Masters Thesis

A Program proposal to increase African-American volunteer work for CASA of Kern County

Volunteering is a dynamic force in the management of a nonprofit organization. In order for a nonprofit organization to run effectively the management of volunteers is important. Nonprofit organizations play a large part in the structuring of the community because nonprofit organizations are established in the interested and needs of the community it is serving. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a nonprofit organization that was created to provide a voice for children in the court room and assisting in placing children in permanent homes. In order to fulfill their goal CASA relies heavily on volunteer work. Among the volunteers serving African American volunteers have one of the lowest turnoutrates.In order to increase their volunteer turn out rates for African Americans this study analyzes who is currently volunteering and why they chose to do so. This study found that race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, and time are all contributing factors to volunteer turnout. Due to the amount of time and ability of a CASA to get to know a child mentorship is also a large part of the organization. With the specific goal to increase the volunteer rates for African Americans the study evaluates the importance of African American volunteers as well as how to recruit members of the African American community. The study does so by comparing the national sites recruiting to Kern County’s as well as using other studies and similar organizations to find how to succeed in the goal. From the research the program this study proposes consists of two phases of change. The first phase consists of changing the literature for recruiting information such as pamphlets and flyers which are handed out at various information and fundraising events. This literature will include information regarding the importance of African American volunteering for the organization and its plan to raise awareness and outreach to the community. The second phase of the program is hiring an intern to assist in recruiting volunteers of color. From the national site as well as mentoring studies it is found to be successful in recruiting to have like race recruiters. In order to tackle other factors such as time and compensation the proposal recommends stipend pay of $800 over a 6-month evaluation period. It is recommended that the organization further explore the importance of same race mentoring and leadership roles, as well as increasing awareness in other avenues such as urban radio and television when more funding is available. Diversifying staff should also be a longterm goal to continue in recruiting more African Americans.

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