Booking volunteers as organizational assets

A sometimes glossed over asset of the nonprofit world are volunteers. What other sector has people who willingly work for them free of charge in such numbers? There is a value to free in this case. According to Independent Sector in Washington, D.C., a volunteer’s time was worth $22.14 an hour during 2012.

And, organizing a volunteer program can be just as important as the results your workforce can produce for you.

In his book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recruiting & Managing Volunteers, John L. Lipp, offered four tips to help assess the value of a volunteer program.

  • Determine the current level of volunteer involvement: Look to your database and consider removing people who have been inactive for some time. Also, add non-traditional volunteers who provide professional, in-kind services.
  • Determine your potential for increasing volunteer involvement: Sure adding more people might help accomplish more work, but they could be of detriment. Before adding more volunteers, make sure your organization has the right perception about volunteers and what value they can add to the program.
  • Identify which components of your program need to be enhanced or developed: Try and make improvements on your program. These can be simple like updating position descriptions or complicated as in changing your organization’s corporate culture.
  • Adopt an action plan with a timeline for implementation: After the above steps communicate your findings to those affected by the assessment and show what needs to be done.