Publication ID
Author(s) 2010 – 2012 Advanced Volunteer Administration Academy University of Kentucky
Published Date October 20, 2015
Revision Date October 20, 2015
Reviewed Date October 20, 2015

Link to Publication:


The Extension Volunteer Handbook was developed by the 2010 – 2012 Advanced Volunteer Administration Academy class and includes all of the tools, resources, and strategies necessary for Kentucky 4-H Youth Development agents to effectively administer volunteer programs.


The pressure applied to Extension professionals to reach a growing audience and serve an expanding, diversifying clientele is increasing.  With shrinking budgets and increasing demands on time and programs, the only way to expand outreach is through expanded volunteer efforts.  Extension professionals are generally hired based upon their expertise and qualifications in a specific subject matter area.  Conversely, in order to be successful, these subject matter specialists must be proficient volunteer administrators.  However, no resource has ever been developed, at a national level, for Extension professionals to utilize to administer volunteer programs.  The Extension Volunteer Administration Handbook for 4-H Youth Development is designed to meet this need.  Seven 4-H Youth Development Professionals, all of whom had successfully completed the year-long Volunteer Administration Academy, collaborated with their professor to create The Extension Volunteer Administration Handbook for 4-H Youth Development.  Many of the tools and resources included in the Handbook had previously been developed through the Volunteer Administration Academy, but were not aggregated into one collection or repository.  Using the GEMS Model of Volunteer Administration (Culp, Deppe, Castillo and Wells, 1998) as the theoretical framework, the class began by identifying all of the components already in existence, as well as those that needed to be created.  An expansive review of the literature, including an exhaustive search of the archives of The Journal of Extension. was conducted.  The result was a complete collection of information, best practices, tools and resources, that include the information necessary for Extension Professionals to work effectively and efficiently as volunteer administrators in 4-H Youth Development.

The Extension Volunteer Administration Handbook for 4-H Youth Development includes seven chapters and an appendix.  These include:  Introduction (the history of Extension and the background of Extension volunteers); structure (the need for structure in Extension volunteer programs through a volunteer administration model),the Extension Volunteer Administrator, (Core Competencies, Responsibilities and Evaluation);   a model for working with volunteers in Extension (the GEMS Model of Volunteer Administration: Generating, Educating, Mobilizing & Sustaining);  program Administration ( Organizational Climate, Record Keeping, Risk Management, transfer of records and reports); marketing the Extension volunteer program (developing, marketing, implementing, evaluating and promoting); and appendix  (laws, policies, awards, volunteer position descriptions, volunteer planning aids, mentoring guides and 360 degree evaluations.)

Extension professionals have greater impact and reach larger and more diverse audiences with an effective volunteer program.  Effective volunteer programs don’t just happen; they must be planned and executed.  Planning is easier with a structure to follow.  Extension professionals may more effectively coordinate and administer volunteer programs once they have been provided the tools and resources to do so.

 The Volunteer Administration Handbook was designed to achieve the following objectives:

• Provide research-based volunteer information in a single resource.

• Store resources in a single location.

• Include examples of letters, evaluations and other information available in one location to be printed and used by Extension professionals.    

***Click the icon below to access the PDF version of the Extension Volunteer Handbook***