General Volunteer Program Management Resources

General Management Tools


Before You Begin/Strategic Planning

Learn more about the following below:

  • Recruitment
  • Job Descriptions
  • Volunteer Applications
  • Volunteer Interview Process
  • Volunteer Screening
  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Cultivation & Stewardship
  • Evaluation
  • Termination & Offboarding


Job Descriptions

Volunteer Applications

Volunteer Interview Process

Volunteer Screening



Cultivation & Stewardship


Ethical Decision-Making

Retention, recognition, and appreciation

  • Volunteer Appreciation Week is the third week of April (and the month of April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month).  Read President Biden’s proclamation for Volunteer Week 2021, and check out these great ideas from DonorBox for celebrating National Volunteer Week (and Month!) with your team.
  • VolunteerHub brings us two articles on effective volunteer retention: Increase Volunteer Retention with Rewards and Recognition, and 4 Tips for Volunteer Retention.
  • Volgistics brings us more ideas with Best Ways to Reward Volunteers.
  • Read this VolunteerMatch article for a list of great suggestions to recognize your volunteers’ contributions and show your appreciation!  7 Reward Systems for Recognizing Volunteers.
  • Keep your volunteers engaged!  United Way offers a comprehensive practical guide, full of resources for further reading, in its 501 Commons Guide to Volunteer Management Best Practices.
  • Recruiting is only half the battle--retention ensures a successful program with continuity and stability.  Read the Urban Institute’s Volunteer Management Retention Best Practices report for some common-sense tips on retention.
  • Relationships between paid staff and volunteers seem like they would be a natural fit, but there can be tension.  Read Energize’s Satisfy Staff First, an article analyzing the complexities of the relationship between volunteer and paid employees.
  • High volunteer turnover is not inevitable!  Read the Energ!ze article discussing volunteer programs, assumptions about turnover and why it’s preventable.
  • Read ALIVE’s Strategic Volunteer Engagement (2009), a comprehensive guide to volunteer engagement.
  • CallHub offers these 5 tips for your nonprofit’s volunteer engagement strategies. 
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Volunteer Engagement Toolkit provides templates, recruitment tips, onboarding advice, resourcing/supervision recommendations, evaluation suggestions, and partnership development opportunities.
  • Virginia Service offers reports on three hot topics: the surge of skills-based and pro bono volunteering, the onset of self-directed teams, and calculation of the true return on volunteer investment in Volunteer Engagement Today

Risk Management


Termination & Offboarding

  • This Associations Now article makes an excellent case for the importance of offboarding both paid staff and volunteers.
  • You know that a good onboarding process is critical to maintaining the health of your volunteer corps, but why does offboarding matter?  Read this article from Jungo HR to  find out.
  • Offboarding is a natural part of the volunteer lifecycle and should be managed  with as much thoughtfulness as your onboarding process.  The EU Manual of Volunteerism, an excellent overall guide to managing volunteers, includes a comprehensive section on offboarding, beginning on page 52.
  • This article from 4Imprint offers useful tips for offboarding and succession planning for your departing Board members.
  • A good volunteer-termination letter can make all the difference in the involuntary termination process.  Read this article from GreatSampleResume for a good example.
  • This post from BambooHR, although focused on paid-staff offloading, provides a useful checklist for all terminations--paid staff or volunteer, voluntary or involuntary.
  • Make sure you are covering all the bases with the HR Resource Center’s Offboarding Checklist and Downloadable Template