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Engage Library

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
A new, international team of Volunteer Engagement experts from Australia, the USA, the UK and Israel begins a new era for Voices in this issue. They start by sharing their vision for this important Engage column, one that will now highlight voices from around the world through…
January 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
Social media was an imperfect tool before the pandemic. So we might not be too surprised to learn that civic organizations have had mixed success and reactions as they worked through the pandemic and tried to find ways to engage volunteers in new ways that included social media…
January 2022
The sudden withdrawal of many formal volunteering opportunities in March 2020 cast a spotlight on the nature of volunteer work. In many cases, important services were suddenly curtailed while still other organizations pivoted volunteer roles into paid positions. As we come to…
January 2022
If you’ve ever been in the market for software and your organization has an IT person, there’s a good chance you’ve been advised to “pick something with integrations.” That’s because software integrations aren’t just a nice-to-have feature – they’re your silent assistants. Why?…
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
Leaders of volunteers come from many varied backgrounds and, between them, have taken almost every twist and turn possible on their way into the profession. In this Voices, we hear about the journey of Laurence Bolotin, who attended a graduate class in volunteer engagement…
October 2021
In this issue's Research to Practice, reviewer Laurie Mook looks at a very interesting study of online volunteer mentors. Researchers compared the quality of volunteering between four different online mentor groups who participated on the same platform in the same activities:…
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
Digitally-enabled volunteer management is not simply volunteer coordination. Rather, it is the experience of facilitating the relationship between the volunteer and the organization, initially and over the lifetime of engagement. It's important to note that designing and…
October 2021
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 Year 2021 was certainly another challenging year in Volunteer Engagement as we continued to face novel and complex situations. A number of these challenges were notable enough to make it into the headlines. This final Ethics column for an unprecedented year takes a look back…
October 2021
We are living through the democratization of impact data and impact analysis. Once the reserve of elite, institutional philanthropy, new tools and data are enabling a much wider swath of nonprofits to credibly demonstrate their mission impact to stakeholders, including donors …
July 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
  “Just a volunteer…” How often do you hear these words spoken at your organization? The implication that these three words indicate a lack of ability, lack of trust or lack of accountability is worrying. We all know, after all, that volunteer indicates a pay category, not a…
July 2021
Imagine that you are on a trip visiting your nation’s capital, and about to step into one of the highlights listed on your “places to visit.” Would that list include an interactive museum space that’s dedicated to volunteering and service? In this Voices, former U.S. Congressman…
July 2021
Mentorship: As defined by Merriam-Webster, "the influence, guidance or direction given by a mentor." Opinions, interpretations, acceptance and application of that definition can vary between individuals, and can be the foundation of discussion and debate. What changes when the…
July 2021
In 2003, while working at The Urban Institute, Mark A. Hager spearheaded a national study of volunteer administration called the Volunteer Management Capacity (VMC) study. In 2019, he returned to the field to collect new information and update the study. In this Research to…
July 2021