|Step 5: Nurturing, Monitoring,
The fifth step of the Success Cycle is a very important one and can influence whether or not you and your volunteers will enjoy working together. It can also influence how people will feel about volunteering in general and whether or not they will want to do so again. This step deals with showing appreciation to those who work on the project with you.
Recognition: Letting Them Know They Matter
All volunteers should be given recognition for their efforts. This doesn't involve financial rewards, but an acknowledgment by those who have received help and by those who know what a big difference the volunteers have made. The following list suggests some ways to thank volunteers.
Twenty Ways To Give Recognition to Young Volunteers*
*Adapted from "101 Ways to Give Recognition to Volunteers," by Vern Lake, Volunteer Services Consultant, Minnesota Department of Public Welfare.
Evaluation: Monitoring Your Project
While you and your volunteers may feel very good about your project, you also want to know whether it has accomplished something. Evaluating the project can help you learn whether it has met its goals, but only if you decide up front what you want to evaluate and how you will go about doing so. The purpose of conducting an evaluation is "to answer practical questions of decision-makers and program implementors who want to know whether to continue a program, extend it to other sites, modify it, or close it down" (National Crime Prevention Council, What, me evaluate? Washington, DC: National Crime Prevention Council, 1986). You will want to be able to show that your crime prevention project does one or all of the following:
Performing an evaluation. There are many different ways to evaluate your project. You may want to conduct a survey of your target audience, asking whether or not certain conditions have improved as a result of your project. Compare the results with the results of your planning survey. What problems did the comparison show? Was the target audience satisfied with the results of the project? What could have been done better?
While your project is ongoing and when it is completed, you will need a way to check on its progress and see that it is reaching the basic goals you set. "Worksheet 5: Assessing Your Project," is a good tool for reviewing your project. The basic measures to use should go back to your goals and objectives. Was crime reduced in the school or neighborhood? Did you reach all the people in the neighborhood you intended to? Did your project reach the elementary school children you planned to instruct? Did they learn what you were trying to teach them?