Recruitment, Selection & Placement of MG Volunteers
IMPROVING GENERATION Y VOLUNTEERISM IN EXTENSION PROGRAMS
- Andrews, K. B., & L. L. Lockett (2013). Improving generation Y volunteerism in Extension programs. Journal of Extension [On-line], (51)2. Article 2IAW5.
- Reviewers noted that understanding how to recruit and motivate younger volunteers is critical to the success of EMG programs, and that this resource provides concrete examples for working with generation Y. However, the time needed to implement some of the suggested changes may be a challenge. The article appears to be research-based, but there were many references to websites, rather than peer-reviewed resources. (2014)
BOOMERS & BEYOND.12 BEST PRACTICES FOR VITAL VOLUNTEER RESOURCES INTO THE FUTURE
- Boomers & Beyond.12 Best Practices for Vital Volunteer Resources into the Future.pdf. MAVA Task Force on Engaging Boomers as Volunteers.
- Reviewers found this to be well-researched. Includes clearly-defined best practices for working with a spectrum of volunteers, including how to identify volunteer mindsets, recognizing high potential volunteers and utilizing volunteer skills. There is one outdated reference to a 2011 conference near the end of this paper, but other than that, reviewers found this to be a good resource for EMG coordinators. (2014)
- Recruiting Volunteers: Narrated .ppt slides that covers finding the right volunteers, screening and interviewing potential volunteers and providing orientation for new volunteers. This session is part of Washington State University's Master Gardener Program Coordinator training series.
- Some aspects of this presentation (such as the required forms) are specific to Washington State University's program, but the information is generally relevant to EMG programs, nationwide. The sections on targeting qualified volunteers, screening and orientation would be particularly useful for new EMG coordinators. (2014)
We currently do not have peer-nominated and reviewed resources for this category. Feel free to suggest a resource for peer review.
APPLIED RESEARCH ENGAGES EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEERS
- Hagen, Lynne. Oral presentation at: Extension Master Gardener National Coordinators’ Conference; 2018 August 6-10; Madison, WI. https://youtu.be/9WJp4ZIKTmk
- Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteers can be a valuable resource for Extension professionals in applied research when they are given clear instructions and tools for success. We developed recruitment and training materials for EMGs that equipped them for planting, maintaining, and collecting data in four demonstration gardens to measure the benefits of biochar on plant growth. EMGs completed evaluations upon completion of the project, noting 80% satisfaction with the quality of the project, education they gained about biochar, volunteer training experience, and communication methods used. This presentation will be an overview of the training model and materials that were developed. (2019)
IMPROVING ENGAGEMENT AND QUALITY OF ADVICE OF THE MAUI MASTER GARDENER HELP DESK
- Nazario-Leary, Cynthia. Poster presented at: Extension Master Gardener National Coordinators’ Conference; 2018 August 6-10; Madison, WI.
- A primary volunteer activity of the Maui Master Gardener program is to answer gardening questions and provide research-based information to home gardeners via our Help Desk and selected outreach events. In recent years MG volunteer sign-ups to the Help Desk have declined. Surveys and conversations with volunteers suggest that many MG volunteers feel trepidation and apprehension regarding the Help Desk and lack confidence to engage in diagnostic activities. To address these concerns, the MG training curriculum was reformatted to focus on diagnosis. One component of the curriculum is to have MG trainees practice answering FAQs throughout the training course, thereby familiarizing themselves with the Help Desk process and resources and improving quality of responses. (2019)
MASTER GARDENER JOB FAIR INCREASES VOLUNTEERS’ CONFIDENCE, SERVICE, AND EXTENSION AWARENESS
- Pinson, Nicole. Poster presented at: Extension Master Gardener National Coordinators’ Conference; 2018 August 6-10; Madison, WI.
- New Master Gardeners (MGs) learn about volunteer programs during initial training. Some may not be acquainted with how to access and participate in programs and therefore may be reluctant to volunteer (Situation). Recognizing this need, our UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County Master Gardener Program planned and implemented a job fair during initial training. The objectives were to 1) provide information about the programs, 2) decrease barriers to volunteering, and 3) establish relationships. Veteran MGs created fun, interactive displays. Two MGs staffed each display to discuss programs and answer questions. New MGs visited each display and completed a BINGO game of veteran MG names (Methods). After the job fair, 21 volunteered in the online volunteer management system, 12 signed up for leadership roles and 18 signed up for more than one program (Results). Job fairs incorporated in training may help integrate new MGs more quickly, inspire leadership and increase retention rates (Conclusions). (2019)
TAKE-HOME INSIGHTS FROM THE 2016 EMG MOTIVATIONS STUDY
- Dorn, Sheri. Oral presentation at: Extension Master Gardener National Coordinators’ Conference; 2018 August 6-10; Madison, WI. https://youtu.be/DW8aG8uc9JM
- We’ll use these short 20 minutes together to discuss some important take-home insights from the 2016 EMG Motivations study and how they set us on the future path for growing EMG volunteer programs. (2019)
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY GARDENS
- Randle, Anne. Poster presented at: Extension Master Gardener National Coordinators’ Conference; 2018 August 6-10; Madison, WI.
- Community gardens can be challenging to maintain over time as workload, cost, and other burdens overtake enthusiasm. Further, Master Gardeners recruited to help often end up serving as a workforce rather than leaders. To address this issue, UGA Extension Muscogee County created the Community Garden Initiative to promote existing community gardens while shepherding new gardens through their formation. The goal was to increase sustainability of community gardens and engage Master Gardeners in a new and gratifying way. Master Gardeners worked to increase awareness of community gardens by helping prepare a community gardens map with students from Columbus State University. They also led “30 Minute Masters,” teaching simple gardening techniques while attracting new participants to the gardens. Finally, community gardens were assigned a Master Gardener mentor to work one-on-one with garden leaders. This multi-faceted approach led to increased productivity and participation in community gardens and increased satisfaction among Master Gardeners. (2019)