1. Kansas State University
  2. »4-H Youth Development
  3. »Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet
  4. »Volunteer Development: Where are we headed?

Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

September 14, 2018

Volunteer Development: Where are we headed?

Submitted by Shane Potter

As I have worked to assess the needs and concerns of staff and volunteers, some common themes have emerged.  From these, the following plan has formed to guide the initial actions to support our 4-H Youth Development volunteer system. 

This is a starting point and I welcome any feedback to help prioritize and move the process forward.  A very helpful group of staff volunteered and has provided excellent input into the management system process as a first step.  With their input we will be moving forward with steps to streamline our current process and hopefully remove some barriers volunteers have indicated to navigating our system. 

Thanks you to everyone who has provided input and guidance as we move forward.  Please let me know what you need and how I can help. 

1.      Comprehensive volunteer management system

- All 4-H volunteers into the system

- Reduce manual processing of volunteer data

- Utilize a system where counties can have access to their volunteer data in real time

- Identify the most economical national screening service which provides the needed screening

- Reduction of redundancy

- Updating of initial training modules

- Exploration of processes/system which will accommodate all volunteers

2.      Staff and Volunteer development resources

- Emphasis on project resources and content (curriculum, capstones, engagement) - all groups


- Direct training for staff

- Access to modules and online training resources

- Ready-made training resources staff can deliver to volunteers


- Engagement of Volunteer Association to facilitate opportunities

- Direct training at regional level

- Opportunities for self-guided learning

- Project resources to help facilitate youth learning

3.      Purposeful and targeted volunteer recruitment

- Intentional utilization of alumni

- Staff training resources

- Targeted social media

4.      Long-term volunteer engagement

- Move towards engagement of more skill based volunteers

- Building of program capacity through volunteer development 

- Training on use of resources to implement at local level

5.      Consistent communication

- Reconstruction of volunteer website content

- Alignment of policy documents (consistent language)

- Regular volunteer newsletter facilitated through local system

- Direct project based communication

6.      Systematic volunteer acknowledgement with local customization

- Creation of state wide system recognizing volunteer contributions

  • Targeted towards specific outcomes not just years involved