Volunteer Management Best Practices Study

Camden, NJ (December 1, 2007)- In the summer 2007 semester, the Rutgers Business School consulting team worked with the high school student exchange organization, AFS-USA, to research successful volunteer practices of up-to 100 successful nonprofit organizations in a variety of services and industries. The companies selected to participate, including the Alliance for Community Trees, were based on Rutgers’ web/library research and with the assistance/advice of AFS-USA. The hope is that these results could be used to benefit a diverse array of organizations to continuously improve their volunteering program.

The Rutgers Business School Consulting Team looked at the following areas as they related to volunteers:
* Volunteer roles
* Volunteer integration
* Turnover rates
* Volunteer retention
* Volunteer information share
* Organization conflicts
* The top roles performed by volunteers across these organizations were “Serve as Board Members” and “Recruiting New Volunteers”. The second top roles selected were “Raise Funds” and “Support Existing Participants/Clients/Customers”.
* Providing job descriptions for volunteer positions is an industry norm.
* Orientation and personal interviews are most commonly used when integrating new volunteers into an organization.
* Personal contact with the volunteers appears to be the most effective and widely utilized form of communication during the integration process.
* There is greater staff responsibility in the role of integrating new volunteers as fewer organizations are relying on other volunteers to complete this function.
* Volunteer turnover rates do not seem to be much different then they were five years ago.
* 67% of organizations reported that people would be willing to volunteer for more than three years if they were properly motivated to do so.
* The most effective tool for information sharing among volunteers was face-to-face discussions while the second most effective was the use of Volunteer Manuals.
* Personal contact with the volunteers appears to be the most favorable form of communicating with volunteers.
* Areas that appear to have the greatest impact on conflicts in the organization are burn-out rates of volunteers and lack of volunteers to run the program.
* Volunteer and staff retention is a significant issue faced by organizations
For the full results, download the Rutgers Business School Volunteer Best Practices and Appendix.
For more information, contact Karen Wilson, Rutgers MBA Consulting Team Leader.