The VPA (Volunteer Program Assessment) is an online survey process provided to volunteer coordinators to administer to their volunteers. The information collected from the survey evaluates individual and organizational outcomes. The VPA is built on the findings of a survey of 70 different volunteer programs that was funded by a grant from the Humane Society of the United States. Based on that large-scale survey, the VPA team identified key drivers for volunteer engagement and commitment. All of the questions and scales on the VPA survey come from published research. VPA was originally developed in a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and The Humane Society of the United States. Since the inception of VPA in 2009, the VPA has been administered to nearly 1000 different organizations and has grown to encompass eight different university partners.
The VPA’s overarching vision is to help nonprofit leaders understand the strengths and weaknesses of their volunteer program, from the perspective of their volunteers, and provide insights into the strategic management of their volunteer resources. VPA strives to support the nonprofit community by providing scholarships for free volunteer assessment services that might otherwise be unavailable to nonprofit organizations and their leaders.
The VPA process is facilitated by Master and Ph.D. level graduate students in the UGA I-O Psychology program who volunteer their time and go through extensive training. These students are our VPA Consultants and work directly and independently with the coordinators of the nonprofit organizations for the entire life cycle of the process. VPA Consultants gain highly relevant I-O consulting experience as they guide their client through the survey process, interpret the results of the VPA report, and provide best practices and recommendations in order to improve volunteer engagement, satisfaction, and commitment within the client organization.