Rape crisis centers in California, similar to other nonprofits across the country depend on and utilize volunteers to further their agency’s mission.  At a local rape crisis center volunteers may typically serve as crisis line staff , advocates, board members, prevention educators, fund raisers, clerical staff and in numerous other areas.  It is clear that volunteers are crucial to the nonprofit agency and a requirement of some governmental grants.  One of the vital pieces of sustaining any nonprofit or for profit entity is the responsible management of valuable resources; volunteers are a valuable resource.

There is an article titled “The New Volunteer Workforce” that was published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.  The article talks about how ineffective management of volunteers can cause volunteers to leave within one year of service with an agency, how costly it can be for an agency when a volunteer leaves and what strategies a agency can do to effectively retain volunteers.
An insert from the article

“To capitalize on the opportunity presented by volunteer talent, nonprofit leaders need to expand their vision of volunteering, integrate volunteers into their strategic planning, and reinvent the way their organizations support and manage volunteer talent.”

There are some excellent insights in this article that can be applied to the management of volunteers within a rape crisis agency.  Also some of the concepts mentioned in this article will be discussed at the upcoming CALCASA Volunteer Management Training Institute on February 1-2, 2010 in Pacifica, CA.  
The article ” The New Volunteer Workforce”   indicates that

” Nationally, one -third of paid nonprofit staff who manage volunteers have never had any formal training in volunteer administration, such as course work, workshops, or attendance at conferences that focus on volunteer management.”

Please use the comment box below to provide insight on your issues regarding the management of volunteers .