Department of Psychology

Volunteer Program Assessment

Developing future professionals through scholarship, mentorship, and community engagement.

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The Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA) is an innovative process designed to promote non-profit organizational effectiveness by providing your organization with feedback from your volunteers and recommendations for growth. The VPA is an online survey developed from the scientific literature of Industrial and Organizational Psychology to measure the health of your volunteer program on 15 dimensions (PDF). This survey provides information regarding 1) your volunteers’ feelings, attitudes, and reactions to your program and 2) information about what they perceive as your program’s greatest strengths and areas for growth.

Sample Survey Items

Below we have included some examples of the types of items that your volunteers will respond to:

  • My volunteer coordinator is quite competent in doing his/her job.
  • I like the volunteers I work with.
  • I feel that I know what is going on within this organization.
  • I have mastered the skills necessary for my volunteer assignment.
  • I feel that my input is valued by the organization I volunteer at.
  • I feel used up at the end of the volunteer session.
  • I often think of ending my volunteer work at this organization.



The process begins with an initial email from a VPA-WSU consultant. This initial email will provide additional information about the VPA process and a general timeline.


After the initial conversation, you, or the volunteer manager at your organization, will complete a survey that will provide your consultant with more information about your organization and how to best implement the VPA-WSU process at your organization.


Your VPA-WSU consultant will email you, or the volunteer coordinator, the survey link. In addition to the survey link, your consultant will provide instructions on how to administer the survey and communicate with your volunteers during the process. Online survey administration typically lasts for 2 weeks.


Your VPA-WSU consultant will use the survey results to generate your report. This report will provide information about areas where your organization is doing well with your volunteers and areas where improvements can be made. Your VPA-WSU consultant will walk you through the report and make recommendations based on your results.


“The results of your survey were extremely informative and will help shape our volunteer recruitment, training, and recognition initiatives for years to come. As I mentioned on the call, Special Love’s board has included Staffing Excellence in our most recent strategic plan and the data you collected through your survey will prove tremendously valuable as we move forward… the level of detail contained in the results was something we desperately needed in order to make the best decisions for our volunteers and the campers they serve... With the help of your data (and all the efforts of all involved), we expect to see improvements in performance and perception for all those who create the magic of our camp programs.” - Special Love

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will be on the survey?

    This survey asks the volunteer about their feelings and reactions to organizational processes, behaviors, demographics, etc. Using these data, we can inform you about where your organization is excelling and where and how your organization can develop and grow.

  • Who should take the survey?

    You should distribute this survey to all of your volunteers. This information can be crucial in making decisions regarding where to direct your attention and resources. However, if you are only interested in a particular subset of volunteers, you can distribute it to them. This latter method will tell you less about your volunteer program as a whole, but more about that particular group of volunteers.

  • Why, as a volunteer coordinator, should I use this survey?

    This survey is useful to you because it will inform you about the makeup of your volunteer base, including where you’re getting your volunteers, how effective your recruiting methods are, and the quality of your staff-volunteer interactions. We at VPA-WSU understand that volunteer coordinators are challenged for time and resources, and we view this diagnostic tool through which we can provide you with an overall volunteer program assessment with minimal legwork on your part.

  • What will VPA do with your volunteer data?

    We will provide a report to you based on the data generated through the survey. In addition, we will likely use the data to conduct scientific research; however, we will remove any identities (personal and organizational) from the data before using the data for research presentations and publications. All research will fall under Institutional Review Board ethical guidelines. We take your privacy (and your right not to be studied) very seriously.

  • What if I don’t have the time to go through with the process? I am interested, but I have a tight schedule.

    We are sensitive to the needs of our clients and can work around your schedule. Also, we can change the dates that the steps occur on if need be. It is important to discuss any time constraints or possible difficulties at the beginning of the VPA process to allow your consultant to adjust for these issues.

  • How often can my organization take the survey?

    We recommend doing a follow-up survey six months to a year after administering the original survey to measure change on survey dimensions. Also, we like to measure how effective our recommendations have been at helping you improve your organization.

  • What's in it for Wright State University?

    Our primary motivation is truly one of outreach and support of the nonprofit community. Additionally, the VPA program helps Wright State University reach its goals of supporting the academic, career, and personal goals of the university’s students.

Contact Us

Volunteer Program Assessment
Fawcett Hall 335C
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
Phone: 937-203- 8087