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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.

To kick off a new year and a new issue, Points of View authors Susan J. Ellis and Steve McCurley sink their editorial talons into the lack of quality academic research on volunteering, lashing out at researchers who approach volunteering as a mystery and routinely neglect to…
January 2012
Between them, Steve McCurley and Susan J. Ellis have about 70 years of experience in teaching volunteer management, providing training for far more than 500,000 managers of volunteer programs. In this Points of View, these well-known trainers and authors nonetheless acknowledge…
October 2011
The next time you have a few volunteer program managers together, here’s an interesting exercise question:  “How many of you have volunteers working side-by-side with you to do what’s needed for successful volunteer engagement – beyond helping with clerical work?”  When we ask…
July 2011
In March 2011, 10News in San Diego, California, ran a story with the following headline: “Habitat For Humanity Charging Local Volunteers: Group Forcing Local Volunteers To Pay Before Helping Build Homes.” The resulting controversy revealed both facts and opinions about “passing…
April 2011
The European Commission has declared 2011 to be the European Year of Volunteering (EYV), which coincides with the United Nations’ International Year of Volunteers + 10. Both organizations have created a variety of “working groups” to study and report on issues that are…
January 2011
In their last Points of View, Steve and Susan offered a somewhat tongue-in-cheek reaction to the current fad that suggests volunteer involvement would improve if we simply turned everything over to corporate human resources “professionals.” But in this follow-up column, the…
October 2010
e-Volunteerism’s Steve McCurley and Susan J. Ellis recently attended the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, where they were deluged with what is becoming an increasingly common message: “Don’t despair. For-profit corporations and their business wisdom are…
July 2010
With this issue of e-Volunteerism, co-founders and co-publishing editors Susan J. Ellis and Steve McCurley begin their tenth year of publication. When they began this effort, both admit that they had no idea whether a venture like e-Volunteerism would succeed at all, much less…
October 2009
For the last decade, we’ve watched professional associations of volunteer program managers – on local, state/provincial, national and even international levels - launch, thrive, wither, revive or stagnate in dozens of countries. Our conclusion? There is still no consistency of…
January 2010
Over the years we’ve seen an impressive array of attempts to “re-conceptualize” volunteering, at least to re-name it.  Last fall, the United States saw a flurry of special events, legislative proposals and media attention focused on the subject of “service.” It was brought to a…
July 2009
We’ve worked diligently to raise the standards of volunteer management. But we shouldn’t lose sight of some of the things that make volunteering different from paid employment, and help capture the volunteer spirit. In the past decade or so, we’ve tackled two types of…
April 2009
e-Volunteerism tends to be a pretty straightforward management journal. Despite the people-centered perspective that is at the heart of volunteerism, we don’t normally publish human interest soft stuff.  So why would we devote an entire issue to one person?  In this Points of…
January 2009
Those of us involved with volunteerism for a long time have always thought that the easiest way to ensure its future is to teach volunteering to children at a very early age. In fact, research shows that those who volunteer as children are much more likely to continue to…
October 2008