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Engage Library

Points of View

None of us involved with Engage are short of opinions. In fact, we seriously considered emblazoning the slogan "Insight with Attitude" across our masthead.  Points of View is devoted to the exchange of opinions, viewpoints, attitudes and, we hope, insight. Within it, we discuss the political, social, ethical, and managerial issues that underlie volunteering. We encourage readers to join the conversation and to share your own points of view on the topics presented.

What does the volunteering movement want from politicians in an election year? What efforts should Volunteer Leaders make to try and influence political outcomes and government? What important issues should the sector rally around and why is advocacy in the political arena so…
January 2024
The title of this article suggests that there are two types of people or even jobs – generalists and specialists. In looking at most professions, we see a mix of the two. Yet when we look at Volunteer Engagement, we would argue that we only see generalists. While there may be…
October 2023
Every single one of us — yes, even you! — has something of value to share that others want to read and learn from. If you write it, others read it and gain new ideas and insights that will feed our appetite for fresh ideas, insights and content for professional journals like…
July 2023
In the midst of one worldwide crisis after another, Points of View editors Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink shed light on yet another complex issue impacting Volunteer Engagement professionals: lack of trust in our institutions. “At the very moment in history that we need…
April 2023
There has not been a time since the World Wars where it seems the global population is facing such upheaval, so many demands and layers of losses. It seems like people are reaching the end of their tethers. Or, as J.R.R. Tolkien famously wrote, they feel "thin, sort of stretched…
January 2023
There is a long tradition in Volunteer Engagement of focusing on the things we want, the things we feel we don’t have. Whether it’s more power, resources or respect, we give an inordinate amount of our time, dialogue and effort as a profession to the things we perceive we lack.…
October 2022
Is there a new energy emerging in volunteering? And if so, why are these things happening now? Points of View authors Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink charge right into these questions with a nod to an array of initiatives from England, Scotland and Australia that all point to a…
July 2022
As we transition from the pandemic, Points of View authors Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink note that there are more demonstrations of anger, rudeness and other uncivil behaviours. In this increasingly uncivil society, how far can and should organizations go to protect their…
April 2022
The beginning of a new year is like a blank page, allowing us to create something entirely new and embrace big shifts. Starting 2022 off with a New Year’s resolution to ‘Get Over Ourselves’ is just what Rob Jackson and Erin Spink suggest in their latest Points of View article.…
January 2022
The global pandemic – along with raised consciousness on diversity, equity and inclusion – has forced many organizations to refocus, change directions and reflect on a range of issues. For example, some are re-evaluating how they serve their community, from both a procedural and…
October 2021
The language we use to talk about Volunteer Engagement is a topic we’ve touched on before in Points of View, and authors Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink revisit this theme in this issue of Engage. Their article builds on a challenge issued recently by author Simon Sinek, which…
July 2021
As leaders of volunteer engagement, are you actively involved in ‘building back better’ discussions that are taking place in your post-pandemic organisation? Have you been invited to be part of these conversations? Have you asked if these conversations are happening, whether you…
April 2021
In this Points of View, Rob Jackson and Erin Spink sit down (well, Rob stood up!) to chat on video about all things volunteer engagement and 2020. In what was an exceptional year for the whole world, volunteer engagement professionals faced new challenges and opportunities of a…
January 2021
In this Points of View, co-authors Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink readily admit that few will be sad to see the year 2020 end. But, they write, “if nothing else, the pandemic and its impacts on leaders of volunteers and volunteerism have demonstrated more than ever the power and…
October 2020
Twenty years ago, colleagues Steve McCurley and Susan J. Ellis together founded e-Volunteerism, which was at the time the first and only electronic publication for the volunteer management field. In this poignant Points of View, McCurley reflects on their shared vision and quest…
July 2020
Volunteers can make the world a better place - but it behoves us to ask the question,  "Better for whom?" In this Points of View, Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink put this question front and center by challenging leaders of volunteer engagement to look at volunteering in real…
April 2020
With a nod to e-Volunteerism’s co-founder and volunteer management expert, the late Susan J. Ellis, Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink use this Points of View to present a provocative and much-debated topic: What really makes someone a skilled and effective volunteer engagement…
January 2020
Two steps forward, one step back. . . In this Points of View article called "The Volunteer Engagement Cha-Cha,"  Erin R. Spink and Rob Jackson ask some questions that every volunteer engagement professional will want answered about professional associations. Namely, what is…
October 2019
Why did the Volunteer Manager and Marketer walk into a bar together? To discuss Seth Godin's blogs of course!  In this Points of View, Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink consider the “wisdom of Seth” – namely, Seth Godin, a Hall of Fame marketer, author of several best-selling…
July 2019
In this Points of View, Erin R. Spink and Rob Jackson share their thoughts on the words and phrases that no longer serve the volunteer engagement profession – and, they argue, could actually hurt us. They also present and review new ways to communicate about the volunteer…
April 2019