Evidence-based volunteer management: a review of the literature
Einolf, Christopher (2018)


This article reviews 81 articles that directly tested the effectiveness of volunteer management practices. Many articles measured volunteers’ perceptions of the quality of management practices, not the practices themselves, making their utility to volunteer managers limited. Most articles
used self-reported, cross-sectional surveys and subjective outcome measures such as satisfaction and intent to continue volunteering. Despite these limitations, current research supports the effectiveness of 11 best practices: liability insurance, clearly defined roles, job design, recruitment
strategies, screening and matching, orientation and training, supervision and communication, recognition, satisfying motivations, reflection and peer support. No support has yet been found for three supposed best practices suggested by the practitioner literature: written policies, record-keeping
and individual evaluations. Future studies should use more rigorous methods, including validated measures, external ratings of volunteer effectiveness, field experiments and longitudinal surveys.


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