Like a number of grant-making entities, The Colorado Trust is strongly committed to identifying, designing and delivering appropriate technical assistance for its grantees. Such initiatives help ensure the grantee’s success during the life of the grant but also can set the stage for new capacity-building priorities for grantees to implement independently.
On behalf of a client, we were reviewing a very comprehensive Organizational Capacity Assessment developed by The Colorado Trust for their Healthy Aging Initiative grantees. As is often the case with these sorts of measurement tools, information-gathering is designed to occur in several different ways, including roundtable dialogues as well as workbook-style self assessments. The timing of research is also important, i.e., there may be data collected at the beginning of the funding cycle which is then compared to a similar set of data as the grant winds down.
If you’ve been fortunate to be a grantee in a program that involves this kind of technical assistance and/or a Project Liaison who coaches and mentors you in person, you know how valuable the help can be. Here’s an example from the Trust’s assessment process that you might find useful, in this case a set of rating statement to help you determine how successful your volunteer recruitment, engagement and recognition program is.
This instrument was developed with a series of statements to be scored from “Strongly Disagree” to “Somewhat Disagree” to “Somewhat Agree” to “Strongly Agree.” How would you rate your volunteer program?
- Our organization is clear about the variety of volunteer roles useful to us.
- Our organization effectively recruits volunteers for as many tasks as appropriate.
- Volunteers have a clear understanding of our organizational mission, program goals, and their specific roles.
- Volunteer training is offered that directly contributes to the organization’s objectives.
- Our volunteers are well qualified for their roles.
- Our most valuable volunteers are retained by our organization.
- Our organization supports volunteers by acting upon issues that warrant attention.
- We encourage our volunteers to take initiative and raise questions, and they regularly do so.
- Our volunteers consider their roles to be meaningful contributions.
- Our volunteers are appreciated by our organization and that appreciation is demonstrated meaningfully.
- Our volunteers are eager to return.
- The age, gender and ethnic diversity of our volunteers reflects the community we serve.
- Our volunteers are culturally competent to serve the constituencies we target.
How else do you define success for your volunteer programs? What are you dreaming of for the future that would make your volunteers more plentiful, better trained, more engaged and warmly recognized?