5 Key Elements of an Effective Volunteer Programme

5 Key Elements of an Effective Volunteer Programme

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The work of strategically engaging volunteers in a non-profit organization is a specialized one. It is an area of work which can effectively and efficiently resource an organization, build its capacity and, at the same time, multiply the work and impact of the non-profit.

It is thus crucial that volunteer programmes be founded on an effective framework, which would help to put in place the right foundations for them to be positioned for success.

Here at Emmaus Strategies, we have put together a simple framework to illustrate the key elements of effective volunteer programmes:

© Emmaus Strategies

Planning & Resource

In this part of the framework, non-profits need to think carefully about the roles volunteers will play in their organizations, as they embark on volunteer role design. Also important here is risk management as well as ensuring that adequate resources e.g. a budget and suitable personnel have been appointed to oversee and grow the volunteer programme.


Marketing & Recruitment

Once the volunteer roles have been identified and scoped, non-profits can then proceed to market the roles, interview and select the volunteers and coordinate their placements.


Onboarding & Training

Just like staff, volunteers as part of the pro bono workforce of an organization will need to be onboarded and trained. This will help ensure that the volunteers are equipped with the knowledge of the organization’s mission, vision, services, culture, organization structure, policies and standard operating procedures as well as with the necessary skills to be successful.


Partnership Management

In partnership management, volunteer partnerships practitioners will then need to look into effectively sustaining the partnership using effective volunteer retention strategies, managing and enhancing performance as well as ensuring proper record management.


Programme Management

In this element of the framework, volunteer partnerships practitioners will need to review and enhance the volunteer programme to ensure it adequately supports the organization, staff, service users and volunteers. This includes the necessary review and enhancement of work processes and policies, the development of a culture which supports volunteer partnerships and programme evaluation and impact assessment.

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5 Key Elements of an Effective Volunteer Programme

by James Lim
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