Volunteer Program Planning for A Helping Hand

helping hand

The Cause

A Helping Hand is a nonprofit organization committed to assisting older adults in maintain independence and quality of life. Cathy Ahrendsen founded A Helping Hand in 1995 in response to an unmet community need for high caliber senior support services. Today, the agency remains committed to her vision of helping senior citizens and individuals with disabilities safely “age in place” while maintaining the highest level of independence. We serve people of all income levels in Orange, Durham, Chatham, and western Wake counties, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Challenge

As with most nonprofits, volunteers provide a tremendous benefit. We find that the nature of our work, asking individuals to interact with a senior in their home for up to 3 hours, is more intensive than many other volunteer opportunities. We would love to be able to find a way to properly communicate our need to volunteers and to retain them. We would like for a consultant to help us pinpoint the places in our volunteer program where we can work on retention and building a volunteer culture that is generative.

The Project: Volunteer Program Planning

Estimated Volunteer Time (Now through April 30):

31-36 hours

See Scope of Work / Project Steps Show

End Result

The project will result in the following deliverables:

  • A 1-2 page assessment summary highlighting areas of strength and weakness in the organization’s current volunteer recruitment and retention strategies.
  • A 2 year Strategic Action Plan / timeline that includes, at minimum, strategies / a plan for volunteer appreciation / retention.
  • Volunteer job descriptions or updates to existing job descriptions, profiles, and outreach plan and messaging for up to 5 top volunteer needs.


This project would have a significant impact on our ability to serve the community/clients. As our program depends on volunteers, this would have a tremendous impact on our ability to serve more seniors. In Durham in particular, there is more need than we have volunteers. Volunteers also translate into donors and informed advocates in the community, not only for our agency but for aging issues in the community. The bottom line of our mission is to serve seniors. By gaining a larger, more loyal and more sustainable base of volunteers, we would be able to do expand our services.