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4-H Youth Development Home »  Staff Resources & Youth Line Home » Program Management

Volunteer Development and Management

In 4-H Youth Development, volunteer development is a priority. Volunteer development engages individuals in an ongoing educational process, designed to build capacities for service roles. Volunteer management is the utilization of volunteers to achieve organizational goals by individuals who manage programs, resources and inputs. Volunteer coordination is engaging volunteers and organizing volunteer efforts to accomplish desired goals.

A 4-H Youth Development volunteer offers their time, talent and/or resources to 4-H Youth Development educational program without monetary expectation. It is a privilege to serve as a volunteer for the 4-H Youth Development Program.

pdf iconWisconsin 4-H Volunteers Documenting Their Contributions and Volunteer Development (21 pages, 316 KB) This 2008-2009 study of Wisconsin 4-H volunteers provides insight into how volunteers are contributing and developing as a result of their service and contributions to 4-H. The study is part of the North Central Region 4-H Volunteers Documenting Their Contributions and Volunteer Development Study.

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MS Powerpoint Presentation Addressing Volunteer Behavior (19 slides, 755 KB) - Power point presentation prepared by Melanie Miller, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, and Sue Pleskac, 4-H Volunteer Development Specialist, for the January 6, 2005 "Dealing with Difficult Behavior" Youth Emphasis Wisline.

PDF file Volunteer Discipline and Dismissal Procedures (2 pages, 44 KB) - Document outlines the procedures for addressing volunteer misbehavior.

4-H Volunteer Leader Roles

In 4-H Community Clubs, volunteers contribute in a variety of ways. Many volunteers lead projects for a local year-round club or short-term 4-H committees and activities. There are many ways that volunteers get involved.

  • PDF file 4-H Volunteer Leader Roles and Resources (2 pages, 43 KB) This document provides a listing and descriptions of volunteer opportunities within the 4-H Program.
  • PDF file 4-H Youth Development Educators and County 4-H Leader Organizations (4 pages, 71 KB) - Identifying the specific roles of the 4-H Youth Development Educator, 4-H Leader Organizations, 4-H Boards and Committees is important to insure quality educational programs for 4-H members and effective organizations. This document outlines these roles and accountability so the work of the groups can be accomplished, improve communication, and assist in developing operational guidelines and bylaws. (Update 1-2011)
  • Sample Volunteer Role Descriptions This link to the Illinois 4-H site provides a variety of sample role descriptions that can be individualized for the local 4-H Youth Development program. The Volunteer Role Description template provides a useful tool for the local program or organization. MS Word Document Volunteer Role Description (1 page, 81 KB)

Volunteer Delivery System: Includes Volunteer Development and Volunteer Management

Working with volunteers to achieve organizational goals requires planning and education. A comprehensive volunteer delivery system is critical. . The ISOTURE model of volunteer development is based on the Milton Boyce's (1971) research and work in the area of leadership. It provides a framework that supports the local volunteer system. ISOTURE stands for Identify, Select, Orient, Train, Utilize, Recognize and Evaluate. This model provides 4-H and other organizations a comprehensive system for working with volunteers.

The tools and resources that follow can be used as you put your local volunteer delivery system in place. Additional resources will be added to this web site as they are available. For additional information, please contact Kandi O'Neil, 4-H Volunteer Leadership Specialist.

Educational Resources

Identify and Select - Identifying the organization's mission and the roles volunteers have to help fulfill the mission is the first step in volunteer management. Selecting volunteers that have the skills and desire to fill the needed roles starts with a targeted recruitment plan. Where do you start? Start with making sure you have a comprehensive volunteer system/program in place. Then begin with program needs. These must be in place before you begin to identify and select volunteers.

  • MS Word Document Cycle of Volunteer Administration (1 page, 80 KB) Involving volunteer staff begins with identifying program needs and proceeds to identifying volunteer roles. Recruitment, placement, orientation and training are vital to insure volunteers fulfill their responsibilities. Providing ongoing support, evaluation and recognition are critical components for retention. This tool helps explain the volunteer staffing model.
  • Community Assessments Relative to Volunteer Engagement
    • Civil Rights Education and Compliance Web site This web site is rich with resources for understanding the local community as well as gathering information through the Expansion and Review process. Specifically refer to the information under Demographics and the 4-H Profile Tool. The Race/Ethnic slides and maps are also helpful. A UW-Extension netid and password are required to access this site.
    • Community Tool Box This diverse web site has the mission of promoting community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources. Move to the Table of Contents and explore the information and resources under Part B and Part D. Part B, Chapter 3 will assist you in identify community assets and resources.
    •  Building Community Toolkit   is a valuable resource in engaging youth and youth adult partnerships in assessing your community. You may have a copy on your bookshelf or it can be ordered from the Innovation Center.
    • Corporation for National and Community Service provides a variety of tools and research on the current trends in volunteering in America.
  • Organizational Assessment Relative to Volunteer Engagement
    • MS Word Document What Are Your Volunteer Programming Needs? (2 pages, 87 KB) This tool provides critical questions that provide an assessment of the current and future organizational needs for the organization. It can be used by an individual or a board.
    • pdf icon Organizational Assessment Tool (3 pages, 183 KB) The Organizational Assessment Tool is shared with permission from Achieving Success Through Volunteers by Michigan State University, 2005. This tool will identify areas that need improvement in your organization as you implement an effective volunteer program.
    • MS Word Document Developing a Volunteer Staffing Plan (3 pages, 73 KB) The Developing a Volunteer Staffing Plan is shared with permission from 4-H Volunteer Management by University of Illinois, 1997. This tool can assess the current roles of paid and volunteer staff and develop a future staffing plan.
  • MS Word Document Volunteer Role Description (1 page, 81 KB) This template is helpful in the development of volunteer role descriptions, insuring that critical elements are included.
  • MS Word Document Volunteer Interest Survey (1 page, 99 KB) The Volunteer Interest Survey provides information on a volunteers interests, skills, and areas they want to learn. It serves as a recruitment and placement tool.
  • MS Word Document Inventory of Skills (1 page, 87 KB) The Inventory of Skills is a recruitment and placement tool for volunteers in the organization.
  • Volunteer Recruitment Packets - This Journal Of Extension (Culp, et .al. 2006) article provides background to volunteer recruitment and ideas for developing recruitment packets to be used with a variety of audiences.

Orient and Train - Orientation provides volunteers with an understanding of the organization's mission as well as the responsibilities and expectations of volunteers. Training is important to prepare the volunteer for their specific role.

  • 4-H Community Club Central - A variety of topical lesson plans and additional resources are available for training 4-H Community Club volunteers.

Utilize - Proper placement of volunteers helps in retention. Providing ongoing support and open communication is important for volunteers and for the organization.

  • MS Word Document What Motivates You:  Volunteer Role Selection and Recognition Guide (1 page, 81KB) This tool helps in the recruitment, placement and utilization of volunteers in the organization. It helps in brainstorming potential volunteers to fill needed roles. It can be used with the following document, What Motivates You.
  • MS Word Document What Motivates You (1 page, 82 KB) When considering the right volunteer for the right role, consider what motivates them. It is also a guide to recognition and support to provide volunteers, critical to volunteer recognition.
  • word iconShared Leadership Circle (1 page, 31.5 KB) This tool outlines individual leadership contributions and styles that help a leadership team work toward a common goal.
  • Going Forward With Founders Founders are individuals that are so closely tied to an organization or a project that they are not able to accept change. Founders typically exhibit characteristics that allow them to maintain control of the organization despite pressure to change. Volunteers that exhibit Founder's Syndrome prevent an organization from reaching their mission. This web site includes a lesson plan, Power Point slide set and resources to assist staff in teaching about and working with founders in their organizations.

Recognize - Providing formal and informal favorable attention to a volunteer gives the needed sense of appreciation, security and belonging.

Evaluate - Providing a two-way dialogue with volunteers on their role and responsibilities is important to assist volunteers in doing the best they can. It provides the organization with ideas for opportunities for training and improves how they are delivering educational programs.

  • Measurement of Volunteer Impact
    • MS Word Document Volunteer's Program Evaluation (2 pages, 168 KB) The Volunteer's Program Evaluation is shared with permission from Achieving Success Through Volunteers by Michigan State University, 2005. This tool gathers evaluation from volunteers in the organization.
    • MS Word Document Evaluate Performance of Volunteers (20 pages, 349 KB) From the University of Illinois, 4-H Volunteer Management (1997), this chapter provides critical information on why we evaluate volunteer performance, document successes and make recommendations for change and future direction in the program.
    • MS Word Document Review the Volunteer Staffing Plan (12 pages, 2 MB) Reviewing the volunteer staffing plan and making changes that meet organizational and community needs is critical. This chapter is from the University of Illinois, 4-H Volunteer Management, (1997).
  • PDF file Giving and Providing Feedback (1 page, 40 KB) - Handout on giving and providing feedback developed by Mike Hallenbeck, Employee Assistance. The handout is referenced in the January 6, 2005 "Dealing With Difficult Behavior" Youth Emphasis Teleconference.

Additional Resources

  • Volunteerism For The Next Generation provides a wealth of tools, frameworks and resources for all UW-Extension staff. This site provides the information for participation in Everyone Ready online training for all staff on volunteer management and volunteer development. The National Framework for 4-H Youth Development and Assessment are here as well as the Volunteerism for the Next Generation Rubric, Syllabus and Assessments, ready for staff to build a solid professional development plan to increase their capacity and knowledge in volunteerism. Additional teaching and learning resources such as the 25 plus VNG Fact Sheets and Volunteer Research and Competency Taxonomy and 50 plus Lesson Plans are located here as well. All are ready for staff to use in their training with volunteers. Mark this as one of your FAVORITES today!
  • pdf iconEconomic Value Volunteering (1 page, 27KB) This resource provide information and links to assist in calculating the economic value of volunteers.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: Volunteering In America provides reports by the state, region and nation on volunteer trends based on the most current census.
  • Corporation for National and Communiity Service Research and Policy houses a variety of research reports and summaries.
  • North Central Region Volunteer Development web site was developed by the North Central Region Volunteer Specialists. The Volunteer Specialists populate this site with resources for volunteer management, volunteer development, research and other resources with the intent of sharing resources across the region. Staff and volunteer training materials are also included.
  • MS Word Document Volunteer Development Reference Guide (2 pages, 91.5 KB ) This guide provides a listing of research, statistics, resources, books, and curriculum to be used in volunteer development and management. Web links are provided.
  • Community Tool Box - The goal of the Community Tool Box is to provide for community health and development. It provides practical skill-building tools and information. Enter "volunteers" into the search function on the page. A comprehensive list of information, resources, and tools are available for a variety of areas in volunteer management and development.