Skip to main content

Engage Library

The disappointment began with a simple question: What are the significant issues facing volunteer managers today? And when the answers mimicked the exact same responses from 10 years before, volunteer management expert and Points of View co-author Rob Jackson’s heart sank:…
July 2017
Volunteer engagement certainly encounters its fair share of mistakes and failures, which is part of life. But think about it: When was the last time you went to a conference workshop that focused on how someone failed? Don’t we most often focus instead on the successes we've…
April 2017
In this e-Volunteerism feature, author Jill Jukes from the March of Dimes Canada’s Western Region argues that it’s time to update how organizations plan and prepare for volunteer involvement. Taking a close look at what she calls the traditional “Volunteer Engagement Cycle,”…
January 2017
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
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
In this Points of View, authors Rob Jackson and Susan J. Ellis debate an issue that every volunteer manager must confront: Should you compare and contrast your volunteer engagement to that of other organizations? Is finding a comparison a sign of achievement, or is it…
April 2015
In this quarter’s Research to Practice, Laurie Mook reviews a study by Mark A. Hager and Jeffrey L. Brudney testing whether or not the “adoption of ‘best practices’ (such as interviewing volunteers, matching them to assignments, supervising volunteer activities, and recognizing…
April 2015
This quarter’s Research to Practice reviews an article that presents a way to measure the social returns on investment in volunteer recruiting, training, and management. Called Social Return on Investment, or SROI, it is a type of cost-benefit analysis that compares the present…
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
This quarter’s Research to Practice contributes to the theme of Volunteer Centers. Reviewer Laurie Mook looks at a study of the direct and secondary impacts of the HandsOn Network and its affiliated member organizations: Measuring the Impact of HandsOn Network: An Evaluation of…
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
In the last quarter century, nonprofits have increasingly been held accountable for the resources that have been entrusted to them. For some organizations, accountability mechanisms have been imposed left, right, and center, as funders and donors seek to monitor the use of the…
October 2013
In 2009, Jeffrey L. Brudney and Lucas C.P.M. Meijs proposed a new way of thinking about volunteer resources: as a natural resource which must be managed sustainably or it will be exhausted. In their article, "It Ain’t Natural: Toward a New (Natural) Resource Conceptualization…
July 2013
Many of us, especially readers of this journal, have long defied the skeptics and believed that volunteering has multiple benefits. Now there is growing research to prove that volunteering is good for society as a whole and that it needs to be nurtured and fostered. In this…
July 2013
There has been quite a bit of research on volunteer satisfaction, but not so much on volunteer manager satisfaction. How satisfied are volunteer managers with their jobs?  Do their working conditions differ from those of managers of paid staff? What are the implications for…
April 2013
We hear over and over again how volunteers are indispensable to many organizations. While we have previously covered articles on different methods used to estimate a value for volunteer contributions, a new study out of New Zealand looks at how volunteer value is communicated,…
January 2013
This issue’s Research to Practice provides great food for thought on organizational factors affecting volunteer management. For example, how do the goals of the organization, area of activity, or degree of bureaucracy impact the role that a volunteer management program can take…
October 2012