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Who are your volunteers?

by The NonProfit Times - October 14, 2013

Paid work staff might be what drives the work of many nonprofits, but volunteers are still a key part of an organization’s ability to function.

As Michael Watson, a senior vice president at Girl Scouts of the USA, wrote in “Nonprofit Management 101,” nonprofits should take advantage of the technology available today to do a thorough assessment of your volunteers. This will allow you to determine whether your volunteer pool is missing individuals who could help your organization better serve the community.

To ensure that your organization does not have a demographics gap with volunteers, Watson suggested following these four steps:

  • Assess whether you have an adequate number of volunteers to meet your needs and goals.
  • Based on the completed diversity matrix, determine whether your volunteer population reflects the diversity of the population you serve. If there is a demographics gap, find out why.
  • If turnover is a problem, determine the primary causes and implement an action plan to address it.
  • If you need to recruit more diverse volunteers, consider adding new recruitment sources and customizing your orientation process for key populations.

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