Needs assessment for volunteer leadership training among volunteer based organizations in the Bryan/College Station area: an exploratory study
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A strong volunteer development program is important to the success of volunteer based organizations. Such a program can bolster volunteer recruitment efforts, increase retention of current volunteers, and improve their performance. But, in order for the training to be successful, the training must help the volunteers achieve their personal goals as well as helping the organization achieve its own goals. For this reason a skills approach to leadership was used in this study since it would be beneficial to both the organization and the volunteer. The seven leadership competencies chosen for the study based on the literature review were: (1) identifying problems, (2) gathering information, (3) solving problems in new ways, (4) communicating effectively, (5) understanding other roles in the organization, (6) understanding others’ attitudes, and (7) adapting behavior to work with others. The purpose of the study was to determine for which of these leadership competencies volunteers at Bryan/College Station nonprofit organizations needed training. To determine this, it was important to first determine the current leadership competencies of local area volunteers and how important each of these competencies were to nonprofit organizations. With this information, it was possible to draw conclusions and determine what areas of volunteer leadership training would be most beneficial to both nonprofits and their volunteers. This study found that all seven leadership competencies chosen were important to the organizations studied. More than eighty percent of organizations asked their volunteers to explicitly or implicitly perform each competency. Furthermore, each competency was rated as either important or very important by at least half of the organizations. Based on the findings, it was concluded that communicating effectively and adapting behavior to work with others were the two most important competencies. At least two thirds of the organizations demonstrated a need for training in these areas. Identifying problems, solving problems in new ways, understanding other roles in the organization, and understanding others’ attitudes showed a need for training in about half of the organizations. These competencies should be developed, but show less potential for training benefits. Finally, gathering information showed limited need for training.
Snapp, Byron Webster (2008). Needs assessment for volunteer leadership training among volunteer based organizations in the Bryan/College Station area: an exploratory study. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from