Balancing Act

Brief

Balancing Act

The Challenges and Benefits of Volunteers

Abstract

This report is the fourth in a series of briefs on a 2003 survey of volunteer management capacity among public charities in the United States. It introduces an organizational level measure of the challenges and advantages of mobilizing volunteers called net benefits. Challenges include recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers. Advantages include better or more service delivery, cost savings, and access to specialized skills. Survey results indicate that net benefits varies by investments in volunteer management and the extent and nature of volunteer involvement. The brief includes a worksheet that charities can use to calculate their own net benefits score and compare themselves to organizations with similar characteristics.

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