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ASK CONNIE

VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~ January 2007 ~

A New Year – Time to Assess


Dear Readers:

Happy New Year everyone! The beginning of a year is my favorite time to step back and take the long view of my work. This brief lull in the year’s activities is the perfect time to assess the basic components of your volunteer program to see what is current and what needs work. Here’s a great checklist to use, courtesy of the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

Volunteer HR Management

Rating* Indicator Met Needs Work N/A
E The organization has a clearly defined purpose of the role that volunteers have within the organization.      
E Current job descriptions exist for all volunteer positions in the organization.      
R The organization has a well-defined and communicated volunteer management plan that includes a recruitment policy, description of all volunteer jobs, an application and interview process, possible stipend and reimbursement policies, statement of which staff has supervisory responsibilities over what volunteers, and any other volunteer personnel policy information.      
E The organization follows a recruitment policy that does not discriminate, but respects, encourages and represents the diversity of the community.      
E The organization provides appropriate training and orientation to assist volunteers in the performance of their volunteer activities. Volunteers are offered training with staff in such areas as cultural sensitivity.      
R The organization is respectful of the volunteer's abilities and time commitment and has various job duties to meet these needs. Jobs should not be given to volunteers simply because the jobs are considered inferior for paid staff.      
R The organization does volunteer performance appraisals periodically and communicates to the volunteers how well they are doing, or where additional attention is needed. At the same time, volunteers are requested to review and evaluate their involvement in the organization and the people they work with and suggest areas for improvement.      
R The organization does some type of volunteer recognition or commendation periodically and staff continuously demonstrates their appreciation towards the volunteers and their efforts.
     
A The organization has a process for reviewing and responding to ideas, suggestions, comments and perceptions from volunteers.      
A The organization provides opportunities for program participants to volunteer.      
A The organization maintains contemporaneous records documenting volunteer time in program allocations. Financial records can be maintained for the volunteer time spent on programs and recorded as in-kind contributions.      
*Ratings: E=essential; R=recommended; A=additional to strengthen organizational activities


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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
10103 Edward Avenue * Bethesda, MD 20814 * VOICE: 301-530-8233 * FAX: 301-530-8299


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