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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.

Those who manage, lead, or work alongside volunteers often give advice to their teams, and may be surprised and perhaps frustrated when it's not acted upon. This can happen both in situations where volunteers have a lot of independence and authority to act on their own, but…
October 2002
When it opened in July 2002, the Imperial War Museum North (IWM North) in Manchester, England, unveiled an ambitious community volunteering project: the museum had recruited over 100 local residents, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to work towards vocational…
January 2016
What does it mean to move beyond volunteers as a “program” and, instead, embrace engagement as a strategy to fulfill your mission? The shift starts by understanding the benefits of developing a strategic plan for volunteer engagement. In this article, writer Beth Steinhorn…
January 2016
Those who manage, lead, or work alongside volunteers often give advice to their teams, and may be surprised and perhaps frustrated when it's not acted upon. This can happen both in situations where volunteers have a lot of independence and authority to act on their own, but…
January 2016
A community organizer is usually a social agitator who wants to build grassroots power. While a volunteer manager may be working toward social justice, the primary goal of this position is usually tied to a pre-determined objective, like service delivery or broader…
October 2015
When it comes to volunteer leadership, experienced volunteer manager Meridian Swift believes that two models dominate: reactive or proactive. But in this e-Volunteerism feature, Swift argues that it’s time to break the cycle of being a reactive volunteer manager – someone who…
October 2015
“People just don’t commit like they used to!” is a common complaint of leaders of volunteer engagement who find themselves confronting the new trend of shorter-term volunteers. Many of us struggle these days with recruiting volunteers – or, at least, the kind of long-term…
October 2015
Think of how meaningful and useful it would be to peer inside the heart of every one of your volunteers – to understand what is important to them, what inspires them, what gets them excited, what taps into their passion, and what keeps them dedicated to your mission. Or you…
July 2015
In this feature article, Elisa Kosarin introduces behavior-based interviewing as an extremely effective screening method for assessing highly-skilled volunteer applicants.  Kosarin’s article is based on the author’s extensive experience working for Fairfax Court Appointed…
July 2015
One of the most powerful things a volunteer can do is see a need and start trying to meet it. With enough passion and hard work, that initial maverick will attract other volunteers to the cause and a worthy organization will emerge and grow. That evolution might expand over…
April 2015
In 2014, Paul C. Muller and his team of researchers published a report called "The Economic, Social and Cultural Value of Volunteering to Tasmania," the first such study in that Australian state. The report agrees with the authors of previous e-Volunteerism articles that…
April 2015
Irish-Australian colleague DJ Cronin speaks his mind with passion and humor, reflecting on the importance of truly loving the role of leading volunteers. I love my job. I am in love with my job. I intend to live forever! So far so good! But saying such things in today’s society…
April 2015
Whatever Happened To . . . is a recurring feature at e-Volunteerism that allows us to revisit past articles to see what has been happening since we first published the stories.  In this issue, we revisit “Perspectives on Membership Development,” a story from 10 years ago about…
January 2015
Andrew G. Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England, recently stated that “whether seen from an economic or social perspective, volunteering is big business, with annual turnover well into three-figure billions.” And in his recent lecture to the Society of Business Economists…
January 2015
The ability to measure the processes and outcomes of organizational initiatives is vital to understanding whether an organization has achieved its mandate. But determining the best method to measure the impact of volunteers and how to successfully report on those findings are…
January 2015
On November 5, 2014, for the 15th consecutive year, volunteer management professionals around the world will celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMDay). This global event acknowledges the people who lead volunteers, salutes them for their essential role in creating…
October 2014
Though online volunteer recruiting has been around for decades, it is still a rapidly evolving field. Today, online recruiting is boosted along not only by technological advances but also by the ingenuity and determination of dedicated nonprofit professionals who recognize the…
October 2014
   Chris Linnell, volunteer services supervisor at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County (FPDDC), Illinois, thought it was crazy when Eagle Scout Gavin Burseth approached her with the idea to bring a herd of goats to eat the poison ivy and other invasive plants at…
October 2014