Centralized versus Decentralized Volunteer Management, with a Case Study of the North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Title: Centralized versus Decentralized Volunteer Management, with a Case Study of the North Carolina Botanical Garden
Author: McManus, Elaine
Abstract: Centralized versus Decentralized Volunteer Management, with a Case Study of the North Carolina Botanical Garden Abstract Nonprofits play an important role in American society and volunteers are critical to their success, because nonprofits are often severely underfunded. However, many nonprofits are not utilizing volunteers to their fullest potential because they do not have a formal management structure in place for their volunteers. Previous research has defined the core components of volunteer management and identified various options for integrating them into an organization, including centralized, decentralized, and hybrid. The focus of this paper is to provide insight into how a nonprofit should decide which integration method to use. To help answer this question, a survey of volunteer managers was conducted to understand how their volunteer management programs are organized and how these structures came to be utilized. Results were also examined to determine if any correlations exist between organizations using the same approach. There were three key findings in this research. First, centralized management was the most prevalent management approach. Second, two-thirds of volunteer managers varied their management approach by function to some degree. Third, there were no strong correlations between the volunteer management approach and the size of the organization, the percent of the volunteer manager’s job spent on volunteer management, the experience of the volunteer manager, or the size and scope of the volunteer program. It is unclear if these findings can be considered as best practices for other volunteer managers to adopt because almost half of respondents said that either their approach to volunteer management evolved this way over time or they were not sure how it came to be this way.
Date: 2017-06
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.20/34368


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