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Volunteer Risk and Program Management Project

About the Project

Beginning in 2009, the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) funded a three-year Volunteer Risk and Program Management Project to decrease and manage risks related to volunteer involvement in SMPs, increase the management and coordination of volunteer efforts, and enhance the reach and effectiveness of SMPs across America. It is hoped that SMPs will be safer for both volunteers and beneficiaries as a result, and that liability exposure will decrease among SMP agencies.

Project objectives included:

1. Identify, evaluate and prioritize risks related to volunteer involvement in SMPs.

  • For a chart of SMP volunteer program risks identified through this project, click here.

2. Create a risk management plan for the most pressing identified risks.

  • For the results of surveys conducted with SMPs and used to inform the development of the plan, click here.

3. Develop risk management-oriented policies, procedures, standards and guidelines and associated resources and training around the involvement of volunteers in SMPs.\

  • For AoA's VRPM policies and project information, click here.  
    • For the project Vision Guide, published in 2011, click here.

4. Develop additional best practices and associated resources and training in volunteer program management.

  • To see the resulting volunteer risk and program management policy implementation materials, click here.
  • To visit the volunteer risk and program management training archives, click here.

Project Leadership

The project was guided by a steering committee from various levels of the SMP network. Members included: Barbara Dieker (AoA), Courtney Hoskins (AoA), Linda Graff (Consultant), Steve McCurley (Consultant), Erin Weir (IL SMP), Darrell Elliott (KS SMP), Shirley Merner (SMP Resource Center), Ginny Paulson (SMP Resource Center), Heather Flory (SMP Resource Center), and Mike Klug (Consultant). Materials developed by the project were reviewed by an SMP field review team made up of SMP stakeholder committee volunteers. Field review team members included SMPs Anita Hoy (VT), Stephanie Bias (NC), Karol Dermon (NH), Donna Denney (ID), Rona McNally (MO). and Lucilia Prates (MA). In addition, input will be sought on an ongoing basis from all SMP staff and volunteers at SMP annual conferences, surveys, conference calls, e-mail discussions. and field tests to comment upon and help fine-tune materials before they are put into use.


Q&A about Volunteer Risk & Program Management

Consultants Linda Graff and Steve McCurley and members of the VRPM steering committee responded to a range of questions about their approach to volunteer risk and program management in these excerpts from The Sentinel.