Managing Spontaneous Volunteers in Times of Disaster: The Synergy of Structure and Good Intentions

This document can also be found on the Official website of Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network at

The Volunteer Management Committee of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) developed these concepts of operation to serve as guidance in planning for and managing unaffiliated volunteers during all phases of emergency management. The intent is to provide recommendations on structure and process based on best practices in the field, while at the same time allowing flexibility for adaptation to specific local communities and various types of disasters. These recommendations are offered as a framework upon which to build local emergency management strategies related to unaffiliated volunteers. This user-friendly booklet also includes helpful checklists.

This resource is part of a Collection of similar guidelines entitled "Supporting and managing volunteers during emergencies." Collections are monitored daily and new content is added.