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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.

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
How can texting a friend raise significant funds to help patients and families who are battling brain tumors? The answer is simple for Judy Zocchi and Olivia Questore, the two driving forces behind “Text for 10,” a unique fundraising event to benefit Monmouth Medical Center’s…
April 2011
Consider the term that has become popular in recent years in English-speaking countries: “volunteer engagement.”  Do you really know what it means? Surprisingly, despite its widespread use, there was no research on volunteer engagement until 2008. In this two-part e-Volunteerism…
January 2011
In February 2010, United Way of King County in Seattle, Washington, launched an intensive volunteer management capacity-building model in partnership with Executive Service Corps of Washington. Called the Volunteer Impact Program (VIP), it was designed to help food banks and…
January 2011
In work-oriented societies, it can be confusing when people do something for no remuneration when that ‘something’ appears to be neither part of their livelihood nor part of their leisure. In simplest terms, the question asked by the average person in such societies is: Why work…
January 2011
Jana Mendez, Volunteer Initiatives Coordinator for Boulder County Government in Boulder, Colorado explains how she managed to integrate training on how to work with volunteers into a mandatory training session on employee supervision for middle management employees. I knew the…
October 2004
"There is an essential integrity in a relationship with a volunteer that I find worth examining." Sarah Elliston proceeds to analyze the fundamental differences between relationships with employees and relationships with volunteers: "As I examine integrity as this simplicity…
October 2002
In the spring of 2001, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) contracted the services of an external consulting firm to conduct a review of its volunteer program. The research had two key purposes. The first was to explore how CBS might improve both the involvement, and the management,…
October 2002
Six months before it opened in July 2002, the Imperial War Museum North embarked upon an ambitious community volunteering programme, working with over 100 local residents – many from disadvantaged backgrounds. Volunteers worked towards vocational qualifications in the Museum,…
October 2002
Volunteer manager Laura Hamilton knew there had to be a better way to manage and schedule volunteers at George House Trust, the largest HIV Social Care Charity in the North West of England. So when her organization began to review rota management software packages to help manage…
October 2010
It’s common wisdom in the business world that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” In this feature article, author Tony Goodrow proposes a method of measurement that gives a whole new yard stick to help demonstrate the successes of volunteer deployment in…
October 2010
A new type of volunteering is starting to attract media attention: micro-volunteering. It has gained momentum as a creative way to use mobile phones, but in reality it is much more than that. Mike Bright, the founder of Help from Home, a UK Web site focused entirely on micro-…
October 2010
Soroptimist International of the Americas is an international volunteer organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Bucking the trend of other large service clubs, Soroptimist…
October 2005
It seems increasingly complex to offer what the different generations of volunteers want, particularly Baby Boomers and Millennials: high impact volunteer opportunities, a range of choices of positions, ways to apply their workplace skills and more. The good news is there is…
July 2010
One of the hardest things a volunteer manager may ever face is how to deal with an aging volunteer whose performance has begun to fall short of the organization’s expectations. In this special two-part series, e-Volunteerism tackles this important but often over-looked issue…
July 2010
For 30 years, Kate Hanson pursued two passions: growing vegetables and herbs in her organic garden and studying the complexities of working with others. Until recently, she viewed these passions as two completely different and separate areas of her life. But in this creative,…
October 2009
The rise of social media is contributing to the return to prominence of what is called ‘the gift economy.’ As social networks and online communities grow, values such as sharing, openness and collaboration are increasingly governing our relationships and the connections between…
October 2009