The mission of the Volunteer Program Assessment at Wright State University (VPA-WSU) is to provide non-profit organizations with quantitative and qualitative data and feedback about their volunteers' experience, with the goal of improving volunteer and organizational outcomes. The purpose of VPA-WSU is to provide non-profit organizations with free resources to help improve their impact. It also provides our Industrial and Organizational Psychology graduate students with learning and professional development opportunities through consulting experience.
On this page:
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.
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.
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.
Volunteer Program Assessment
Fawcett Hall 335C
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH 45435-0001