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Volunteer Management Capacity Study: Summary Results. Mark A. Hager, Urban Institute [email protected] Jeffrey L. Brudney, University of Georgia [email protected] 2004 National Conference on Community Volunteering and National Service. Sponsors.

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volunteer management capacity study summary results

Volunteer Management Capacity Study: Summary Results

Mark A. Hager, Urban Institute

[email protected]

Jeffrey L. Brudney, University of Georgia

[email protected]

2004 National Conference on Community Volunteering and National Service

  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • UPS Foundation
  • USA Freedom Corps
  • Research conducted by the Urban Institute (Hager, PI)
government promotion of volunteerism
Government Promotion of Volunteerism
  • 1989 Points of Light Foundation & awards
  • 1991 VOLUNTEER National Network
  • 1993 National and Community Service Trust Act
  • 1997 President’s Summit for America’s Future; Volunteer Protection Act
  • 2001 USA Freedom Corps; Citizen Corps
  • 2002 President’s “Call to Service”
supply and demand for volunteers
Supply and Demand for Volunteers
  • Most efforts have focused on expanding the number and diversity of volunteers.
  • Research suggests that organizations do not always manage their volunteers well.
  • Observers question whether organizations have the capacity to properly accommodate more volunteers.
  • Apprehensions heightened by President’s Call to Service.
impetus for study of volunteer management
Impetus for Study of Volunteer Management
  • No systematic knowledge of extent of volunteer involvement in charities and congregations.
  • No systematic knowledge of the adoption of recommended practices in volunteer management.
  • No systematic knowledge of capability of organizations to accommodate additional volunteers.
  • Data collected from organizational representatives by phone in Fall 2003
  • Sampled charities from Form 990 filers
  • N=1,753 charities, 69% response rate
  • Sampled congregations from American Church Lists
  • N=541 congregations, 69% response rate
our definition of a volunteer
Our Definition of a Volunteer
  • Works on regular, short term, or occasional basis;
  • Provides services to charity or those charity serves;
  • Not paid as a staff member or a consultant;
  • Excludes members of board of directors -- unless they provide volunteer services to the charity beyond traditional governance duties;
  • Excludes special events participants -- unless they are volunteer planners or workers at these events.
broad scope of volunteer use
Broad Scope of Volunteer Use
  • Four in five charities have volunteers.
  • More than half use volunteers primarily in direct service roles.
  • Four in five congregations have social service outreach activities.
  • About one in three congregations manage volunteers in these activities.
low investments in volunteer management
Low Investments in Volunteer Management
  • 3 in 5 charities (with volunteers) and 1 in 3 congregations (that manage volunteers in social service outreach activities) have a paid staff person responsible for management of volunteers.
  • The typical such staffer spends only 30 percent of time on volunteer management.
key findings about challenges
Key Findings About Challenges
  • Charities with recruiting challenges are more likely to try a range of recruiting methods, such as speaking before groups, Internet, printed materials, and special events.
  • The more time that paid staff member spends on volunteer management, the less likely the charity reports problems in recruiting.
adoption linked to charities
Adoption Linked to Charities…
  • With larger budgets;
  • With greater scope of volunteer use;
  • That use volunteers primarily in direct service roles;
  • That operate in the health field;
  • With paid staff members who spend greater amounts of time on volunteer management.
retention of volunteers associated with
Retention of Volunteers Associated With…
  • Recognition, training, and screening
  • Less supervision and communication
  • Funding, institutional support
  • Engaged, productive volunteers
  • Older volunteers
investments and benefits feed each other
Investments and Benefits Feed Each Other
  • Adoption of management strategies and investment in paid staff coordinators linked to greater benefits from volunteers.
taking on more volunteers
Taking on More Volunteers
  • 91% of charities and 96% of congregations said they could currently take on at least some additional volunteers at current capacity.
  • The typical organization says that it currently can take on 20 new volunteers.
  • The more time that paid staff members spend on volunteer management, the more new volunteers charities say they can accommodate.
congregations and religious charities
Congregations and Religious Charities
  • Spring and Grimm, CNCS
  • Most congregations operate social service out-reach activities, but few do so on their own.
  • Congregations tend to utilize volunteers to manage other volunteers.
  • Charities with a religious mission more likely to have a paid coordinator than charities with a secular mission.
  • The majority of charities with a secular mission do not have partnerships with religious organizations.
a few conclusions
A Few Conclusions
  • A broad array of charities and congregations engage volunteers on a broad array of tasks.
  • Volunteer management practices have not made universal inroads; nonetheless, prevailing reported level of problems in managing volunteers is low.
  • Investments in volunteer management returns benefits, including retention of volunteers.
  • Future work should focus on characteristics and practices of volunteer managers and organizational supports.

Reports and other study details available at www.volunteerinput.org.

Mark A. Hager, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

The Urban Institute

2100 M Street, NW

Washington, DC 20037

Phone: (202) 261-5345

Fax: (202) 833-6231

Jeffrey L. Brudney, Ph.D.

University of Georgia

School of Public and Int’l Affairs

Dept. of Public Admin. and Policy

104 Baldwin Hall

Athens, GA 30602-1615

Phone: (706) 542-2977

Fax: (706) 583-0610