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Perspectives On Volunteers

A Checklist for Individual Staff 

From the book
Building Staff/Volunteer Relations
by Ivan Scheier, 1993

Date: _________________

Name (Optional):_________________________

Rate each of the statements below for yourself as a staff person on the following scale:

0 = Strongly disagree
1 = Disagree
2 = In-between
3 = Agree
4 = Strongly agree

If you are not working with volunteers, try to answer the questions on a "what if" or speculative basis.


_____1.A team of volunteers-plus-staff can do a better job than staff alone.

_____2.The time and effort I invest supervising volunteers is worth whatever additional benefits accrue from their service (it's better than just doing it myself).

_____3.Volunteers do things which it is inefficient for me to do and allow better investment of my time elsewhere.

_____4.Volunteer participation enables me to do additional things I wouldn't otherwise be able to do.

_____5.I feel I have enough direction/control of what volunteers do, so that they are accountable.

_____6.I feel sufficient ownership of the volunteer program generally via my policy or operational participation in such program functions as recruiting, screening, design of volunteer jobs, training of volunteers, evaluation, etc.

_____7.Volunteers are well-oriented towards sensitive understanding of my priorities, concerns, and frustrations as a staff person.

_____8. I receive suitable orientation and training in the special skills and sensitivities necessary for effective supervision of volunteers.

_____9.As a staff person, I feel I receive enough recognition for effective work in supervising volunteers.

_____10. I’m completely comfortable about volunteers ability to handle confidentiality or other sensitive work issues.

_____11. I’m confident volunteers can be utilized positively to support our work, rather than as an excuse for cutting our budget.

_____12. (Please put in here and rate, any feature not covered above which affects your motivation to work with volunteers.)

Raw Total _______________

Multiply raw total by 2 and give yourself 4 more points for being a good person:

Adjusted Total ______________

Your adjusted total can range from 4 to 100 (most positive) for your perspective on volunteers. Now, answer this last question:

Overall, I feel that my overall rating of my motivation to work with/supervise volunteers is:

Is there something that might be done to address your motivation to work with volunteers in any of the twelve areas for which your self-assessment is relatively low? What suggestions might be helpful to the volunteer program leadership? Use this checklist as a basis for an action plan.


Building Staff/Volunteer Relations   by Ivan Scheier is available for purchase from Energize.