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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

~2012 ~

Dear Connie:

I’m new in my position as volunteer program manager and I’m filling a position that has been vacant for nearly 6 months.  The files seem to be in a mess and I’m not sure where to begin to see what’s missing and what needs to be updated.  Where should I start?


Dear Newbie:

I suggest that you use the checklist below to assess the current state of your checkmarkprogram’s infrastructure.  In fact, I recommend that these items be reviewed annually because it’s so easy to let them slide. 


  1. Volunteer Application: Does it gather as much relevant information as possible in one page to enable you to make an informed decision about each potential volunteer?
  1. Confidentiality form and letter of agreement: Is the information contained understandable and free of human resources jargon?
  1. Database and mailing lists: Are addresses current and have inactive volunteers been removed and new volunteers added?
  1. Volunteer Handbook: Is it easy to read and contains the most up-to-date information in a format that has eye-appeal?
  1. Written Policies and Procedures: Review these to reflect the changing role of volunteers in your organization.
  1. Volunteer Program Mission Statement: If changes have occurred within your organization or volunteer program are they reflected here? Does reading the Mission Statement make a volunteer proud to be part of the volunteer program? Does it make you proud to be the director who wrote the statement?
  1. Newsletter: Has it become predictable, even boring, in its format and content? Maybe it’s time to redesign and give it "meatier" content or greater eye appeal.  Or maybe this is the year to “go green” and put your newsletter online!
  1. Personnel Files: Look at each folder and check for an up-to-date application (with references) for each volunteer.
  1. Position Descriptions: Duties change throughout the course of the year so review these for accuracy and completeness (annually!)
  1. Recognition: Are your forms of recognizing volunteers meaningful and cost effective? Get new catalogs for items you order - prices often rise after the first of the year.
  1. Training Materials: Do changes need to be made to reflect requirements of the position descriptions? Start developing training for new positions that will be added during the year.

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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
314 E. Marie Dr. * Stillwater, OK 74075 * VOICE: 405.372.8142 or 202-306-1492

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