Spring 1987 // Volume 25 // Number 1 // Tools of the Trade // 1TOT1

Previous Article Issue Contents Previous Article

No Excuses


Jeanne Moore Warning
Assistant State Leader
Home Economics Program
Iowa State University

No Excuses: The Team Approach to Volunteer Management. Susan J. Alice and Kathryn H. Noyes. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: ENERGIZE, 1981. 63 pp. $8.75 paperback. Available from: ENERGIZE, 5450 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144 215-438-8342

Much of the literature on volunteerism speaks to full-time managers of volunteers, but many people manage volunteers as only part of their job-as something appended to their "regular " duties. They therefore have limited time and resources in which to handle this responsibility.

The basic tasks involved with managing volunteers (recruiting, interviewing, training, recognizing) remain constant regardless of whether this is a full-time job or a part of one's job. The authors of No Excuses suggest "sharing tasks " with others by developing a management team.

An agency or organization is encouraged to first answer critical questions such as, "Why do we want volunteers? What do we expect of them? What is the role of the volunteer manager and what will be the chain of command? What resources (time, work space, dollars) are available? "

Once these questions are answered, a team can be developed from within the organization or from outside resources in the community. The authors present numerous suggestions on where to look when recruiting volunteers, and on coordinating the volunteers after recruitment. They discuss the organization of the management team as well as delegation, communication, and supervision. Sample forms, to make the coordination process more efficient, are presented.

Within Extension, managing volunteers is often only part of the much broader job responsibility of a staff member. This book offers us creative ways to meet the demands of working with volunteers when limited time is available. It's a short, concise, and easy-to-read reference that stimulated me to expand my thinking about the variety of ways we might use that tremendous resource-volunteers.