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Engage Library

Research to Practice

Research to Practice seeks to identify, review and interpret academic and other research important to the volunteer engagement field. Because the various reports and studies are discussed in terms of their major relevance to practitioners, each of the articles is also listed in the Engage Library by subject covered.

Research To Practice takes its eye off research about volunteers in this issue and instead takes a look at that other vital resource – the people who look after volunteers. Call them managers or coordinators and any one of the myriad of other names that become attached to people…
April 2009
This issue of Research to Practice takes a look at something that isn’t a typical research report and was written almost 30 years ago. Exploring Volunteer Space: The Recruiting of a Nation was Ivan Scheier’s greatest work – an exploration both of his own mind and of the universe…
January 2009
In this discussion of research from the Netherlands, Research to Practice explores how volunteers are as committed as paid workers and provides examples of how organizations can deepen the attachment of their volunteers.  Editor Steven Howlett further explores how the issues…
October 2008
This edition of Research to Practice looks again at research into volunteering by older people. Globally it seems we are witnessing an increased desire to get older people involved in voluntary and community organizations. This may be for a number of reasons − from recognition…
July 2008
This Research to Practice looks at a study of older volunteers and their volunteering profile. It is a study which uses panel data (that is, it tracks the same people over a period of time) between 1996 and 2004. The incorporation of panel data is quite useful, because so often…
April 2008
In this Research to Practice, we look at the latest survey of volunteering for England and Wales, with an emphasis on how volunteers view the organisation of volunteering. This survey, called Helping Out, looks once more at some questions from a 1997 survey. Some of the results…
January 2008
Surveys in different countries show that people often choose to volunteer in the sport and recreation field.  During 2006, Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) commissioned research to look at how to motivate and recruit more volunteers, and successive SPARC studies show how…
October 2007
In a recent report, The National Youth Agency in England explores the skills, knowledge and attitudinal development that young people derive from volunteering. The research did not intend to evaluate volunteering projects in terms of quality or volunteer management. Rather,…
July 2007
GoVolunteer is the recruitment website of Volunteering Australia and is run in partnership with SEEK, an Internet employment website. From the 9th to the 31st of May 2005, a survey was placed on the website with the intention to collect data from people visiting the site.…
July 2006
As the populations of most developed countries show an increasing proportion of older people, debates have started about how an aging population will be cared for.  For volunteering, this often means how volunteers will be engaged to help care for the elderly.  But this…
April 2007
2005 in the UK was the Year of the Volunteer, with a programme of events designed to increase the profile of volunteering. To build on its legacy, the England Volunteering Development Council, a high-level representative mechanism of volunteering, established The Commission for…
January 2007
One area in which volunteering is important is in helping people who are new, or relatively new, to a country settle and integrate. This is the focus of A Part of Society. The report rightly starts from a position that, although (in the UK at least) we know a great deal about…
October 2006
Do we need another study on volunteer motives? Michael Callow’s work (published in the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing) argues that we do and that there is value in looking at volunteering among retirees. Too often, says Callow, we categorise…
April 2006
This Research to Practice reviews a report on recruiting and retaining volunteers to work with AIDS service organisations. The study findings were developed through a survey of volunteers plus interviews and focus groups with managers of volunteers. The study examined  the…
January 2006
This article examines a research report done at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada by Evelina J. Rog, S. Mark Pancer, and Mark C. Baetz: “Corporate Volunteer Programs: Maximising Employee Motivation and Minimizing Barriers to Program Participation.” The…
October 2005
Volunteering is increasingly being recognised as an activity that can promote social inclusion. However, it has been debated (certainly in the UK) how far volunteering is still an exclusive activity benefiting certain sections of society far more than others. We know barriers…
July 2005
Research-to-Practice Editor Steven Howlett re-visits a paper by Colin Rochester published in Voluntary Action, the journal of the Institute for Volunteering Research in 1999, about the management implications for volunteer coordination based on the organisational setting in…
April 2005
This edition of Research-to-Practice looks at three reports that examine corporate employee volunteering. Employee volunteering is an area of considerable growth and of great interest, but how can volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers managers make the most of…
January 2005
When the 1997 National Survey for Volunteering in the UK was published, it appeared to show that young peoples’ regard and enthusiasm for volunteering was in decline. Responding to this, the Institute for Volunteering Research produced the report ‘What Young People Want from…
October 2004
It seems counter-intuitive for most people working in volunteering that such participation should be bad for your health. A new research paper in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health claims just this, flying in the face of much other evidence. Is volunteering bad for…
July 2004