Best Practices for Optimal Volunteer Retention: How it Translates to

Report
Best Practices for Optimal
Volunteer Retention:
How it Translates to the Little Guy
Leslie Leonard
Sponsored by Professor Leslie Lenkowsky
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
2010 Honors Thesis
The Reason for Study
• Volunteer turnover rate is high
– Turnover
– Factors that make it high
• Volunteer Management
– What is it?
– Effectiveness
• Resources
– Turnover can be wasteful
The Reason for Study
• National Research
– Application to small local nonprofits
– Application in Bloomington, IN
– Case Study
• Best Practices
– Similar or different from larger nonprofits
– Documentation
– Implementation
Literature Review
• Looking at the National Research
– Five groups chosen
– Sources cited
• Findings
–
–
–
–
–
CNCS
CCVA
UPS
Stanford
Points of Light
• Application to the Case Study
Case Study Organizations
Middle Way House (MWH)
Backstreet Missions, Inc (BSM)
Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC)
Pinnacle School (PS)
Volunteers in Medicine (VIM)
Camp Kesem (CK)
Methods
• Choosing the organizations
– Criteria grid
– Contacting the organizations
• Conducting the Research
– Multiple interviews with each organization
– Documenting the interviews and answers
– Organizing and coding the answers
– Connecting the answers to the literature
Findings
• Volunteer Coordinators
4
3
MWH
None
2
CK
Volunteer
PS
Staff
1
VIM
BSM
CPC
0
Volunteer
Volunteer
Coordinator Only Coordinator And…
No Volunteer
Coordinator
Findings on Turnover
• Turnover is expected
– Retention defined by CNCS
– College students
• Turnover is beneficial
– Training is educational
– Prevention
• Gaps
– Spring Break and Summer
– Midterm and Finals Weeks
More Findings
• Scheduling is tough
– When one person misses a shift…
– Hard to give people leadership roles
• Hands on volunteer management is possible
– The organizations are small
– Relationships are built
– The closer the “volunteer coordinator” the better
Literature Comparison Findings
26%
Supported
Contradicted
6%
New Information
68%
“Charities interested in increasing retention of volunteers should invest in
recognizing volunteers, providing training and professional development for
them, and screening volunteers and matching them to organizational tasks.”
–Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Analysis
• Recognition
– Contradicted literature?
– Not interpreted the same
– More about interaction
• Choice
– Supported literature
– Flexibility
• Adapted practices cost
– Money
– Time and Staff Support
“As we might expect, the size
of a charity matters in
whether most practices have
been adopted or not.”
Urban Institute, 2003
In Conclusion
• Finish Research
– More!
– Continue in my graduate work at SPEA
• Trends so far
– The National practices do apply to Bloomington
– They apply in unique ways though
Questions?

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