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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.

Always looking to share innovative ideas with our readers, this issue highlights a new American initiative called Voolla, which calls itself “the new way to give…turning volunteer skills into money for charities.” In this feature story Q&A, Stephanie Downs, founder and “…
January 2013
Volunteer-involving organizations – whether nonprofits, government agencies or all-volunteer associations – regularly search for new philosophies and technologies to maximize volunteerism and advance the organization’s purpose. However, implementing the use of personality…
January 2013
Due to the nature of volunteering, this sector of society is not often associated with conflict. However, like the wider community, conflict within volunteer-involving organisations can be a persistent problem. Although most volunteers enjoy positive and fulfilling experiences…
October 2012
Want to incorporate writing techniques used by professionals to inspire, motivate and recruit volunteers? Want to know what works in prompting a reader to move from the armchair to the work site? Of course you do – because you already know that you can make or break your program…
October 2012
It was one of those moments in time that starts a movement – a movement to increase the recognition and support given to Managers of Volunteers. In this feature article, author Claire Teal of Volunteering New Zealand explains how the movement got started at a 2009 National…
October 2012
More and more, companies want to engage their communities through employee volunteering programs. For most businesses, this means calling a nonprofit and scheduling an activity. The nonprofits that can readily design and host successful employee volunteering events will find…
July 2012
As practitioners in the field of volunteer engagement, we all know the extraordinary impact volunteers have on creating real change in diverse communities. We are also familiar with the multitude of altruistic motivations that inspire individuals to step up and lend a hand. At…
July 2012
How can an organization and its volunteers get more done for the people and the communities they serve? In this article, Graham Allcott, the former CEO of Student Volunteering England and the author of the new book called How to be a Productivity Ninja, combines his love of…
July 2012
Discussions of legal issues involving volunteers are usually conducted philosophically, using generic examples or what-if scenarios. In this feature, Donald W. Kramer, an American lawyer and editor with extensive expertise and experience in nonprofit legal matters, shares actual…
April 2012
How many of you have actually taken the time to create a strategy for your own professional development? Have you considered what you would like to achieve professionally over the next year or the next five? So many of us discuss the need to professionalize volunteer management…
April 2012
While living in India, Israeli citizen Yael Caplin experienced the Purna Kumbh Mela - a remarkable religious gathering that takes place in Haridwar, where the Ganges enters the Northern plains of India from the Himalayas.  Every 12 years, from mid-January to the end of April,…
January 2012
When massive earthquakes hit Christchurch, New Zealand in February 2011, university students wanted to help in the clean-up. But established first response agencies were wary of these young volunteers and too harried to work with them, so they turned them away. Sam Johnson, a…
January 2012
In 2010, United Way of King County, in partnership with 501 Commons, launched the Volunteer Impact Program (VIP) in Seattle, WA.  Now moving into its third year of operation, this free program provides volunteer management training, assessment and consulting services to local…
January 2012
When Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Ph.D., wrote her doctoral dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh, she not only fulfilled an academic requirement but also helped document the basis of the new “Certified in Volunteer Administration” (CVA) competency-based credential for the…
October 2011
What does the field think about credentialing? In this Keyboard Roundtable, volunteer management colleagues from the UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia provide their personal and widely different perspectives on the value of a professional credential. One expert thinks…
October 2011
Legal tender, cash, currency, change, capital, funds, riches, dough, bread, moolah, scratch, greenbacks, dinero, bank. . . According to fun-with-words.com, there are more terms for money than almost any other word in the English language! Even if there weren’t so many terms for…
July 2011
Pets are therapeutic for people of all ages. But as aging pet owners and their families can attest, age and disability often restrict elderly or seriously-ill pet owners from seeking veterinarian services and general assistance for their pets. Some people even refuse to enter…
July 2011
When it comes to professional football in America, most people associate “special teams” with players who take the field for kick-offs, punt returns and kicking an extra point. But for the Miami Dolphins, an American football team based in Florida, “special teams” means so much…
July 2011
In late 2009, Volunteering England established a Volunteer Rights Inquiry to look into a rising number of volunteers who were complaining, sometimes very publically, about their treatment by their volunteer-involving organizations. After nearly 18 months of confidential…
April 2011
e-Volunteerism readers raved about Part 1 of Erin R. Spink’s presentation on "Volunteer Engagement: Defining the Future of the Profession."  Posted in the last issue, one reader called it "a brilliant, educational and provocative article,” while another noted that it “challenges…
April 2011