Volunteer Management Basics


Many Minnesota nonprofits rely on volunteers to help implement strategic actions and achieve organizational goals. As a result, a nonprofit’s volunteer management must be made and maintained a priority.
A volunteer manager(s) must build a strong volunteer structure based on many factors, including but not limited to:
Volunteer recruitment involves identifying the most suitable candidates for volunteer positions based on necessary qualifications and experience, identifying the best way to approach potential candidates and clearly communicating the organizational needs.
Screening volunteers should be based on what type of tasks the position calls for and whether the potential volunteer is equipped with the skills necessary to successfully achieve said tasks. More in depth screening may be necessary if the position requires interaction with vulnerable clientele.
Selecting volunteers should be based on results of the screening process and each volunteer should be formally approached and informed of the duties that he or she is responsible for.
Training volunteers should be done appropriately with the position tasks in mind and continuous support should always be offered by the nonprofit.
Supervising volunteers should be done regularly and consistently. Goals should be established between the organization and volunteer, guidance should be appropriately offered to ensure the volunteer is making the best use of his or her time, performance evaluations should be implemented, and rewards and repercussions should be appropriately handled.
Retaining volunteers can be done by providing support, recognition and rewards. It is essential for nonprofits to recognize volunteers and their contributions, as these individuals are not being compensated in a traditional sense and have devoted time and energy to help achieve the organization’s goals and mission.

Volunteer Management Resources:

  • HandsOn Twin Cities: HandsOn Twin Cities' mission is to bring people together to strengthen communities through meaningful volunteer action. It accomplishes this by working with over 300 nonprofits serving the 9 county metro area which includes Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott and Washington.
  • Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration: MAVA provides a forum to engage people involved in volunteerism across Minnesota to exchange information and ideas, and to link resources to build capacity. With over 800 members, MAVA is a powerful resource for the volunteer community. MAVA provides news, information, professional development and training opportunities to its members.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.
  • Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC): NRMC is a MCN partner and provides training, technical assistance and informational resources for controlling risks that threaten a nonprofit’s ability to accomplish its mission.


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