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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.

Take a moment to think about your worst job ever. The one you struggled to get out of bed to go to. The one you gleefully left at the end of your shift or the start of your weekend. What job design factors contributed to your dissatisfaction? Was the work boring or repetitive?…
July 2014
Intrepid Australian volunteer and traveler Louise Rogers writes: Don’t you love travelling? The preparation…the journey…the reflections…the recollections…and ah!...the experiences to be had? I’ve had an amazing journey over the past 25 years, working in the voluntary sector in…
July 2014
Three British volunteers founded The National Trust in the UK 1895. In 2013, the Trust celebrated the involvement of over 70,000 volunteers in this conservation charity, one that protects historic places and green spaces while opening them up forever, for everyone. In terms of…
July 2014
Over the last 10 years, a number of formerly thriving national Volunteer Centres in English-speaking countries have faltered, forced to find avenues of new funding or to merge with other organisations. But what about the fates of local and regional Volunteer Centres? How have…
April 2014
Cees M. van den Bos, a pioneer in the volunteering field in the Netherlands, recently discovered that there was very little academic research on the subject of volunteering infrastructure. So he set out to investigate the establishment, development, and functioning of local…
April 2014
This much is clear: Volunteer Centres are vital to build and sustain local and regional volunteer ecosystems. Often seen as the “one-stop” help for individuals looking to get involved in the community, Volunteer Centres are not only remarkable at surviving funding and policy…
April 2014
The Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA) provides consulting services to nonprofit volunteer programs across the United States and Canada. VPA consultants are graduate students and faculty from five universities who volunteer their time to work one-on-one with leaders of…
January 2014
Do church volunteers ever experience conflict? Of course they do. Conflict is unavoidable and, when handled in a healthy way, can even result in benefits. Identifying strategies for building unity and minimizing unhealthy conflict among church volunteers are crucial steps in a…
October 2013
For nearly a decade, Susan J. Ellis, the publishing editor of e-Volunteerism, has been encouraging (read: nagging) Andy Fryar, the journal’s manuscript developer, to write about an innovative volunteer program that he oversees in Adelaide, South Australia. After nearly 10 years…
October 2013
The production of and trade in celebrity is now a commercial strategy for all types of media organizations, resulting in a significant expansion in celebrity content across all platforms. Charitable events and activities are no exception, with one crucial difference to their…
October 2013
Do you have a fresh concept for building your volunteer program, and you wonder if anyone has ever tried it before? Or perhaps you need someone with formal skills in scientific methods to help you design a plan for implementation? When you need answers to both of these issues,…
July 2013
Most organizations have a strategic plan, a fund development plan, a marketing plan and an IT plan. Why is it that so few have a volunteerism plan? Recognized as the oldest voluntary health organization in the United States, the American Lung Association began a three-year…
July 2013
Australia has seen its share of natural disasters – most notably bushfires and floods – and the surge of spontaneous volunteering each emergency produces. While recent attempts to register volunteers in advance of a disaster are useful, too few are actually activated during an…
April 2013
After more than a decade in the classroom, Sarah Jane Rehnborg has taught volunteer management on the graduate level to students from public affairs, business management, social work, communications, fine arts and other areas of specialization. Along the way, Rehnborg discovered…
April 2013