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University of Wisconsin System
Cooperative Extension
Posted: 12/18/2018
Volunteer Management System Specialist

The Volunteer Management System Specialist is responsible for managing, overseeing, and coordinating UW-Extension’s volunteer management system efforts across the state of Wisconsin. 

This newly identified position will provide strong statewide leadership in cultivating formal volunteer management and the holistic development of volunteers within UW-Extension programs to increase the capacity of the organization. From policy to process, this position will create a consistent framework for volunteer management and development, which includes but is not limited to training, technology interface, risk management, and retention.

The Volunteer Management System Specialist will provide administrative leadership for volunteer management and development to support additional capacity across UW-Extension and will be a conduit to volunteer activities in the Division and across UW-Madison on key volunteer initiatives.  The specialist will provide overall leadership in the development of UW-Extension policies and is expected to align UW-Extension policies and procedures with UW-Madison.

The Volunteer Management System Specialist will develop strategies to expand initiatives for diverse and underserved populations to volunteer in Extension programs including the development of training modules to create systems and policies, which support a diverse cohort of volunteers.

The Volunteer Management System Specialist provides leadership in the areas of strategic management, organizational development, and management of partnerships, while fostering an environment that is inclusive, trusting, respectful and collegial.

The Volunteer Management System Specialist will report directly to the Director of Human Resources with a strong alignment with the Associate Dean of Operations and Policy.   The office location will be based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Frequent travel to meet with Area Extension Directors, County partners, and engagement with UW-Extension Leadership is required.

Primary Duties/Essential Job Functions:

Volunteer Management:

  • Serve as an advisor to Extension administration providing clear communications regarding policies and guidelines related to volunteerism. 
  • Provide leadership for the Criminal Background check process for volunteers including:
    working closely with UW-Extension and UW-Madison HR, providing guidance and direction for handling issues and discrepancies found in the screening process.    
  • Provide leadership for systematic volunteer training in collaboration with statewide coordinators in respective UW-Extension programs at the area and statewide level.   
  • Develop and maintain a volunteer management policy manual. 
  • Create and provide leadership to a volunteer advisory committee consisting of UW-Extension volunteer coordinators and other staff currently representing all UW-Extension program areas. 
  • Create and ensure an accessible volunteer contact databases exist which identify all UW-Extension volunteers. 
  • Maintain a volunteer recognition system and support regular volunteer training in collaboration with statewide program coordinators.  
  • Work with UW-Extension staff to identify and provide better access to facilities, equipment and other resources for volunteers to address localized and systemic barriers of participation of protected and underserved audiences.
  • Provide content for an online presence for all UW-Extension volunteer opportunities and resources to support their role as a volunteer.    
  • Keep staff and volunteers current regarding state and national legislation on the needs, issues and trends in volunteer management.  Prepare situational data as a basis for volunteer development and management.  
  • Provide leadership and support to volunteer managers and volunteer groups regarding all fiscal and risk management policies and regulations. 
  • Manage and facilitate developing accountable agreements with auxiliary groups, partners and 501c3’s, which outline the relationship with UW-Extension. 
  • Engage UW-Extension colleagues, faculty, clientele groups and others in identifying educational program priorities in volunteer management. 
  • Develop a statewide Volunteer management and development plan of work.     
  • Create annual written impact reports in partnership with Program Support Services related to volunteerism and provide ongoing impact stories highlighting volunteering in UW-Extension. 
  • Provide educational opportunities and serve as a resource person to field staff, volunteers, partners and others in volunteer management throughout the state. 
  • Develop and implement a professional development plan to enhance staff competence in volunteer management. 
  • Ensure representation from diverse audiences, including underserved and underrepresented clientele and compliance with civil rights, affirmative action, and equal opportunity policies. 

Volunteer Development:

  • Strengthen the UW-Extension network and capacity by developing volunteer training programs, researching strategies to improve volunteer retention and recruitment of diverse volunteers. 
  • Develop partnerships with diverse community agencies and organizations.
  • Create interest and enthusiasm for volunteer initiatives and coordinate efforts to increase visibility, marketing, and public relations.
  • Work collaboratively with UW-Extension staff to create an effective and meaningful volunteer development system, which collectively embeds the philosophy of the Land Grant University and community engagement as a foundation. 
  • Train county and campus colleagues to educate and empower volunteers to assume service and leadership roles within the policies and guidelines of UW-Extension. 
  • Develop and provide training materials to enhance UW-Extension’s public, political and funding support.  Maintain appropriate training curricula and other written and web based materials for all UW-Extension volunteers.

Volunteer Liaison between UW-Extension and UW-Madison:

  • Provide leadership for volunteer development initiatives through strategic partnerships across UW- Extension and UW-Madison, which includes volunteer recruitment processes, training programs, evaluation protocols, and direction with the integration of technology with an online tracking system and other technological modalities in working with UW-Extension and UW-Madison faculty and staff who work with volunteers.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan for engaging stakeholders to serve as volunteers and leaders for UW-Extension programming. Assess and address statewide needs for volunteer development opportunities and initiate plans to link volunteers with statewide opportunities.
  • Collaborate with staff, seek and acquire external funding to support volunteer resources, staffing and programs. 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and at least 3 years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired is necessary.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Evidence of successful community-based, outreach education experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with underserved communities
  • Demonstrated success in dealing with conflict or contentious situations and understanding of conflict approaches.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • An earned Master's degree. Five or more years of professional experience in designing, conducting and evaluating education programs for volunteers and youth.
  • Proven ability to identify and respond to developing trends in the higher education field
  • Proven ability to identify and develop plans of action for underserved communities
  • Demonstrated and effective cultural competencies to engage with people from different cultural backgrounds, including those associated with race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of human diversity.

Position Clarification:
This position description is not intended to be comprehensive in nature given the changes in primary duties/essential job functions and position expectations that can occur over time in response to emerging and assessed community, program and organizational needs. Changes to this position description are subject to the approval of the Office of Human Resources and those to whom the position is accountable.

Type of Appointment:
This position is a fixed-term renewable academic staff appointment in the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Division of Cooperative Extension. Reappointment to this position after the initial term is dependent upon performance and availability of funding.

For more information and/or to apply, please visit: