Author: Sharma, Binod
The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the management of the interCultural Online Health Network (iCON) project’s volunteers, exploring the mutual benefits and challenges to both the nonprofit organization and the volunteers. As the benefits and challenges of volunteerism are ‘the other side of the coin’, organizations will benefit when they overcome the challenges of managing volunteers and are motivated to address volunteers’ expectations. This study employed Survey Monkey, with the sample drawn from the roster of recent iCON volunteers, an email was sent requesting completion of the survey instrument comprised of Likert scaled, open-ended, and semi-open ended questions to more than 60 volunteers, with 17 participants responding to the survey. Analysis of the results reveals that most volunteers participated in iCON’s one day events, yet would prefer longer, more regular hours. A majority of participants expressed a preference for more training/orientation prior to beginning volunteering and more frequent communication with other volunteers. Participants are also interested in developing their presentation, organization, and leadership skills while working with iCON. Respondents further indicated that iCON currently provides adequate acknowledgement to volunteers. For the majority of respondents the availability of resources, including iCON’s management and fulfilment of volunteers’ expectations, is found to be excellent with the few exceptions providing guidance for ongoing improvement.
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