ERIC Number: ED472117
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Making the Most of Volunteers. P/PV Briefs.
Grossman, Jean Baldwin; Furano, Kathryn
An examination of hundreds of studies on the use of volunteers in mentoring programs, service programs, and local community change initiatives highlight the importance of screening, training, and volunteer management. Each year, more than 90 million Americans contribute more than 20 billion volunteer hours. Personal benefits of volunteering include the following: (1) sense of community and social involvement; (2) opportunities to learn about people and cultures other than one's own; and (3) increased physical and psychic vitality. The role of volunteers in organizations is changing. Rather than supplying support for staff, volunteers in many organizations are playing more staff-like roles in order to cut costs. Critics fear that federal initiatives to encourage greater use of volunteers in social service programs are politically motivated to reduce government expense. These three elements were deemed important to the success of any volunteer program: (1) a screening process to select adults most likely to be successful as volunteers; (2) orientation and training to ensure that volunteers have the specific skills needed to be effective and have realistic expectations of what they can accomplish; and (3) management and ongoing support of volunteers by employed staff to ensure that volunteer hours are not squandered. (Included are 5 tables. The bibliography lists 22 references.) (AJ)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adult Education, Churches, Citizen Participation, Community Change, Community Involvement, Community Programs, Community Services, Cost Effectiveness, Delivery Systems, Developed Nations, Disadvantaged, Educational Planning, Elementary Schools, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Programs, Government School Relationship, Grants, Guidelines, Individual Needs, Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Mentors, Nongovernmental Organizations, Orientation, Outcomes of Education, Personnel Management, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Public Policy, Public Service, Role Models, School Community Relationship, Skill Development, Social Agencies, Social Support Groups, Supervision, Tutoring, Voluntary Agencies, Volunteer Training, Volunteers, Youth Programs
For full text: http://www.ppv.org/pdffiles/mostvolunteer.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, PA.