conduct a survey to identify volunteer assignments that will help advance the goals of the program. If you are working on a specific service project, you can determine your volunteer needs through developing a task list. Consider what you want to accomplish and the tasks needed; then create a comprehensive list of the assignments and the number of volunteers needed for each task.

Defining Volunteer Roles

Once you know your program’s volunteer needs, you should clearly outline what volunteers will do, what skills are required, and the support/benefits they will receive.

Volunteer Position Descriptions

The volunteer position description is a very useful tool for defining volunteer roles. It outlines responsibilities, support, and benefits of specific volunteer opportunities. It also strengthens your recruitment efforts because it defines the assignment, skills, abilities, and interests necessary to perform the task successfully. A volunteer position description should include the following components:

  • Title – Provide a descriptive title that gives the volunteer a sense of identity. This will also help program staff and other volunteers understand the assigned role.
  • Purpose/objective – Use no more than two sentences to describe the specific purpose of the position. If possible, state the purpose in relation to the nonprofit’s mission and goals.
  • Location – Describe where the person will be working.
  • Key responsibilities – List the position’s major responsibilities. Clearly define what the volunteer is expected to do as part of this assignment.
  • Qualifications – Clearly list education, experience, knowledge, skills, and age requirements. Also note if the opportunity is accessible to people with disabilities. If a background check is required, it should be indicated here.
  • Time commitment – Note the length of the assignment, hours per week, and/or other special requirements.
  • Training/support provided – Define the nature and length of all general and position-specific training required for the assignment. List resources and other support available to volunteers.
  • Benefits – Describe any benefits available to the volunteer (e.g., lunch, T-shirt, development opportunities, etc.).
  • Volunteer supervisor and contact information – List the staff person or volunteer leader who will be working most directly with the volunteer and his/her contact information.

Download the Volunteer Position Description Worksheet to help you define volunteer roles for your program: VolunteerPositionDescription.pdf

Creating a Recruitment Strategy

You have determined your volunteer needs and created a task list and/or position descriptions for the assignments. The next step is to create a recruitment strategy to determine whom you will ask to volunteer and how you will ask them.

First, examine the volunteer positions to be filled. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who will be qualified for and interested in this position?
  • Who will be able to meet the time commitments?
  • Where will we find these people?
  • What motivates them to serve?
  • What is the best way to approach them?

Now that you have decided whom to recruit, you need to start thinking about how to target them. Remember that different messages will appeal to different audiences, so you will want to use a variety of recruitment methods.

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Recruitment Methods

You can use targeted recruitment that is focused and addressed to a specific audience where people will have the skills, interests, and availability needed to fill your positions. Broad-based recruitment can be effective for positions requiring minimal training or for when you need a lot of people for a short-term event. Here are a few ways of recruiting volunteers:

  • The personal ask is always the most compelling!
  • Post your volunteer opportunity on your program's website, other volunteer sites, and social networking sites such as Facebook. Post flyers or brochures strategically around the community.
  • Distribute flyers in places where potential volunteers congregate.
  • Partner with volunteers from a school, corporation, community center, faith-based group, or other nonprofit.
  • Utilize local media (e.g., newspapers and radio) to spread the word about your volunteer opportunities.
  • Network with community groups and leaders.
  • Use online forums and/or blogs to spread the word.
  • Work with your local volunteer center.

Ask permission: Don't forget to ask permission to display information in specific locations. You may also want to ask the owners/managers to attend an orientation so they can better inform interested volunteers who pick up a flyer.

Where to Look

No matter the volunteer opportunity, you should have some idea of where to look for volunteers in your community. Consider a wide range of individuals and groups that are potential volunteers for your program or project, as well as locations to post flyers and brochures:

  • Faith-based groups and/or houses of worship
  • Military bases or retired military groups
  • Unions and trade workers associations
  • Sororities and fraternities
  • Teachers associations
  • Retired firefighter, police, and executive associations
  • Moms’ groups
  • Realtors (welcome wagon packages)
  • Independent living homes
  • Disability services groups
  • Youth organizations (e.g., Scouts, 4-H, Boys & Girls Clubs)
  • Other national service programs
  • Grocery store billboards
  • Bingo halls
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Public transit stations
  • Shopping malls
  • Job counseling offices
  • Schools
  • Salons
  • Restaurants

Here are some other ideas about how to build volunteer initiatives:

  • Make sure all staff know about the opportunities available for volunteering with your program and where to refer interested volunteers.
  • Integrate volunteer management skills into staff training.
  • Visit off-site volunteer projects so that the volunteers associate your program with the project.
  • Use surveys to find out the interests of volunteers.
  • Use descriptions for volunteer positions that are clear and straightforward.

Remember: Anyone can be a volunteer. People vary by age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and income. Not all volunteers are the same and not all types of volunteering will appeal to all groups, so have diverse volunteering opportunities available and target recruitment in ways that will appeal to different groups.

Your recruitment strategy is the key to engaging the right number of people with the right skills, interests, and availability for the job. Make sure to plan for a wide variety of volunteers at your project. If you have too few participants, the project will likely go unfinished. If you have too many, some volunteers will have little to do and might feel that their time was ill spent. Careful planning and recruitment will help ensure a successful volunteer project.

Download a Recruitment Strategy Worksheet to help you determine whom you will ask to volunteer and how you will recruit them: RecruitmentStrategyWorksheet.pdf

Recruiting Volunteers - Knowledge Check

Scheduling Volunteer Service

How you schedule your service projects and opportunities significantly affects the success of your volunteer recruitment efforts.

Goals

In this section, we will discuss how to maximize recruitment efforts and strengthen your volunteer base by:

  • working with volunteers' varying  schedules, and
  • using project calendars.

 

Working with Volunteers' Schedules

Imagine being a potential volunteer: You are a single parent whose only "family time" is on the weekends; a woman who works swing shift; or a large youth group. How does your program offer projects that appeal to these volunteers?

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Just as volunteers come from different backgrounds and community groups, they also have a wide variety of schedules. In order to engage the highest number of volunteers, consider ways to coordinate service events for people with varying schedules, needs, and interests:

  • Include volunteer efforts at different times of day and different days of the week.
  • Have flexible hours or recruit volunteers to serve in shifts instead of an entire day.
  • Plan projects around multiple impact areas or diverse opportunities within a single issue.
  • Offer family-friendly projects in which parents and their children can serve together.
  • Provide opportunities for first-time volunteers and for volunteers with more advanced skills.
  • Plan projects for individuals and for groups.
  • Include indoor and outdoor projects.
  • Offer short-term and long-term projects.

Brainstorm ideas for projects that would appeal to the different types of volunteers. Consider:

  • long-term volunteers
  • short-term volunteers
  • families
  • youth
  • interns
  • virtual volunteers

Be sure to think about projects that meet volunteers' schedules, needs, and interests, including projects that occur at different times, have flexible hours, address various impact areas, and require skilled and/or first-time volunteers.

Using a Project Calendar

A project calendar is a listing of available volunteer opportunities and other information about your program or projects. Project calendars are a great way to inform volunteers about upcoming service projects, recruit new volunteers, and engage new project sponsors.

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]In addition to an actual calendar outlining volunteer opportunities for the month, project calendars should include a brief description of the projects listed. Sort project descriptions according to impact area (e.g., health, the elderly, education) and be sure to outline important details such as age requirements, times, locations, the number of volunteers needed, how to register, and each project leader’s contact information. Don’t forget to specify who the project is appropriate for, such as families, first-time volunteers, or volunteers with specific skills.

Get more from your calendar. A project calendar can be used for more than just detailing the upcoming projects. You can also use it as a newsletter to spotlight certain volunteers or projects, provide updates on your national service program, share news flashes, and highlight special events. Other calendar items might include volunteer orientation and recognition events.

Web-Based Calendars

Web-based calendars are calendars that can be created online, posted to a web page, and easily updated when necessary. They can help you with organizing projects, tracking project dates, scheduling, and recruitment. Many web-based calendars will even remind you when scheduled events are about to happen, either with an online pop-up message or an automatic e-mail. This is a very convenient feature for those managing a lot of projects.

You can create and post a web-based calendar either on your own site, an already established calendar site, or a newly created, remote site. Many websites allow you to create customized calendars that reside on their site instead of on your own. These are great, but there may be a cost associated with the service.

Of course, you don't have to use commercial calendar-creation software or websites at all. If you are ambitious, you can create your own calendar! If you have the knowledge — or can solicit an in-kind donation of a software creator/programmer — you can create your own custom calendar with all the features you want and need.

There are a few things you should consider if you are thinking of using a web-based project calendar:

  • Ease of use. Is the site easy to use? Will volunteers be able to find project information quickly and easily? Will they be able to find the calendar and sign up for projects with only a few clicks?
  • Information requirements. Many of the websites that host free online calendars require users to register and provide personal information. If you don’t want your volunteers/community members to be forced to give out such information, you may not want to use one of the online versions of these calendars.
  • Security. Some online calendar services are not very secure. Look for a site that uses a secure server that you, your volunteers, and community members have to log onto to use. This is important if you want to post private data.
  • Maintenance and support. Identify who will support and maintain the site and how. You need to find out if the company that created the site provides support or if you are expected to do so. If no support is provided, then you’ll need to find out how to support and maintain the site for little to no cost.
  • Exposure to advertising. Most commercial calendar sites require users to look at ads while using their calendars. Because most of those sites are free, they depend on ads to make money. If you don't want your volunteers and community members to see these ads, then you should probably use calendar-creation software instead of a website service.
  • Stability. Consider the stability of the calendar system. Does it tend to crash or have significant delays? Will your projects be easily searchable and easy to find?

Web-based calendars are not for everyone; however, they're popping up everywhere, in many forms! Even if your organization is not techno savvy and you don't know much about computers and software, you can find easy-to-use programs or websites that will fulfill most of your project scheduling needs.

Print Calendars

You can publish a monthly or even weekly project calendar as a newsletter. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep articles short and include pictures.
  • Make it consistent, readable, and easy to follow.
  • Use a variety of serious issues and happy things.
  • Involve program staff and volunteers in writing articles.
  • Mail the project calendars to volunteers, partners, supporters, and other interested individuals.
  • Distribute the calendars where you can reach prospective volunteers, as determined in your recruitment strategy.

Offering diverse service opportunities for volunteers and marketing the events through project calendars are great recruiting and scheduling tools. Current and prospective volunteers will be more informed about upcoming projects that fit their schedules, needs, and interests.

*Part of this information is adapted from materials from Hands On Charlotte, a member organization of Hands On Network.

Scheduling Volunteer Service - Knowledge Check

Retaining Volunteers

The best way to increase your volunteer base is to retain current volunteers. Volunteer retention is the key to success! There is no point in being good at recruitment, project management, and follow-up if you cannot keep volunteers coming back.

Goals

In this section, we will look at techniques for increasing volunteer retention throughout the service project lifecycle, including:

  • tapping into volunteers' motivations before a project
  • keeping volunteers engaged during a service project
  • the importance of maintaining communication with volunteers after their service

 

Motivating Volunteers

Most problems of volunteer retention can usually be traced to issues of volunteer motivation. From the very beginning of volunteer involvement in your service activities, you should maintain good communication with them. You can motivate them to stay interested and involved in your project with a few simple steps:

  • Be prompt. Be sure to reply to phone calls and/or e-mails from volunteers within 24 hours.
  • Clearly explain duties. Be thorough in your explanation of the volunteer duties. Volunteers will be more likely to sign up if they know exactly what they will be doing, and the likelihood of a positive experience is greater when they know what to expect at the project.
  • Share knowledge. Use this opportunity to teach potential volunteers about the issue area, the community agency they will be serving, and the potential impact of the project.
  • Be personal. Use their names often — this helps develop a personal connection.
  • Be reliable. Keep the commitments you make. People will not support you if you don’t provide information requested, address issues they bring up, and/or miss scheduled appointments.

Understanding Volunteers' Concerns

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]When managing a volunteer project, one of your objectives is to make the project such a great experience that volunteers return again and again. To make your project one that volunteers will love, it is helpful to understand what they might be thinking. The following list of questions offers you an opportunity to think about your project from the perspective of a volunteer. Be able to answer the following from the volunteer’s perspective:

  • What time is the project?
  • How do I get there? Is parking available? Is there a shuttle and/or public transportation?
  • Whom do I meet when I get to the project site and where exactly do I meet them?
  • What are the tasks that I can sign up for?
  • What should I wear?
  • What should I bring?
  • After I arrive at the site, will I get clear directions on what to do?
  • Will I understand why this work is important to the community?
  • Will food and beverages be provided?
  • Is what’s being asked of me reasonable? Is it safe and do I have the capability to do it?
  • Will it be fun?
  • Will I feel like my presence is needed in the work being done?
  • Will there be enough work to do and adequate materials and supplies to complete it?
  • During the project, where can I go to take a break, store my belongings, get something to drink, warm up, or cool down?
  • Can I be reassigned to another task if I don’t enjoy what I’m doing or feel I’m not effective?
  • After the work is finished, who will let me know if what I did was important and effective?
  • If I have questions, will it be easy to get accurate and complete answers?
  • If I have an idea or a complaint, how do I give input or make a suggestion?

Communicating with Volunteers

Continue to be in contact with your team. Keeping volunteers motivated and excited about your project is the best guarantee for success! The more contact you provide, the more engaged your volunteers will be, and the more motivated they will be to serve.

Compile a list of things volunteers should know about your project (e.g., what to wear, what to bring, what to expect at the project, whom and when to meet, etc.). Confirm service project details with volunteers with a phone call or e-mail that:

  • Introduces you (or another staff person, partner, or volunteer) as the project leader
  • Thanks them for volunteering
  • Provides the date and time of the project, service site address, directions, and information about parking or public transportation
  • Describes what will occur at the project
  • Lets volunteers know what to wear or not wear to the project
  • Encourages volunteers to bring supplies they may have
  • Tells volunteers whom to contact if they have a change in plans
  • Directions to site, information on parking and public transportation
  • A final (second) thank you

Send this message to volunteers when they register and again the week of the project. If you include task/job descriptions, make sure the descriptions are clear about any special skills required to participate in the task. The need for special clothing, gloves, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, or power tools should be communicated clearly.

If possible, call volunteers as well. This will help increase the number of volunteers who actually show up to serve.

By communicating all details and project background to volunteers and staying in touch with them frequently, they will begin to create an attachment to your organization and the project before they even arrive. Thus, they are more likely to show up on the day of the project and want to stay involved with your program for future volunteer opportunities.

Download a Volunteer Project Information Form you can use to help guide your pre-project volunteer communication: VolunteerProjectInfoForm.pdf

Presenting a Volunteer-Friendly Environment

Another key element to volunteer retention is organizational climate. In addition to maintaining good communication with volunteers, remember these tips for presenting a volunteer-friendly environment:

  • Structure – Volunteers like to be a part of a project/program that is well organized! Allow for flexibility, but also provide structure for your volunteers.
  • Responsibility – Everyone wants to feel needed! Therefore, create a structure that allows you to delegate responsibilities to your volunteers. Volunteers like a sense of challenge and permission to take risks.
  • Reward – Volunteers like to be rewarded appropriately for a job well done! A good program will emphasize positive rewards rather than emphasizing or threatening punishment.
  • Warmth – The feeling of good fellowship, acceptance, and appreciation is key to making volunteers feel welcome! It helps if a program has a prevailing mood that is friendly and informal, without cliques or unspoken rules. Try to foster a sense of mutual support, with helpfulness on the part of managers, staff, and other experienced volunteers.
  • Conflict – A difference in opinion shouldn't be considered a liability. Listen to and show value to volunteer opinions! Conflicts in opinion should be aired, not ignored.
  • Identity – Volunteers like the feeling of belonging to a group and being a valuable member of a working team. Make sure to recognize your volunteers and reward them appropriately.

Providing a structure in which volunteers feel welcome, appreciated, and useful is key in retaining volunteers.

Engaging Volunteers

Volunteer management incorporates elements of project management. Having a well-planned and well-run service project will make the volunteer experience more enjoyable and meaningful, thus encouraging volunteers to engage in future service. Here are some tips for managing a smooth volunteer service project.

Registration and Check-in

At the service site, designate a place for volunteers to check in. This will allow you to better manage volunteers who attend the project and effectively track their volunteer hours. Welcome volunteers as they arrive.

Use nametags and get to know your volunteers. Introduce volunteers to one another and encourage interaction.
Nametag Teambuilding: Build a sense of team among your volunteers with nametags. You can use different types of nametags (shape, color, stickers, etc.) to create teams. Ask volunteers to find others with similar nametags and get to know each other while they're waiting for the project to start or to form task groups to work together throughout the day.

Orientation and Training

Orientation and training are vital parts of any service experience. This portion of the project has many positive impacts on volunteers. Most importantly, it makes volunteers feel connected to the community agency, clients, and their community; it makes their work more meaningful; and in turn, it makes them more likely to engage in future service.

NOTE: More about volunteer orientation and training is covered later in this course.

Project Management

How you manage the logistics of the project can influence the volunteers' experience and the likelihood of their serving with you again. Even if you provide great pre-service orientation and follow-up, volunteers will judge their experience based largely on the service itself.

NOTE: Check out the On-site Project Management course for an in-depth look at this topic.

Utilization

Make sure every volunteer has something to do throughout the project. Underutilization is one of the biggest threats to retention. If volunteers do not feel needed, they probably won't return for future projects. One way to ensure full engagement of volunteers is to carefully plan your tasks for the day. While still in the project development phase, work with other project leaders to prioritize tasks. Determine which tasks should be completed first, and assign volunteers to those areas.

Try to ensure that the project runs smoothly and that volunteers are able to see their completed work at the end of the day. Also have some "back-up" tasks lined up so volunteers who finish their initial tasks can still be active in the project.

Unique Volunteers

An important aspect of volunteer management is recognizing that each volunteer has unique skills, strengths, interests, and personalities. Throughout the project, get to know your volunteers so you can match them to the task that best fits them. Understanding volunteers' unique traits can help you position them in different teams so they have the best chance of personal success and compatability with you and other volunteers.

When you are dealing with groups, you are almost guaranteed to encounter clashing personalities. Remember that opposite personalities can complement one another if they try to understand the other's perspective. Treat every individual with dignity and respect.

Dealing With Conflict
If you do have a conflict, remember these steps:

  • Talk openly and professionally with your volunteer to try to eliminate the problem.
  • Consult with a colleague or another project leader who can troubleshoot with you on ways to resolve the problem.
  • Document any incidents immediately and contact the office if you do not feel you can resolve the problem.
  • If a client or student (of the agency/school where you're serving) is causing the problem, consult with the agency/school representative immediately. The agency/school is responsible for managing the clients; you are responsible for managing the volunteers.

It is important to recognize and deal with "problem" volunteers. You cannot just ignore the problem and expect it to go away. It will affect other volunteers and their service experience, and may influence them negatively.

Project Closure

Close the project with a time of reflection, celebration, and recognition. Take time to help volunteers see the impact of their service and celebrate their accomplishments. For example, the Oregon Food Bank helps volunteers see the impact of their service by ending projects with an announcement of the number of pounds of food packaged during the project, how many meals that is, and how many families are impacted by their volunteer work. Don't forget to thank volunteers often for their work and invite them to participate in future projects!

NOTE: Reflection and recognition techniques are covered more thoroughly later in this course.

Maintaning Volunteer Communication

Post-project communication is a must! Maintaining connections with volunteers will encourage them to stay active with your organization and can lead to future service opportunities.

There are many ways in which you can maintain communication with volunteers after the project. Here are popular methods:

  • Mailing lists – Add new volunteers to your organization's mailing list. Regular e-mail, newsletters, or other information will help retain their sense of connection to your organization and increase the liklihood that they will volunteer with you again.
  • Thank-you letters – You can send electronic or physical thank-you letters to individual volunteers. Include personalized thanks as well as information on future projects.
  • Follow-up evaluations – Sending out electronic or physical evaluations to volunteers not only shows that you care about the management of the project, but it also allows you to further communicate with volunteers. Try attaching a thank-you letter to the evaluation.
  • Internet forums – Internet forums (also known as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, discussion forums, or bulletin boards) are online discussion groups. In forums, you can develop a sense of virtual community surrounding specific topics or an area of interest. Many project leaders have found forum discussions a great way to solicit feedback, collaborate, communicate, and/or publicize their future projects.
  • Online blogs – Weblogs (or "blogs") are a great way to communicate with volunteers. They are a vehicle for unique voices within the virtual community to provide commentary, reporting, guidance, communication, and/or publicity for a project! Blogs can also be a good recruitment tool for future projects.
  • Articles in local newspapers – You can contact the photo desk of a local newspaper to invite a photographer to snap some pictures of volunteers in action. After the project is complete, send out a thank-you letter with a link or note directing volunteers to the newspaper article that features all the hard work they accomplished.

Retaining Volunteers - Knowledge Check

Orienting & Training Volunteers

While you are planning volunteer service projects and opportunities, you must also consider how you will orient and train volunteers. In order for your volunteers to have a meaningful service experience, they need to know not only what they will accomplish, but also the issue that the service project addresses and the impact it will make on the community.

Goals

In this section we will discuss:

  • the purpose and benefits of volunteer orientation
  • techniques for effectively orienting volunteers
  • the purpose of volunteer training
  • planning an effective volunteer training

 

Volunteer Orientation

Orientation is a vital part of any service experience. The orientation and issue education portion of a service project can have many positive impacts on volunteers. It allows them to:Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]

  • See the impact they are having on the agency and its clients
  • Understand their role in fulfilling a greater need
  • Better understand the critical needs of the community
  • Better understand how to affect change within the issue area being addressed
  • Feel connected to the agency, its clients, and the community
  • View their work as something meaningful

Addtional Benefits of Volunteer Orientation

Reduce Volunteer Anxiety:
Any volunteer, when put into a new and unfamiliar situation, can experience anxiety that may impede his or her ability to learn to do the job. Proper orientation helps to reduce this anxiety by providing guidelines so that volunteers don’t have to experience the stress of guessing.

Limit Volunteer Turnover/Attrition:
Volunteer turnover/attrition increases as volunteers feel they are not valued, or are put in positions where they can't possibly do their jobs. Orientation shows the volunteer that he or she is valued and helps provide the tools necessary to succeed.

Save Time for Program Management Staff:
Simply put, the better the initial orientation, the less likely you will have to spend time teaching volunteers throughout the project.

Develop Realistic Expectations, Positive Attitudes, and Project Satisfaction:
It is important that volunteers learn early on what is expected of them and what to expect from others, in addition to learning about the values and attitudes of the organization. While people can learn from experience, a proper orientation helps volunteers avoid potentially damaging mistakes.

Planning for Volunteer Orientation

Your volunteer orientation should include an outline of the project and what volunteers will be doing during the project, so that everyone knows what to expect and what is expected of them. In addition to the project outline, your orientation should include the following:

  • Overview of your program’s mission, purpose, and history
  • Overview of the community agency's mission and services and how volunteer support is contributing to that mission
  • Explanation of how your volunteers' support is contributing to the community and/or a discussion on the community issue being addressed by the agency and/or the project
  • Brief history of the issue, current statistics, current events related to the issue area (e.g., legislation activity), and other civic engagement opportunities linked to this issue (advocacy training, future service projects)
  • Description of what will happen during the volunteer project and how that impacts the agency and community
  • Information on follow-up projects and/or other volunteer opportunities linked to this issue

Also plan for the resources you will need to orient and train volunteers effectively. Consider these things:

  • TIME: When will you conduct the orientation and training? How much time will you need? Will more than one training session be necessary?
  • LOCATION: Will orientation and training be held at the service site or at another location? Do you need a large space, chairs, tables, electricity? Can you provide information to volunteers online and/or in print before the project?
  • FACILITATORS: Can you or one of your staff members lead training, or will you need someone else with project-specific skills? Is on-site training required? If so, who will lead it? Who from the partner agency will speak to volunteers about the agency's mission and challenges, how the project will impact the organization, and how volunteers can become involved on an on-going basis?
  • INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS: Will you need printed materials, a PowerPoint presentation, or online training?

Volunteers deserve a thorough understanding the organization, issues, and skills required to provide effective service and to maximize their own learning. As a program manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that volunteers get the necessary training and orientation to be successful in their project endeavors.

Tips for Volunteer Orientation

Use these tips to best orient your volunteers:

  1. Present the most important information first.
    Make sure to thank volunteers for their attendance, tell them the mission of your organization, and finish with what will be accomplished by taking part in the project.
  2. Emphasize people as well as procedures and things.
    Volunteers should be able to identify all project leaders as well as the other volunteers with whom they will be working. They should also know where to go and whom to contact for questions and answers.
  3. Partner new volunteers with experienced ones.
    This form of informal coaching provides ongoing support. Make sure the more experienced volunteer wants to buddy up and has the interpersonal skills to do so.

Orientation — or the lack of it — will make a significant difference in how quickly volunteers can become productive.
 

Volunteer Training

In addition to project orientation, you may need to provide training on the community issue that is being addressed through the service project. By illustrating how the project is linked to a community issue, you can deepen volunteer knowledge and motivation to act on this issue. Volunteers may already have an understanding of the issue the community faces; however, additional education is often helpful in connecting volunteers with real community needs.

You may also need to train volunteers for the work they will be doing. Some volunteers might already have the necessary skills; however, many will need some specific instruction. If volunteers are prepared for the service project, they will feel more comfortable with the work, the project will run more smoothly, and your team will more likely achieve its goals for the project.

Training and other educational opportunities should be made available to your volunteers throughout their connection with your program/organization. This training and continued education may include additional information on how to perform the volunteer assignment (beyond orientation) or specific issue education around the issue the project addresses. This additional training might be provided either by your organization, the community agency, or by a partner organization that provides educational programming to outside groups.

Planning for Training

As with orientation, training requires careful planning. Think through your learning objectives, the resources you need, and how to structure your training session(s) to best meet volunteer needs. Keep these things in mind:

  • Plan ways to include each stage of the Experiential Learning Cycle: experience, describe, interpret, generalize, and apply. Provide ways for participants to not just learn new information, but apply it to the project and beyond.
  • Understand the need for learner participation in the training. What do they want and need to know, and how can you provide it?
  • Understand and appreciate participants' backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, and faiths. Is your training designed to appeal to a diverse audience?
  • Recognize various learning styles and structure your training to stimulate those who are visual learners, auditory learners, and tactile learners.

 

Tips for Volunteer Training

If you spend time carefully planning your volunteer training, it is much more likely to be effective and meet the needs of your volunteers. Review the following tips for when it comes time to facilitate a training session:

  1. Be age-appropriate and sensitive to diversity.
    Make sure to apply age-appropriate learning principles and culturally relevant information in your trainings.
  2. Apply information to current, real-world needs..
    Adults learn best by applying information to current, real-world needs. Select training and development methods that allow volunteers to apply new information and skills on the project site to a real-life problem. On-site training can be very powerful when complemented with new information and time for reflection.
  3. Promote information exchange and reflection.
    Adults learn best by exchanging feedback about experiences. They also benefit a great deal from ongoing feedback around their experiences when applying new information. Ideally, you can do this through reflection, which allows volunteers the opportunity to describe (a) the results of their learning new information and skills, (b) what they thought would happen at the project, (c) what actually happened and why, and (d) what they gained from the experience.
  4. Recognize the range of experience volunteers bring.
    Realize that people bring a wide range of experience to a training session and that sharing experiences helps them learn. Whenever possible, involve your audience. However, do remember that you and your fellow trainers are perceived as the "experts." Share your own ideas and don't expect the participants to do all the work.
  5. It's okay if you don't have all the answers.
    Don't be afraid to admit you don't know something. Open it up to the participants for discussion or offer to find out and get back to the group.

 

Orienting & Training Volunteers - Knowledge Check

Reflecting with Volunteers

Reflection is an important part of any service activity. Reflection should be designed to help volunteers see the impact of their service. Understanding how their service impacts the community encourages volunteers to be involved in future projects.

Goals

In this section we look at:

  • the importance of service reflection, and
  • how to facilitate a service reflection activity with volunteers.

 

Why Volunteer Reflection?

Reflection allows volunteers to stop for a moment, think about what they’ve accomplished, share their experiences, and offer feedback for future projects or ideas for how they will continue to address the social issue. Reflection is designed to encourage volunteers to examine the project so that they see the impact of their service. Understanding how their service impacts the community encourages volunteers to be involved in future projects.

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Planning for Reflection

To make the service experience as meaningful as possible for your volunteers, spend some time planning how you will engage them in reflection. Reflection can be conducted in many ways: Volunteers can have group discussions, write about their experience, create a photo-journal of the project, or respond to quotes about service or the issue.

When planning your service activity, decide which form of reflection you will use, and then tailor the reflection activity to the project. For example, if volunteers are assisting with arts and crafts classes at a daycare provider, they might create a simple art project about their service experience.

When to Facilitate Reflection

Reflection can take place at any time during the service project, so be prepared to lead the volunteers through this experience. Following are some ideas for creating the best environment for reflection discussion to take place:

  • At the Beginning:
    Reflection can be included in volunteer orientation. A representative of the community agency should discuss the organization's mission and purpose. As a group, explore how the work being completed will directly impact that community. The community agency representative can also use this time to discuss the ongoing volunteer opportunities available with the agency and sign up individuals who are interested.
  • During the Project:
    You can faciliate reflection while volunteers are serving. If volunteers are engaged in quiet or simple tasks, you could lead a discussion while they are working. If volunteers are engaged in tasks that prevent discussion, one reflection idea is to post flyers around the service site with facts about the issue; this can encourage volunteers to think about and discuss the impact of their service. Another idea is to have a large banner available on which volunteers can jot down their reflections throughout the project.
  • At the End:
    Once service has been completed, gather everyone around and engage people in conversation by asking them to share their stories about what was accomplished during the event. Make arrangements to include people from the community served in a post-service discussion. At the conclusion of the discussion ask people to make a commitment to assist that community agency with their needs and commit to inspiring others in their local community.

Facilitating Reflection

There are three easy steps for facilitating a successful reflection activity: serve, understand, and inspire.

Step One: Serve! 

Ask volunteers the “WHAT” question (i.e., What happened today?):

  • With the community agency representative, congratulate and thank volunteers for achieving the goal at the end of the project.
  • With the agency representative, connect the day’s volunteer service to broader contemporary issues. The representative might offer a short story or anecdote that will demonstrate the impact.
  • With the agency representative, offer some statistics to give a scope of the social concern.

Step Two: Understand!

Ask volunteers the “SO WHAT” question (i.e., What are the consequences of the day’s actions?):

  • Hold a group conversation about a central issue related to the day’s service.
  • Choose a quote to begin a conversation related to that quote.
  • Ask volunteers to offer their life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education that they can use to make a positive impact.

Step Three: Inspire!

Ask volunteers the “NOW WHAT” question (i.e., What are the next steps to have further positive impact?):

  • Give homework. Encourage volunteers to tell their stories of volunteer service to others.
  • Be sure to point out that our friends, co-workers, or family members will be inspired to volunteer because they know that you were able to make a real change in our communities.
  • Be prepared to take advantage of the enthusiasm that service can create. Have a system for signing volunteers up for the next project or for managing interest of new leaders if they come forward.

Tips for Leading Reflection

Whether you are leading your reflection activities at the beginning, throughout, or at the end of the project, remember to encourage each volunteer to contribute to the discussion and make sure that all volunteers have an opportunity to share their thoughts.

Reflection is important, so ensure that everyone can participate as much as she or he feels comfortable. Use the following tips to help you facilitate effectively:

  1. Introduce yourself. Be sure the participants know who you are, and establish yourself in the role of facilitator.
  2. Avoid yes-or-no questions. Give participants an opportunity to share more than a one-word answer.
  3. Encourage participation from all. If you notice that one participant seems to be controlling the conversation, take his or her comment, turn it into a question, and ask another (quieter) participant directly.
  4. Use eye contact. Be sure to make eye contact with participants, and listen to their answers.
  5. Be relaxed! Just let the conversation flow, and don’t feel pressured to keep the structure rigid.
  6. Be flexible. If you feel the conversation getting off track, but you think the comments are useful, let the conversation continue in that way. Again, don’t feel pressured to stick to a script/plan.
  7. Say thank you. Thank everyone for participating!
  8. Use quotations. Read a relevant quotation and ask volunteers to respond to how the quotation relates to the completed project.
  9. Break into discussion groups. If time and space permits, have volunteers break up into small discussion groups and provide them with a discussion topic using quotations or community issue-area impact data; or challenge them as a “think tank” to address specific issues the community agency would like help with.

No matter the method, make sure to initiate a reflection conversation at your service project. Doing this will help the volunteers form a deeper connection to the community and their mission.

Download a useful list of reflection questions and quotes related to some of today's biggest issues: ReflectionIdeas.pdf

Recognizing Volunteers

Recognition is a key component of volunteer management. Volunteers need to know that their service has made an impact and that they are appreciated by the community, fellow volunteers, and program staff.

Goals

In this section we will look at:

  • the importance of volunteer recognition and celebration
  • ways to tailor recognition to the individual volunteer
  • concrete ideas for recognizing and celebrating volunteers

 

Why Recognize Volunteers?

When individuals are in an environment where they feel appreciated and needed, the organization sees a number of positive effects. When celebrating service, it is important to acknowledge the accomplishments of everyone involved. Honor the volunteers, but also remember to include:

  • Project leaders
  • Community members
  • Community agency partners
  • Your organizational staff and leaders
  • Any financial supporters
  • Any other groups or individuals who helped make the service opportunity possible

Aside from the wish to show appreciation, there are several reasons to recognize and celebrate those involved in service:

TO EDUCATE...

  • Educate everyone participating in the celebration about the scope, meaning, and value of volunteer services to your organization, the community, and/or the community agency where you served.
  • Report the outcomes of the volunteers' efforts.
  • Gain publicity for the organization and the program.

TO INSPIRE...

  • Recommit (re-enthuse) volunteers for future service opportunities.
  • Challenge all volunteers through recognition of the accomplishments of a selected few.
  • Recruit new volunteers to participate in future projects.

TO HIGHLIGHT ACHIEVEMENTS...

  • Say thank you for everything and anything volunteered to the organization; make sure everyone volunteering feels appreciated.
  • Acknowledge the contributions of staff, donors, and others who contributed to the success of the project.

TO HAVE FUN!

  • Allow volunteers and staff a chance to have fun together and share in a job well done.
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers, staff, donors, and community members to build relationships and think of future ways to serve together.

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]Volunteer recognition does not have to cost a lot, and there are many alternatives to the traditional annual recognition banquet. Use your imagination and think outside the box to come up with some fun, inexpensive ideas that volunteers will enjoy.

No matter what other celebration events you may plan, be sure to take time at the end of a service experience for recognition. You can combine recognition and reflection as participants discuss the significance of the day, celebrate the work completed, and explore the impact it will have on the community and/or the social issue addressed.

If you are unable to initiate a celebration (formal or informal) at the end of the project, try implementing the following recognition ideas throughout the service project:

  • Distribute thank-you gifts during the project (e.g., handmade thank-you cards, donated movie tickets, ice cream coupons, etc.).
  • Offer food and drinks at the volunteer activity. You might even solicit a food donation from a popular local restaurant to distribute during the event.
  • Say thank you! This personal sign of appreciation is often overlooked, but it's always appreciated.
  • Recognize extraordinary volunteers by naming them "Volunteer of the Hour," "Volunteer of the Day," and so forth.

Your volunteers need to be encouraged and recognized for their contributions. As the program manager, try to develop a habit of stepping back and celebrating volunteer accomplishments at every project.

Types of Recognition

Volunteers have different personalities, are motivated to serve for different reasons, and serve in different ways. Understanding what motivates individual volunteers is a key component to positive and effective volunteer recognition. What motivates one individual may be completely different from what motivates another.

This is why it's good to have a variety of volunteer recognition methods available. An ideal recognition system makes use of different types of recognition to appeal to every volunteer and to keep it personal and meaningful.

Recognition by Motivational Orientation

Think about recognition that is appropriate for volunteers with different motivations. Recognizing the motivations of your volunteers is not always easy, but if you do understand the individual’s motivations, try the following techniques:

When planning for an achievement-oriented volunteer:

  • The ideal result of recognition is additional training or more challenging tasks.
  • The recognition is linked to a very specific accomplishment.
  • Phrasing of recognition could include “Best” or “Most” awards.
  • Recognition decision could include checkpoints or records.
  • Awardee could be selected by fellow team members/volunteers.

When planning for an affiliation-oriented volunteer:

  • Recognition should be given at a group event.
  • Recognition should be given in presence of peers, family, or other bonded groups.
  • Recognition should have a personal touch.
  • Recognition should be organizational in nature, given by an organization.
  • Recognition should be voted on by peers.

When planning for a power-oriented volunteer:

  • A key aspect of recognition is “promotion,” conveying greater access to authority or information.
  • Recognition should be a commendation from “Names” — people the volunteer sees as important or influential.
  • Recognition should be announced to the community at large, put in the newspaper, etc.
  • Recognition should illustrate the impact or influence the volunteer has had on systems, the community, or the issue.

Recognition by Style of Volunteering

In addition to recognizing volunteers based on their individual motivations, you can also vary recognition based on a volunteer’s method of volunteering.

When planning recognition for a long-term volunteer:

  • Recognize the individual in the presence of a large group.
  • Recognition items should make use of group/program symbols.
  • The presenter of the recognition item should be a person in authority.

When planning recognition for a short-term (episodic) volunteer, consider the following:

  • Recognition should be given in immediate work unit or social group.
  • Recognition should be “portable” — that is, something volunteers can take with them when they leave, such as a present, photograph, or other memorabilia.
  • Either a supervisor or a client should present the recognition item.

Recognition Ideas

Volunteer recognition can take many forms. Consider the following levels of recognition for ways to honor and celebrate your volunteers' service:

Thumbnail for [node:title][user:name]

Everyday Recognition

Here are some easy ways to build recognition into each day:

  • Use e-mail to send a thank-you message.
  • Send a postcard or thank-you note after a volunteer attends a project.
  • Send a birthday card.
  • Submit a picture of the volunteer to be in your organization’s newsletter.
  • Post a picture of the volunteer on a bulletin board at your organization.
  • Offer an organizational goody, such as a hat, shirt, pin, magnet, or water bottle.
  • Invite the volunteer to join you for coffee or lunch.

Intermediate Level Recognition

Following are some more involved, intermediate recognition ideas:

  • Nominate a volunteer as Star of the Month; with a certificate, letter, or small gift.
  • Sponsor a "happy hour" or other social event. Encourage volunteers to meet each other.
  • Recognize a volunteer on a local radio or television station. Invite the volunteer to serve as a project leader or committee member.
  • Give a gift certificate for a museum, the movies, a restaurant, etc. Solicit your community for donations!
  • Nominate a volunteer for a local or national award, such as the President's Volunteer Service Award.
  • Write an article about the volunteer in a newsletter or the newspaper.
  • Write a letter to the volunteer's employer highlighting his or her accomplishments. Be sure to find out if the volunteer would appreciate this before sending the letter!
  • Celebrate a major accomplishment or an anniversary with your organization.
  • Have the volunteer attend a training, workshop, or seminar at the expense of your organization.
  • Give the volunteer additional responsibilities.
  • Create a photo collage or slide show of the volunteer's activities

Advanced Recognition

Some large-scale means of recognition include the following:

  • Hold an annual recognition event: a dinner, a breakfast, an awards ceremony/celebration, a picnic/potluck, theme party, etc.
  • Recognize long-term volunteers with service awards: a plaque, trophy, certificate, etc.
  • Give the volunteer additional responsibilities and a new title.
  • ut up a banner celebrating major accomplishments.
  • Enlist volunteers in training staff and other volunteers.
  • Involve them in the annual planning process.
  • Make a donation to the organization of the volunteer's choice in his or her name.
  • Organize an outing at a zoo, amusement park, sporting event, etc., where volunteers have free admission.

Rules of Recognition

When planning any kind of recognition, keep the following rules in mind:

  • Give it frequently – Recognition has a short shelf life. Its effects start to wear off after a few days, and after several weeks of not hearing anything positive, volunteers start to wonder if they are appreciated. Giving recognition once a year at a recognition banquet is not enough.
  • Give it using a variety of methods – One of the implications of the previous rule is that you need a variety of methods to show ongoing appreciation to volunteers.
  • Give it honestly – Don’t give praise unless you mean it. If you praise substandard performance, the praise you give to others for good work will not be valued. If a volunteer is performing poorly, you might be able to give him honest recognition for his effort or for some personality trait.
  • Give it to the person, not the work – This is a subtle but important distinction. If volunteers organize a fundraising event, for example, and you praise the event without mentioning who organized it, the volunteer may feel some resentment. Make sure you connect the volunteer’s name to his work.
  • Give it appropriately to the achievement – Small accomplishments should be praised with low-effort methods, while large accomplishments should get something more.
  • Give it consistently – If two volunteers are responsible for similar achievements, they ought to get similar recognition. If one gets her picture in the lobby and another gets an approving nod, the latter may feel resentment. This does not mean that the recognition has to be exactly the same, just that it should be the result of similar effort on your part.
  • Give it on a timely basis – Praise for work should come as soon as possible after the achievement. Don’t save up your recognition for the annual banquet. If a volunteer has to wait months before hearing any word of praise, she may develop resentment for lack of praise in the meantime.
  • Give it on an individualized basis – Different people like different things. One might respond favorably to football tickets, while another might find them useless. Some like public recognition, others find it embarrassing. In order to provide effective recognition, you need to get to know your volunteers and what they will respond to positively.
  • Give it for what you want more of – Too often your staff pays most attention to volunteers who are having difficulty. Unfortunately, this may result in ignoring good performers. We are not suggesting that you ignore sub-par volunteers, just that you make sure that you praise the efforts of those who are doing a good job.

Recognizing Volunteers - Knowledge Check

Summary

When managing volunteers, one of your main objectives is to make the service experience so great that volunteers return again and again. To make your project one that volunteers will love, be sure to manage with the volunteers' expectations in mind.

Now that you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • Better manage volunteers, their personalities, and their skills
  • Understand volunteer motivation
  • Develop a recruitment strategy
  • Recruit and schedule volunteers
  • Effectively motivate, engage, and communicate with volunteers
  • Connect volunteers to the mission of the project
  • Recognize different types of volunteers for their efforts

Congratulations for completing the Volunteer Management e-learning course! Please take a few minutes to complete the online evaluation of this course. Your answers will help us evaluate the quality and effectiveness of our training and gain further information about your resource needs: Give Us Your Feedback

Course Reflection

Based on your Notes & Next Steps Worksheet, what are three things you'd like to do differently in your service or volunteer program as a result of this information in this course?