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United Way is uniquely positioned to engage people, companies, faith communities, government, labor, nonprofits and more to create community solutions that drive lasting change and results in communities around the world. Your United Way has the power to engage volunteers in innovative and meaningful ways.

volunteer engagement best practices

United Way Volunteer Management: Keys to Effectiveness (2016)
Accessible through United Way Online (if you don't have access to UWO, ask your local United Way to share these resources with you), this set of online resources shares strategies to deliver community impact and effectively engage volunteers. It is primarily designed for use by United Way professionals, whether you’ve managed volunteers for years or are new to working with United Way volunteers.

United Way Guide to Strategic Volunteer Engagement (2015)
This guide describes what volunteer engagement means in the United Way network, offers suggestions for thinking through a strategic approach, and shares examples of best practices and strategic plans.

United Way Day of Action: 2015 Report (2015)
This report from the 2015 Day of Action gives an overview of Day of Action, final roster of participating United Ways, highlights of United Way volunteer projects advancing education, income and health, and financial and in-kind support from Global Corporate Leadership companies that participated in this year's event.

Volunteering: The Force Multiplier for Community Change (2014)
This report presents findings from a recent survey of U.S. and international United Way CEOs focused on levels of volunteer engagement. It also describes why and how more people are volunteering with United Way in recent years.

Readers, Tutors, Mentors: Volunteers That Boost Academic Achievement (2011)
The Readers, Tutors, Mentors initiative was launched in 2011 as a way to develop and deepen strong individual, group, and corporate relationships among United Ways and local partners that exceed one-way funding relationships. The year-round opportunities that are a part of this initiative allow for United Ways to engage in strategic volunteer engagement, a critical element to advancing the common good. This report highlights the successes of local United Ways in this initiative, sharing detailed examples and best practices.

Engaging Volunteers in Education: A Volunteer Reading Guide (2010)
This guide, from United Way Worldwide, focuses on engaging volunteers in reading and tutoring programs. It gives examples of United Way volunteer reading programs, tips from the field, and suggestions of specific action steps.


volunteer engagement program examples

Be a Middle School Mentor
The United Way of Allegheny County partnered with Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania to create this mentoring initiative. Mentors are matched with a local mentoring agency in the Pittsburgh area and then paired with a student in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Mentors meet their mentee at the student's school. Also, mentors are trained by their mentoring agency to ensure quality services. Head to their website to learn more!


United Way Worldwide Webinars

These webinars from United Way Worldwide can only be accessed through United Way Online. If you are not a United Way, reach out to your local organization for access to these materials.

Strategic Volunteer Engagement 101 (2015)

Strategic Volunteer Engagement 102: Assessing Organizational Readiness (2015)

Strategies to Recruit Volunteer Readers, Tutors, and Mentors (2014)


Interested in becoming a volunteer or finding volunteer opportunities to share with your community? Head to United Way's website!

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