Evaluating a Statewide 4-H Volunteer Structure for Protection and Ease


  • Jamie Morris University of Maryland Extension, 4-H Youth Development
  • Lacie Ashby University of Maryland Extension, 4-H Youth Development




volunteer engagement, volunteer management, volunteer system, strategic review, risk management


Organizations that engage volunteers to enhance and extend programs in order to meet their mission and goals often have a process to onboard individuals to serve. These processes are typically designed to provide protection to the volunteer and the organization; however, they are only as strong as the policies and procedures set in place. This article overviews one state’s process to review and revise their 4-H program’s volunteer structure to improve the consistency and cohesion of its use and the protection for all involved.

Author Biographies

Jamie Morris, University of Maryland Extension, 4-H Youth Development

Jamie Morris an Extension Specialist for 4-H Youth Development in Volunteer Systems and Development for the University of Maryland Extension.  She provides guidance and training in leadership, volunteerism and youth development for professionals, volunteers and youth.  With more than 25 years of youth development experience, she is passionate about providing youth with positive high quality experiences and strives to help others find their passion and place as a volunteer with 4-H.

Lacie Ashby, University of Maryland Extension, 4-H Youth Development

Lacie Ashby serves as a 4-H Youth Development Educator in Allegany County, Maryland. She joined University of Maryland Extension in August 2008. She focuses on animal science programming, youth development, and volunteer development. She strives to expand and enhance the 4-H Club program and project opportunities for youth and to promote 4-H as a valuable opportunity for youth to develop life skills (soft skills) desired by employers while experiencing various project areas to fine tune career goals. She received the NAE4-HA Achievement in Service award in 2011 and Epsilon Sigma Phi Early Career Service award for the Northeast region in 2013 and the Distiguished Service Award from NAE4-HA in 2018. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Frostburg State University. 


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