Volunteer Management Handbook, Chapter 6 – Assessment, Planning, and Staffing Analysis


Assessment, planning, and staffing analysis represent three vital areas within volunteer program management and leadership. Authors Cheryle Yallen and Barbara Wentworth review the many benefits and contributions that an effective volunteer resource management program can make to the organization’s mission fulfillment. Developing and sustaining a successful volunteer resources program also presents challenges, ranging from adequate financial resources and building support from the board and staff, to investing insightful planning in the program’s definition and deployment.

After reviewing major demographic sources of volunteers and typical opportunities for volunteer service, the authors stress the importance of preprogram assessment, alignment with the organization’s mission and vision, and consideration of those benefits and challenges inherent in a volunteer program (e.g., required resources).

A strategic job analysis includes the process of identifying the specific tasks to be performed, including the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other (KSAO) characteristics that are required to perform the newly defined position successfully. KSAOs should be prepared and in place for all current and projected volunteer positions and should be highly aligned and correlated with the organization’s strategic plan, goals, and objectives.

The authors outline the process of competency modeling that identifies the specific competencies that characterize high-performance and success in any given job. These, too, should be aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives. A volunteer position analysis includes competency modeling, position descriptions, and position specifications to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives. The authors include a strategic position analysis/competency template to assist readers in preparing job descriptions (basically summarizing the analysis) that help ensure greater success in recruiting the most qualified individuals for positions that will clearly advance the organization’s mission efforts.


Cheryle Yallin
Ms. Yallen is President of CNY Enterprises, and an international trainer/consultant, bringing over twenty-five years of social service experience to the consulting field. This experience includes working with non-profit organizations as a consultant, Executive Director, Board member and volunteer. An active member of the social service community, she currently consults with numerous organizations in addition to being the Executive Director of a private foundation. As a current practitioner, as well as consultant, she brings up-to-date solutions to today’s challenges.

As a trainer, Ms. Yallen has conducted retreats and workshops on a wide range of topics including organizational development, volunteer management, fundraising, board development and strategic planning to name a few. She is also a published author. Ms. Yallen holds a Bachelors in Psychology and Masters degree in Marketing Communications. Ms. Yallen and CNY Enterprises advances nonprofit strategies for organizational success.

Barbara Wentworth, MS
Ms. Wentworth serves as Director of Community Impact at United Way of York County (Maine), a position to which she brings a rich work history that includes experience as a facilitator, trainer, researcher, grant writer, editor, executive director and supervisor of paid and volunteer staff. Her background includes many years developing and managing successful volunteer programs at a variety of nonprofits in the county, establishing a countywide volunteer center and building a peer-to-peer network for volunteer resource professionals.

In her current capacity with United Way of York County, Ms. Wentworth oversees the organization’s community building and impact work, convening and facilitating stakeholders around issues of community concern, staffing the philanthropic community investment process and overseeing community-based work in the areas of early childhood and youth financial literacy.

A published author and trainer, Ms. Wentworth has written and presented on a range of topics including volunteer and nonprofit management, civic leadership and outcome measurement. Currently she serves as an Editorial Reviewer for the International Journal of Volunteer Administration and as a Commissioner on the Maine Commission for Community Service. Ms. Wentworth holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology/Social Welfare and a Masters in Management/Organization Development.