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ISOTURE: A Model for Volunteer Management. A training and overview for Extension Volunteer Administrators . ISOTURE. I dentification S election O rientation T raining U tilization R ecruitment E valuation. Boyce, M. (1971). I. Identification.

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isoture a model for volunteer management

ISOTURE: A Model for Volunteer Management

A training and overview for Extension Volunteer Administrators

  • Identification
  • Selection
  • Orientation
  • Training
  • Utilization
  • Recruitment
  • Evaluation

Boyce, M. (1971)



  • Identify needs of the program and volunteer roles that meet those needs
  • Identify the type of volunteers needed
  • Develop a position description that outlines expectations and responsibilities of the position
  • Recruit volunteers for specific roles through targeted marketing
  • Identify potential volunteers
why do volunteers volunteer


Why Do Volunteers Volunteer?
  • Help Others
  • Give Back to the Community
  • Learn New Skills
  • Meet New People
  • Fill a Personal Void
  • It’s Tradition
  • Influence Others
how do you recruit volunteers


How Do You Recruit Volunteers?
  • Internet
  • Mail
  • Newspaper
  • One-on-One
  • Another Volunteer
  • Friend

Actually, recruitment is not as hard as retention!

getting volunteers to volunteer


Getting Volunteers to Volunteer
  • Show them how they benefit!
  • Link message to mission: Show how their work benefits the entire cause
  • Job Experience
  • Resume Building
  • Socialization
  • Meaningful Work
  • Realistic Commitments
  • Flexibility
  • Time Well Spent
  • Learn About the Community
position descriptions


Position Descriptions
  • Title of volunteer position
  • Purpose of the volunteer position
  • Responsibilities of the volunteer
  • Benefits to the volunteer serving in the role
  • Qualifications and skills needed
  • Time Commitment
  • Resources Available
  • Location
  • Contact Person


  • Screen potential volunteers through background and reference checks
  • Review volunteer interest forms and applications
  • Interview potential volunteers to learn more about skills, interests, motivations and attitudes
  • Match volunteers’ interests,

talents and time available to

the needed volunteer roles

Most Overlooked!

volunteer application


Volunteer Application
  • Baseline Information
  • Learn of volunteer interests
  • Acquire information needed for criminal background check
reference checks


Reference Checks
  • In person
  • By phone
  • By mail


  • Conducted by CEA or Volunteer Group
  • Learn about:
    • Special skills
    • Interests
    • Motivations
    • Attitudes
  • Get a gut feeling!
position descriptions12


Position Descriptions
  • Promote success of volunteer in role
  • Focus Extension staff on areas of need
  • Communicates expectations
  • Determines and outlines future volunteer roles
screening of volunteers


Screening of Volunteers
  • Volunteer screening was implemented to protect youth and volunteers, and the image and integrity of Extension and its associated groups
  • All direct volunteers must be screened
    • 4-H volunteers (4-H CONNECT)
    • Master Volunteers (one-page application/authorization form)
  • Volunteers should not fulfill duties until screened and assigned a volunteer status
  • A volunteer’s status is based upon charges, convictions, frequency of offenses and date of offenses, with emphasis placed on the most recent 10 years


  • Train and orient new volunteers on the county program and Extension.
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers to meet the entire Extension staff.
  • Officially appoint the volunteer to his/her new position.
  • Give the volunteer a copy of the position description and resources needed to fulfill duties.
types of orientation


Types of Orientation
  • Social Orientation
  • Position Orientation
  • System Orientation
social orientation


Social Orientation
  • Introduce volunteers to other Extension volunteers
  • Introduce volunteers to Extension staff
  • Give volunteers a tour of the Extension office and facilities
position orientation


Position Orientation
  • Define the expectations of the volunteer position
  • Provide an overview of positive description
  • Explain how volunteers fit into Extension program and critical role they play in Extension’s success
system orientation


System Orientation
  • Review structure and design of Extension, including
    • Mission of Extension
    • Definition of Cooperative Extension
    • Legislation that created and defined Cooperative Extension
  • Explain base program areas
  • Outline various volunteer roles and opportunities
  • Provide an overview of Extension policies and procedures as it relates to their volunteer role


  • Provide volunteers with appropriate subject matter training
  • Offer ongoing training opportunities through a variety of methods, formal and non-formal
  • Provide volunteers with the resources needed to fulfill responsibilities


  • Support volunteers in carrying out their responsibilities
  • Provide opportunities to use their skills and talents and follow their interests
  • Train them, and give them opportunities to apply knowledge and skills
  • Foster mentoring from other volunteers as well as professional staff
  • Supervise volunteers, providing feedback on their efforts
what can i do to empower my volunteers


What can I do to empowermy volunteers?
  • Understand the concept
  • Set the rules
  • Put your volunteers to work
  • Reap the benefits
what can i do if my volunteers refuse to be empowered


What can I do if my volunteers refuse to be empowered?
  • Take it slow
  • Let them feel your passion and enthusiasm… It’s contagious!
  • If they fail to feel empowered, other problems may exist.


  • Recognize volunteers through formal and informal methods
  • Build relationships with volunteers
  • Provide feedback and support to the volunteers
  • Be careful not to over-recognize!


  • Process Evaluation
    • Examining the process for improvement
  • Outcome Evaluation
    • What impact did we have (change among audience)
  • Economic Impact
    • What impact did we have? (economic return)
    • Hourly rate for volunteer time
  • Stumbling blocks do exist
  • Understand and assume role of volunteer administrator
  • Resources are available to assist you!
    • Click on “Volunteerism Resources”