Volunteer Manager Job Description
Volunteer Managers are responsible for selecting, training, and supervising the volunteer staff of an organization. Volunteer Managers typically are responsible for high-level activities and spend a lot of time working independently and making their own decisions. A Volunteer Manager must also be able to communicate effectively with volunteers, paid staff members and clients.
Because this position requires several years of directly related experience, a Volunteer Manager is typically a high-level employee with supervisory responsibilities. Volunteer Managers usually work for nonprofit organizations, but there are some positions available with for-profit companies. For example, a corporation with a strong volunteer initiative may hire a Volunteer Coordinator to help employees identify volunteer opportunities, track volunteering hours, and create program reports. The number of job opportunities in this field is expected to increase 10 percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Volunteer Manager Duties and Responsibilities
The main goal of a Volunteer Manager is to ensure an organization has enough volunteers to fulfill its service mission. To meet that goal, a Volunteer Manager must perform a variety of duties involving recruitment, training and program planning. We reviewed several Volunteer Manager job postings to determine the core duties associated with this job.
When an organization needs new volunteers, the Volunteer Manager uses a variety of methods to attract suitable candidates. The Volunteer Manager may place advertisements in the newspaper, post volunteer opportunities online or attend job fairs with the hope of meeting new volunteers. Volunteer Managers also interview potential volunteers to determine if they are a good fit for the organization.
Once a new volunteer comes on board, it’s the Volunteer Manager’s responsibility to provide comprehensive training. Volunteer Managers often conduct orientation sessions, give new volunteers tours of the building and help new volunteers get settled into their roles. In some cases, the Volunteer Manager also teaches volunteers new skills.
Create Program Reports
Without the right data, it’s difficult to determine if a volunteer program is meeting its goals. Volunteer Managers collect data from volunteers and paid staff members, use the data to create reports and distribute those reports to key personnel in the organization.
The Volunteer Manager works closely with volunteers to come up with a schedule that works for everyone. If the organization has a special event planned, the Volunteer Manager is also responsible for ensuring the right number of volunteers is available to handle the extra work.
Determine the Need for Volunteers
Some volunteers stay with the same organization for years, but others stop volunteering after just a few months. A Volunteer Manager must be able to anticipate these changes and plan accordingly.
Volunteer Manager Skills
This position involves a great deal of contact with other people, so a Volunteer Manager must have excellent interpersonal communication skills. A Volunteer Manager should also be able to use Microsoft Office programs to log volunteer hours, make volunteering schedules and create reports. In addition to these basic Volunteer Manager skills, employers are looking for candidates who know how to do the following.
Core skills: While reviewing several job postings, we determined that employers want to hire Volunteer Managers with the following skills. Strengthen your candidacy by brushing up on the following.
- Recruiting, training, supervising and evaluation new volunteers
- Tracking volunteer hours and using the data to create reports
- Developing program goals and policies
- Managing a budget for the volunteer department
- Lifting objects weighing up to 25 pounds
Advanced skills: The following skills are not required by every employer, but some Volunteer Manager job listings indicate they are preferred. Improve your résumé by taking time to learn these skills.
- Collaborating with cross-functional teams
- Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge or other fundraising software
- Creating handbooks, training manuals and other program materials
Volunteer Manager Resources
We created this list of resources to help you build a successful career as a Volunteer Manager. The list includes industry groups, books and websites to help you learn more about the profession and develop the skills you need to enter the field.
On the Web
Idealist Volunteer Management Resource Center – Access a library of articles on topics of interest to Volunteer Managers.
A-Z Volunteer Management Library – Learn about topics ranging from volunteer recognition to working with nonprofit boards.
Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement – Join ALIVE to network with other Volunteer Managers.
National Council of Nonprofits – Stay on top of trends in the nonprofit world.
Volunteer Manager Books
365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers – Find new and exciting ways to reward people who give their time and effort to your organization.
The Volunteer Recruitment (and Membership Development) Book – Find out how to recruit the best volunteers and keep them happy.
The Volunteer Management Handbook – Learn how to create a volunteer program from the ground up.
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