Designing and Preparing a Comprehensive Volunteer Management System

Client: The Innocence Project
Faculty: Sara Grant, Merle McGee
Team: Marc Cincone, Ben Clark, Hillary Cohen, Micah Goldfus, Michaella Holden
Year: 2010
The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices. Recently, the organization experienced both an increase in individuals offering to volunteer and a greater internal need to use volunteer assistance to reach programmatic goals. Without a formal volunteer system in place, the Innocence Project has not been able to take full advantage of the numerous offers from individuals wanting to volunteer. The Capstone team tackled this issue by assessing the current volunteer needs of staff members, researching best practices and current trends in volunteer management, and exploring volunteer management software options. The team then designed a comprehensive volunteer management system; strategy and process for the Innocence Project, including a software plan; procedures for staff to communicate volunteer needs; outlines of handbooks for volunteers and volunteer supervisors; and recommendations for the new system's overall implementation.