Engaging YOUTH as Volunteers

Youth Volunteer Audit

As Managers of Volunteers, we are in the business of nurturing and promoting the
benefits of volunteerism not just for today but with a keen eye to what resources will be
needed in the future. Successfully engaging youth today may mean resource
sustainability in the years to come. We need tools and strategies that enable us to
support youth and build them into life-long volunteers.

This is the purpose behind “The Youth Volunteer Audit”. We need to understand,
develop and implement best practices for dealing with young people as volunteers.
They are a unique target group that deserves our attention. This tool will assist
organizations to work with youth in what we might call ‘non volunteer’ experiences as
well - those school directed activities like ‘community service,’ ‘co-operative
programs’ and ‘placement.’

I had a primary goal in writing The Youth Volunteer Audit: if non profit organizations are
going to engage youth in their work then they need support to build life-long volunteers
by providing the very best volunteer experiences for youth.

‘Best practices’ have been broken down into three (3) areas in the Audit:

A. Philosophy: Organization Readiness (communicating the importance)
B. Research: Youth Opportunities and Relationship (building options)
C. Development: Processes and Practice (making something ideal and

Under each ‘best practice’ area a series of questions are asked to provoke your thinking
and to help you determine your current status and readiness as an organization to
involve youth. This audit has a strong planning component to it. When you have
answered all the questions, you will have identified the key areas that need further work.

Who is it for?

This Audit will assist organizations:

• Where management are thinking about but not yet engaging youth,
• That may have had less than successful experiences and have a desire to
• That are already successfully engaging youth but want to ensure they stay on

This Youth Volunteer Audit is more than a tool just to take stock. It is a planning tool as
well. I have built in opportunities for developing goals and action plans. To assist you, I
have developed a sample of how to complete the action plan. And, you can reproduce
a template from the Audit for action planning.

The Youth Volunteer Audit can be:

• Used as a resource tool in a workshop setting - “Let’s Get Creative” – see our
web site for further information.
• Used as a focus for a consultation with organizations who want to look specifically
at their own needs in relation to involving youth. 

“An interest in volunteering, developed during one’s youth is likely to be
maintained in adulthood. This suggests the importance of providing positive,
early volunteering experiences for youth, as these experiences may lead to
continued volunteering in the adult years.” (NSGVP 2000 report)

If you are interested in having a youth workshop or consultation using the audit contact Donna. 

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