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Engage Library

Feature Articles

Our feature articles are sourced from practitioners around the globe and seek to encourage new thinking, highlight innovative practice and stimulate debate in the world of effective volunteer engagement.

Part Three of a Four-Part SeriesIn Part Three of the Engage series on "Digital Care Circles," authors Dana Litwin, CVA, and Todd McMullin re-introduce some definitions, examples and constructs for Digital Care Circles and provide more how-to’s for getting them operational in…
January 2024
Volunteering occurs in a wide range of settings. And the ways that Volunteer Engagement professionals lead and support volunteers in these different arenas often require adopting some unique practices to attract volunteers and keep people engaged.In this roundtable feature, …
January 2024
The Australian volunteering landscape has experienced a fundamental shift. The declining rate of formal volunteering, COVID-19 pandemic and soaring cost of living have created a perfect storm. People are less available and less able to volunteer, despite an exponential increase…
October 2023
Tim Suda is an experienced Volunteer Engagement professional, and has worked in emergency response Volunteer Leadership with the American Red Cross. However, on January 12, 2023, his life turned upside down when he was caught up in a tornado and became a recipient of the kind of…
October 2023
LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/transgender, intersex and queer) people can face significant day-to-day barriers in bringing their whole selves to a workplace, whether as a volunteer or paid worker. Yet very few studies have focused on the experience of LGBTIQ+ volunteers…
July 2023
Part Two of a Four-Part SeriesIn the first installment of this series, Engage introduced concepts surrounding Care Circles and how they are formed and managed. A Care Circle is an informally-created, often-spontaneous group of people who come together in support of a person,…
July 2023
Will Rogers, the American vaudeville performer and erstwhile cowboy, once famously said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This truism definitely extends to Volunteer Managers when they welcome volunteers for the first time. In this Engage feature,…
April 2023
How do we volunteer – and involve volunteers in our programs – without falling into the saviourism trap, a concept that rears its ugly head when volunteers feel that we can come in and “fix” the problems of a group or community that we don’t belong to? In this highly personal,…
April 2023
Part One of a Four-Part SeriesA chance encounter with volunteering legend Susan J. Ellis–in a New York City hotel lobby during the 1997 Points of Light conference–sets the stage for the start of this three-part series on “Digital Care Circles: The  Future in Volunteering?”In…
January 2023
While recently donating blood, Adam Janes, CVA, started making comparisons between the funding and infrastructure afforded to the Canadian Blood Service verses the volunteerism sector. And that’s when the questions started. In this feature story, Janes seeks answers to determine…
January 2023
For the past five years, the Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA) has conducted research and education on race equity in volunteerism. Through funding from the Minneapolis Foundation, MAVA was able to convene the necessary voices – over 40 community members and…
October 2022
As Leaders of Volunteer Engagement, we seek to make a difference to the agencies we work in and the communities we serve by recruiting community members to volunteer and make a difference. While we would like to believe we use processes that are equitable in making decisions…
October 2022
Two and a half years after the emergence of COVID-19, the world has changed in many ways. Some things about today’s life would have been completely unimaginable in December 2019. To assume that volunteering is immune from this massive wave of change would be naive at best and…
July 2022
While Points of View argues that a new energy is emerging in volunteering, the picture isn’t so clear to Holly Daniels of MAVA (Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement). In this Engage feature, Daniels taps into her daily connections with Volunteer Engagement Leaders to…
July 2022
As a Volunteer Leader, you are entrusted with the stewardship of the sensitive, personal and private information that you and your agency gather and hold about your volunteers. And while most of us know we need to take care of this information, just how many Volunteer Managers…
April 2022
We read a lot about Volunteer Engagement and Leadership from the perspective of agencies who have paid Volunteer Managers – employees in place to oversee, manage and coordinate the efforts of the volunteer team who are committed to support the work of their agency. And in that…
April 2022
Caring for the mental health of volunteers is vital, especially in these COVID times when so many are already dealing with depression and anxiety as a result of isolation and illness. In this timely and important Engage feature, Karen Knight, a Volunteer Management strategist…
January 2022
Should the same level of governance that’s applied to staff in a health service – or any setting, for that matter – be applied to volunteers? Kerryn Mitchell of the Leaders of Health Volunteer Engagement (LOHVE) Network set out to answer this question shortly after she helped…
January 2022
In May 2018, after a long and established career working in the areas of law and social advocacy, Kim Roots became a Coordinator of Volunteers for the very first time. As a newcomer to the Volunteer Engagement and Leadership field, Roots was able to view her new role through the…
October 2021
In Volunteer Engagement circles, we all too often hear tales of woe about minimal support or a lack of understanding of what we do. This sometimes leads us to view the world from a ‘glass half empty’ perspective, where we play the victim and not the victor! In this article,…
October 2021