Professional Competencies Needed By A Volunteer Administrator

Most volunteer administrators come to the field from another job, career, or volunteer experience. Few have had special education for the position. Volunteer administration is a profession that requires knowledge, skills, and abilities for effective practice. The New Hampshire Association of Volunteer Administrators has developed a list of the competencies needed by a volunteer administrator.

This list can be used in many ways:

  • To plan professional development education.
  • To assist in choosing workshops and conferences.
  • To assist in writing a job description for a volunteer administrator.
  • To provide a base for performance evaluation.
  • To build a resume.
  • To inform supervisors, administrators, and others about the profession.
  • To explain what it is that a volunteer administrator does.

This list is basic and is not hierarchical. Individuals are encouraged to adapt it to their personal needs and specific job description. Sections and subsections may be added. Categories may be ranked. It is the belief of NHAVA that no category should be eliminated.

Planning and Program Development Competencies

Ability to:

  • Establish structures and procedures for smooth program operations.
  • Involve the community and form relationships

Knowledge of:

  • About the individual’s agency or organization of the community.
  • Of the customers the organization serves.

Ability to:

  • Write goals, objectives and action plans.
  • Delegate
  • Develop volunteer service descriptions
  • Form volunteer/staff relationships.
  • Create effective groups and committees.
  • Develop record keeping systems.
  • Design program evaluation.
  • Plan activities.

Knowledge of:

  • Resources available and raising other resources.
  • Fiscal management systems.

Recruitment, Selection, Placement, Orientation, and Training

Ability to:

  • Conduct a public relations effort
  • Market internally and externally
  • Develop volunteer applications

Ability to:

  • Conduct effective interviews
  • Match the volunteer with a volunteer service description
  • Write letters of acceptance?agreement letters

Knowledge of:

  • Procedures for background and reference checks

Ability to:

  • Assess needs
  • Relate training to needs of volunteers and staff

Knowledge of:

  • Concepts of adult education
  • Teaching/training methods

Supervision and Evaluation of the Volunteer

Ability to:

  • develop evaluation methods for volunteers.
  • provide support for volunteers.
  • document volunteer performance.
  • recognize leadership capabilities in volunteers

Ability to:

  • Match recognition to an individuals needs.

Knowledge of:

  • Theories of motivation.
  • Recognition methods – formal, informal

Program Evaluation and Risk Management

Ability to:

  • Document program results.
  • Collect data.
  • Interpret data.
  • Report results.

Knowledge of:

  • External (federal, state) regulations affecting volunteerism.
  • Tort law as it effects volunteerism.
  • Liability issues.
  • Insurance as it effects volunteer programs.

Knowledge of the Volunteer Profession

Knowledge of:

  • History of Volunteerism and volunteer administration
  • Philosophy of Volunteerism
  • Volunteer trends
  • Professional Associations
  • Resources for the Professional
  • Volunteerism in other countries