Volunteer Program Assessment: Bridging Rural & Urban Concerns of Non-Profit Organizations

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

This project’s intent was to offer a partially internet-mediated service learning course for undergraduate students from multiple disciplines that will involve students in learning how to assess quantitatively and qualitatively the experiences and satisfaction of volunteers working for the Foster Grandparents Program (FGP) in Gering, Neb., and Beatrice, Neb. The Foster Grandparent Program is part of Senior Corps, a network of national service programs that provide older Americans the opportunity to put their life experiences to work for local communities.

The project’s short-term goal was to provide information to allow volunteer coordinators and other staff to make better decisions to improve the experiences of rural volunteers. One of the project’s long-term goals is to help retain volunteers and hence contribute to the economy in rural Nebraska through an improvement of volunteer experiences and retention.

Impacts

A new service learning course for undergraduate students from multiple disciplines was developed that provided the opportunity to learn about volunteerism, nonprofit organizations, and consulting in rural Nebraska by assessing the experiences and satisfaction of volunteers working for the Foster Grandparents Program. The course is cross-listed in psychology and management.

Through the course, students are able to:

  1. Understand the nonprofit sector and issues regarding volunteer management
  2. Understand how intergenerational volunteering efforts contribute to local communities
  3. Learn how to use surveys to provide consultation services to clients
  4. Increase knowledge of professional business etiquette and presentation skills

Project Team

Partners

Publication

Presentations

  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Burnout and Recruitment
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: The Volunteer Program Assessment Survey Results
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Perception of Volunteer Voice
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Ongoing Training Ideas
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Satisfaction with Volunteer Colleagues
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE
  • Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska
    Foster Grandparents Program: Addressing Burnout and Recruitment
    June, 2017 | Gering, NE

 

Contact: Joseph Allen, josephallen@unomaha.edu