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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.

In this powerful first-person story, volunteer manager Megan Cassar reveals her traumatic experience with postnatal anxiety and depression following the birth of her first child, an illness that went undiagnosed for 18 months. Her struggle to successfully recover led Cassar…
October 2019
An increasing number of hospitals and other healthcare environments are now beginning to incorporate integrative health interventions into their settings to meet the stress or symptom management needs of both patients and employees. These practices often include massage,…
July 2019
“After 12 years at the helm of a leading faith-based volunteering charity, I have decided to retire.” So writes Leonie Lewis, MBE, who has been Director of the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) since its inception in the UK in 2007. Having recently chosen to retire from her…
April 2019
How do adults learn? There are six principles behind the answer to that question, and e-Volunteerism feature writers and educators Erica Letourneau and Barbara Lombardi explain each one in their story, “A Focus on Relevance: Applying Andragogy to Volunteer Recruitment.” As…
July 2019
With sadness we share the news that our editor in chief, colleague, and friend, Energize, Inc. President Susan J. Ellis, passed away February 24, 2019. Read more...
January 2019
With technological advances growing at an ever-frantic pace, questions and concerns have been raised about the intersection of technology and volunteers. Are technological advances such as robotics, artificial intelligence, drones, and computers likely to displace many…
April 2019
Volunteers make great volunteer managers, but their value in these roles isn’t always recognised. This feature article by Tom Freeland explores the benefits that ‘volunteer’ volunteer managers or ‘lead’ volunteers can bring to an organization. He also explores the fears an…
January 2019
The devastating impacts of hurricanes and floodwaters are well known throughout the world, including nearly every region of the United States. In September 2013, a catastrophic amount of flooding besieged Boulder, Colorado, when almost a year’s amount of rain fell in just a…
October 2018
Managing volunteer programs can be a whirlwind of risk management, policies, and procedures, with mounds of credentialing and more red tape than we’d like to admit. Jumping through hoops can become a necessary skill for volunteers to meet all of the criteria required to…
January 2019
After more than 30 years of working directly in a variety of volunteer leadership roles, Andy Fryar now works with volunteer involving organisations to assist them in establishing cloud-based software solutions. Along the way, Fryar has come to recognise that many volunteer…
July 2018
Volunteer Engagement Professionals (VEPs) commonly feel underpaid and undervalued and believe that their work is misunderstood. In times like these, they often turn to organizations like the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) for support, education, and…
July 2018
When human beings have new experiences, new synaptic pathways forge in our brains. We become alert to new ideas and we can be guided to new understandings and different behavior. In this e-Volunteerism feature, Angela Parker – the co-founder of a global agency called Realized…
October 2018
What’s one way to increase the effectiveness of an organization that wants to involve volunteers in meaningful ways? In this e-Volunteerism feature, volunteer management experts Melanie Merrill and Ruth Leonard of Macmillan Cancer Support, London, write that in order to…
April 2018
As a volunteer resources manager, you may be serving members of the LGBTQIA community and working with LGBTQIA volunteers and/or LGBTQIA paid staff. The acronym LGBTQIA includes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (or Questioning), Intersexed, and Asexual (or Ally/…
April 2018
This e-Volunteerism feature provides an important introduction to a new collection of volunteer resources and written materials recently produced by CNIB, an organization previously known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind that will celebrate its 100th…
January 2018
When volunteer management consultant Sheri Wilensky Burke hears about an organization’s poor volunteer retention, she often discovers that the organization has not defined retention goals. “It’s common to set goals for recruiting volunteers and other metrics, but often…
January 2018
Some years ago, Debbie Mason Talbot, a hospital-based manager of volunteer resources, and Ann M. Heesters, director of bioethics at the same institution, came together to discuss a series of cases that generated moral distress for their volunteers and for those who supported…
October 2017
Vicar Fraser Dyer of St. Anne and All Saints, an Anglican Church in South London, believes that the “whole business of volunteer management in churches is somewhat tricky.” And he should know. Before Vicar Dyer became ordained, he was an active and passionate secular…
October 2017
One week after this issue launched, the 2017 National Summit on Volunteer Leadership Engagement began in St. Paul, Minn. A special track at the summit convened a group of funders (public and private foundations and other donors) who met with volunteer resources managers and…
July 2017
Imagine teen volunteers in a healthcare setting. Admit it: Your first impression probably centered on teenagers pushing carts, delivering flowers or books, or escorting therapy dogs to patients’ rooms. But in the Medical Center Health System in Odessa, Texas, teenagers did…
October 2017