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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs at the local level, including information for cities, counties, boards, commissions, and districts.

~ May 2005 ~ Topics

Helping Staff Develop Volunteer Position Descriptions

Increasingly in local government, volunteers are needed to meet the needs of citizens. As managers of volunteer departments we may ask staff, "Can you use a vounteer?" The answer is often , "No." Perhaps rephrasing our inquiry will bring better results. The process of creating volunteer positions begins with identifying needs. Asking these questions of staff will assist them in understanding how volunteers can lend a hand in their departments.

1. What are activities/services you would like to do but never have time for?
2. What activities/services you would like to do but no one has the skills for?
3. What activities/services are we doing now that we would like to do more of?
4. What unmet needs do our clients/customers have that we have yet to meet?
5. What would help your staff in their work?

The next step in volunteer developing volunteer position descriptions is to have staff look at each identified need and determine what tasks must be performed to meet this need. The following questions will assist this process.

NEED: _____________________________________

1) What tasks must be completed to meet this need?
A) Which of the above tasks is paid staff only able to complete?
B) Which of these tasks are volunteers able to complete?
C) Which of these tasks can a group of volunteers complete?
D) Which of these tasks can be accomplished 1-4 times a year by a volunteer?

After this, take a look at all of the tasks that a volunteer can do. Assist staff in developing a position description from one of the tasks. If it is a complicated task, two or more position descriptions for volunteers may need to be developed.

Staff have now created a volunteer position that they know they need – they have buy-in and will want to see success.

Short description of this series: "Organizations are successful at achieving their mission when volunteers and staff are a team. Evaluate the elements of the relationships in your organization and outline the strategies to make things better."

Purchase this package by clicking on either of the following links, which will redirect you to a secure shopping site. Evaluation Only $25.00 and Evaluation & Consultation Package - Best Deal! $99.95 (Resource List not available on this package.)

The author of the Local Government Volunteer Programs page is Georgean C. Johnson-Coffey, M. Ed.
P.O. Box 15118 * Fort Wayne, IN 46885-5118 * Phone: 260-338-1414 * Fax: 260-338-1707
E-mail: georgeanjc@aol.com * Website: http://www.bluevisiontraining.com


The National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) is an association of administrators, coordinators and directors of volunteer programs in local government. Its purpose is to strengthen volunteer programs in local government through leadership, advocacy, networking and information exchange. NAVPLG is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and is seeking affiliate status with the National League of Cities. Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local government membership. An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended for those who are not local government members but may have an interest in the group. There is a quarterly newsletter, national network, and access to NACo's Volunteerism Project. For more information contact Robin Popik, who is a Volunteer Resource Supervisor. She can be reached by phone at 972-941-7114. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer Today.

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