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Do you really need volunteers?

by The NonProfit Times - April 22, 2013

Your nonprofit probably wants to hire volunteers, but does it actually need — or worse — have the capacity to lead them?

In the book “Nonprofit Management 101,” Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch, wrote that all organizations should go through a “needs assessment” before deciding to recruit volunteers. Baldwin defines a needs assessment as the process of figuring out not only the potential for volunteers to help your organization, but also your organization’s potential to effectively engage volunteers.

Baldwin explained that nonprofit managers should ask themselves the following eight questions during the assessment. The answers to these questions will determine whether it is really worth the effort to pursue volunteers:

How is your organization already using volunteers?

  • What more could volunteers be doing for your organization?
  • What are organizations like yours doing with volunteers?
  • What projects or roles can be developed to reflect those needs?
  • What skills or expertise will the volunteers need to have to succeed?
  • Who in your organization will manage the new volunteers?
  • What skills and expertise will staff need to manage the new volunteers?
  • What other resources, policies, or processes will your organization need to effectively support the new volunteers? Do you need a committee?


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