Volunteer Management: How to Get it Right

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Hello everyone, my name is Emily Rangel and I am a student at California State University Monterey Bay CSUMB. I am currently going into my senior year and work as an intern at NPC through my field training program in Collaborative Human and Health Services.

This week, I decided to focus on volunteer management! As many in the nonprofit world are aware, volunteers are great individuals that enjoy contributing to their community without cost! They support nonprofits by providing their time and support to the communities the nonprofit is working with. However, how does one correctly manage a group of people who are devoting their time without pay?

The article “Volunteer Management: How to Get it Right” published by Blue Avocado covers some great points in misconceptions with volunteers and volunteer engagement professionals (VEP) and how to overcome those misconceptions. READ HERE. Since the article does a clear job in that aspect, I would like to discuss some main points.

The first point is how VEP in many organizations is viewed as less experienced and is typically paid less than those who manage paid staff. Although VEP’s are management a group of individuals who are volunteering, they still are required to have the same skill set as those who manage paid staff; this should account for them to have equal to similar pay as their colleagues. Additionally, the article discussed the difference between paid staff and volunteer staff, explaining how these two groups do not tend to intertwine. Although I recognize that volunteer staff may not do the same job as the paid staff does, volunteer staff should have some recognition. Anyone who volunteers their time without expecting anything in return deserves some sort of recognition; additionally, this would most likely lead to repeat volunteers since they will feel some value.

The article also touches on recognition for volunteers, and this is a great thought! Next time you have an event with volunteers, remember to thank them for their time and work. Adding on next time your Volunteer Engagement Professional has a thought or idea to share, invite them to join in on meetings or even share their thoughts with staff that manages paid staff. This is a great way to keep them also engaged a way to retain your VEP.


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