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Partnership for Healthy Aging


Effective MOB Volunteer Recruitment and Retention 2009 Maine Volunteer Lay Leader Survey Results

In an effort to better understand the factors that contribute to effective volunteer recruitment and retention, Partnership for Healthy Aging surveyed Maine's Volunteer Lay Leaders from the Matter of Balance and Living Well for Better Health programs. The purpose of the survey was to:

  • Gather information about recruitment and retention from the volunteers' perspective.
  • Use the information to help sites improve their recruitment and retention efforts.

Major findings pertaining to the Matter of Balance program include:

  • Most MOB Coaches initially learned about becoming a Coach through newsletters, RSVP, contact with an agency, and word of mouth.
  • The majority of MOB Coaches are motivated by helping others to help themselves.
  • MOB class experiences rated highest by MOB Coaches: seeing participants gain confidence and watching people become empowered.
  • Class experiences that MOB Coaches found most challenging: making time in their schedule for volunteering, class preparation, and facilitating vs. leading class participants.
  • The majority of MOB Coaches feel very confident teaching the class and facilitating class exercises.
  • Most MOB Coaches felt that teaching the class positively influenced their sense of accomplishment, their sense that they can make a positive difference in another person's life, as well as their confidence in managing their own falls.
  • The majority MOB Coaches rated the support they receive from their Master Trainer(s) as very good or excellent.
  • Only 22% of MOB VLL's responded that they attend a MOB Coach meeting.
  • Respondents reported that the largest barriers to continuing as a MOB Coach are lack of time to volunteer and lack of available classes to teach.

Words from a MOB VLL:


"I think that newly trained persons should be scheduled as soon as possible in assisting with a class - so as not to lose motivation or forget what they learned -  instead of being put on a waiting list for when needed."



  • Many MOB Coaches have similar motivations for becoming Coaches, as well as similar challenges.
  • Area Agencies on Aging and other community organizations play an important role in recruiting new volunteer lay leaders.
  • It is important for Master Trainers to provide ongoing engagement and support to MOB coaches.
  • It is important to have MOB classes available for coaches to teach and soon after new coaches are initially trained.




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