Overview – Volunteer Management

Volunteer Management

In 4-H Youth Development, volunteer development is a priority. Creating a volunteer delivery system is critial to the succes for program delivery. A volunteer delivery system is a unified, orderly process for coordinating and overseeing the work of volunteers and their partnership with staff at all levels of the county program. It is a comprehensive system that develops the processes to put all aspects of staffing together.

Volunteer development engages individuals in an ongoing educational process, designed to build capacities for service roles. Volunteer management is the utilization of volunteers to achieve organizational goals by individuals who manage programs, resources and inputs. Volunteer coordination is engaging volunteers and organizing volunteer efforts to accomplish desired goals.

A 4-H Youth Development volunteer offers their time, talent and/or resources to 4-H Youth Development educational program without monetary expectation. It is a privilege to serve as a volunteer for the 4-H Youth Development Program.

The ISOTURE model of volunteer administration and development was developed by Dr. Robert Nolan, Professor or Adult Education at North Carolina State University in 1969. It was adapted by Dr. V. Milton Boyce, Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development, Extension Service, USDA in 1971 and introduced to County and Area 4-H Agents to be used in local 4-H Youth Development Programs.

I Identification: The process of finding people who have the competence and attitudes essential to fill specific leadership positions. This includes the identification of county 4-H program needs and the volunteer roles to meet those needs, targeted recruiting for volunteers, identifying potential volunteers, and completion of a volunteer application.

S Selection: The process of studying the backgrounds of prospective volunteers identified and motivating them to fill selected positions. This includes screening potential volunteers, reference checks, interviews, and matching volunteer to needed roles.

OOrientation: The process of orienting volunteers to the expectations of the 4-H youth development program and their volunteer role. This includes new volunteer training and support.

TTraining: The process of stimulating and preparing volunteers to acquire knowledge and to develop attitudes and skills necessary to enable them to be successful in their volunteer roles. This includes ongoing training through a variety of delivery methods.

UUtilization: The process of providing the opportunity for volunteers to put acquired knowledge and skills into action in the most appropriate way to function in a supportive environment. This includes support for volunteers to actively carry out responsibilities and to provide opportunities for mentoring from other volunteers and paid staff.

R Recognition: The process of recognizing and rewarding volunteers for their contribution and performance. This includes ongoing recognition through formal and non formal methods.

E Evaluation: The process of determining how well a volunteer is doing in their role, providing useful feedback, assisting volunteers in achieving personal goals, and learning from the volunteer strategies to improve their role and the organization. This includes evaluation to create, adapt and expand organizational volunteer delivery systems.

National resources:

Volunteer Recruitment, Development and Management – 4-H Volunteer resources cover the subjects of Personal Readiness, Organizational Readiness, Engagement of Volunteers, Education of Volunteers, and Sustainability of Volunteer Efforts. http://www.4-h.org/resource-library/professional-development-learning/4-h-youth-development/volunteerism/

The Volunteerism for the Next Generation Fact Sheet Series is adapted from the TAXI curriculum that was produced by National 4-H Council in the mid 90’s.The Fact Sheet Series is a valuable resource for the implementation of a Volunteer Delivery System. https://4-h.org/resources/professionals/volunteer-development/#!fact-sheet-series


  • Boyce, M.V. (1971). A Systematic Approach to Leadership Development. Washington D.C.; USDA, Extension Service. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 065 763)
  • Dolan, R.J. (1969). The Leadership Development Process in Complex Organizations. Raleigh: North Carolina State University.