Volunteer Development at AFS-USA subscribes to the idea of there being a Volunteer Life Cycle. At any given time, an AFS volunteer could be at any stage of the life cycle, depending on their current role. The five stages of the Volunteer Life Cycle are as follows:
Volunteer Recruitment includes taking the time to assess the team's specific volunteer needs, developing a plan to meet the needs, and then determining what sorts of events or activities need to be planned to identify volunteers to meet those needs.
Registration and Integration
This is the process of ensuring all of our volunteers complete the Volunteer Registration or Volunteer Re-Registration process each year, as well as ensuring that new volunteers receive an AFS orientation and are given a role or responsibilities within the team.
Assessment, Support, and Training
This is the process of training volunteers for their roles, reviewing volunteer satisfaction and performance in the context of the role they have been asked to do, and ensuring they have access to the tools and resources they need for their roles.
Recognition and Retention
Recognition and Retention helps to ensure that the volunteers we have remain satisfied with the work they are doing for AFS and feel that the work they are doing is appreciated by others in their team and by the larger organization. It can also include a "career path" for volunteers who are interested in taking on more and bigger responsibilities.
Succession Planning helps to ensure that the organization does not become stagnant by encouraging periodic volunteer turnover in key positions. It includes changing volunteer roles and responsibilities to reflect changes in their personal situation, as well as ensuring a sensible process of transferring knowledge and responsibilities from one volunteer to another.