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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.

Every four years, the local organizing committee of either the summer or winter Olympics faces the challenge of recruiting and deploying thousands of volunteers in support of the massive event. And every four years, the committee seems to reinvent the system from scratch.…
July 2008
In this issue, Points of View tackles an often elusive topic that nonetheless seems always challenging to volunteer managers: how to expand an organization’s leadership and find the right volunteers for the job.  In “Trolling for Leadership,” we look at using real recruitment…
April 2008
In a crisis situation, a designated volunteer coordinator can take charge and handle the spontaneous outpouring of volunteers that typically accompanies the situation. This Points of View examines why those skilled in volunteer management can automatically tap into a proven…
January 2008
In this Points of View, the authors won’t argue for a return to the old and casual systems for volunteer involvement.  After all, this is a different world with different problems – with criminal record checks serving as a perfect example of something that volunteer managers…
July 2007
Every once in a while the subject of self-development bears revisiting.  Since one of the most important roles a volunteer program manager fills is that of in-house educator – the key advocate for effective volunteer involvement – it is vital for all of us to keep our…
January 2007
Many volunteer program managers bemoan the fact that they receive little support from top management.  In this issue’s Points of View we consider the consequences of having entirely too enthusiastic backing from executive decision-makers – whether politicians or agency…
October 2006
One of the more interesting leisure pastimes is watching the Internet colossus Google release new tools and gadgets to supplement its basic search engine.  One of these we’ve been contemplating lately is www.google.com/trends.   One of the things about search engines like Google…
July 2006
The recent demise of the Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA), affecting mainly Americans, has surfaced many issues around both the “profession” of volunteer management and the design of a possible association that would serve the needs of managers of volunteer…
April 2006
Volunteering is intricately intertwined with many areas of society and public life, some obvious and some that should be better recognized. In this issue of “Points of View” we discuss public policy arenas that relate to volunteering.  For each arena, we pose some philosophic…
January 2006
We have, in Points of View, spent some time in past columns looking at questions, problems, difficulties and quandaries. Alas, there are a lot of those things in our field to look at and ponder. But since that’s not the only picture, in this issue we thought we’d focus, for a…
October 2005
For quite some time the notion of “corporate social responsibility” has been discussed and demonstrated in various ways. The concept includes many things, from producing products in environmentally-safe ways to providing family-friendly working conditions, yet our field more…
April 2005