PLANNING FOR DIVERSITY: EVALUATION OF A VOLUNTEER DISASTER RESPONSE PROGRAM.
Additional Document Info
The United States 'population is growing and diversifying rapidly. The nation is also experiencing an increase in the frequency and magnitude of disasters. Yet, most organizations that respond to these disaster events operate with a homogenous volunteer base - largely, white, middle class, and older. To improve program reach and effectiveness, diversifying volunteer pools is increasingly important. This article presents an evaluation of one response organization attempting to diversify its volunteer base geographically, ethnically, and linguistically, to better serve disaster survivors. Drawing on interviews with program leadership, the results, highlight two needs: 1) clear communication about the definition and rationale of diversity throughout the organization and 2) implementation of volunteer recruitment methods to address these goals.