Profession of Volunteer Management

While everything on this site is about the profession of volunteer management, this section of the library offers materials discussing the "profession" as a profession -- issues about acceptance, education, career development, and so on. If you are looking for more information about the role of a volunteer resources manager (the functions and daily work activities), you will find all that in the other section of this A-Z library, "How-to's of Volunteer Management."

Building Your Support Network for Leading Volunteer Involvement, Steve McCurley & Rick Lynch, ch. 17, p. 320, INTERPUB GROUP CORPORATION
Energize Turns 40!, Susan J. Ellis
Let's All Resolve..., Susan J. Ellis
The Limits of the "V" Word, Sarah Jane Rehnborg
Marking a Special Birthday, Susan J. Ellis
Money is No Object, Susan J. Ellis
More Practical Issues in Career Effectiveness: Thick and Thin Leadership, Ivan H. Scheier, VOLUNTEER: The National Center for Citizen Involvement
Not 'Just' a VPM, Andy Fryar, pp. 28-29, Energize, Inc.
On Being a Dream-Catcher, Susan J. Ellis
Reacting to the Critics, Susan J. Ellis
Reinventing Conferences, Susan J. Ellis
Research on Volunteerism...What Needs to Be Done, Susan J. Ellis, From Journal of Voluntary Action Research, Volume 14, Number 2-3, April-September 1985, pages 11-14. Originally presented at the Symposium at the 1984 AVAS Conference
Selections from Volunteer Engagement 2.0, Wiley and VolunteerMatch
So, What Do You Do?, Susan J. Ellis
Some Nagging Questions..., Susan J. Ellis
Still Tilting at Windmills, Susan J. Ellis
Trend Watch: Are You Ready?, Susan J. Ellis
What Is Volunteer Management?, Frederik C. Boll, Nana G. Alsted and Jakob M. Hald, 17-19, Ankerhus Publishing
What's Ahead for 2009?, Susan J. Ellis
What's Hot, What's Not, Susan J. Ellis

Volunteering New Zealand produced this summary of their identification and development of key competencies for leaders and managers of volunteers. 

, 2013, pp. 12

Guide from Volunteer Canada on how to consult stakeholders in the development, design, delivery or review of services and programs.

, 2002, pp. 37
Ben Cairns and Romayne Hutchison, Centre for Voluntary Action Research at Aston Business School, UK , 2006, pp. 40

Prof Anne-Marie Greene and Dr Jenna Ward of DeMontfort University (Leicester, UK) were commissioned to provide the National Trust with a detailed, evidenced-based understanding of: (1) what it means to manage volunteers in the National Trust (2) the nature of similarities or differences between the management of volunteers and paid staff (3) the implications of these similarities or differences for policy, resourcing and strategic planning around volunteer management within the National Trust. This report is based on empirical evidence from in-depth qualitative case studies carried out at two National Trust properties between 2013 and 2015. 

The researchers concluded that, "in practice, the management of volunteers within the National Trust is, and should be, significantly different to the management of paid staff. These differences can be classified around five broad, yet interconnected, themes: Performance Management, Communication, Task Differentiation, Trust and Fear vs Autonomy and Creativity, Emotional Labour."


, 2016, pp. 44

Report of a nationwide survey of volunteer managers in New Zealand between December 2009 and February 2010, by Karen A. Smith, PhD, Carolyn Cordery, PhD, and Nicholas Dutton at Victoria University of Wellington in partnership with Volunteering New Zealand.  The online survey was open to anyone involved in the management of volunteers; over 800 individuals participated from a diverse range of sectors and positions across New Zealand and gives insight into who they are. 

, 2010, pp. 52

A free publication from the Citizens Information Board (UK) that does a fine job of presenting an overview of volunteer management basics.

, 2008, pp. 72

Tobi Johnson of VolunteerPro provides this free guide for the newcomer to volunteer management -- lots of good context and tips.

, 2016, pp. 57
Originally developed by the former Association for Volunteer Administration and kept current by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration ( , 2006
Urban Institute, UPS Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the USA Freedom Corps , 2004, pp. 34

When newspapers in England reported of serious breaches of trust between volunteers and their organisations in 2009, Volunteering England was prompted to set up the Volunteer Rights Inquiry to begin to understand the nature and scope of the problems experienced by volunteers and identify suitable remedies. This Interim Report goes into detail about the findings of the intensive set of hearings held.  In 2014, a Final report of the Call to Action Progress Group following the Volunteer Rights Inquiry was produced by NCVO.

, 2010, pp. 32
CNIB Volunteer Resources

CNIB (Canadian Institute for the Blind) shares an array of excellent resources to foster a culture of volunteerism within your organization. Under a Government of Ontario grant, CNIB developed a series of resources identifying best practices for partnering with volunteers. The documents – manuals, toolkits, training guides and templates – are posted on the CNIB Ontario website. One goal was to share these resources and best practices with other not-for-profit organizations, and to assist them with their inclusion goals. While these documents have been created with CNIB examples, you can adapt these Word versions for your own purposes. Some of the materials focus on working with volunteers who have vision disabilities.

Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration

Advances the profession and practice of volunteer resource management by certifying individuals who demonstrate knowledge and competence in the leadership of volunteers. Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) is an international credential awarded to practitioners with at least 3 years of experience who successfully complete an exam and written portfolio process. Originally developed by the Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA) several decades ago, the credentialing program is now sponsored by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. See their Web site for details on dates throughout the year for new groups and qualifications.

Exploring Volunteering (blog)

By Patrick Daniels, UK-based volunteer and international activist. The blog's tag line: "Notes on thinking and research about the development of volunteering."

Free Management Library - Developing and Managing Volunteer Programs

Compiled by Carter McNamara, a long selection of articles throughout the Web on volunteer management.

Initiatives Opposed to Volunteering

Jayne Cravens has been collecting information for years on initiatives opposed to some or all volunteering (unpaid work), or ALL kinds of volunteering, including unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations/charities. It is also a list of online and print articles about or addressing controversies regarding volunteers replacing paid staff. Most of the links are to initiatives or actions in Europe or the USA. She keeps it updated, too.

This list has been compiled to help researchers regarding volunteerism, as well as for policy makers and volunteerism advocates who want to avoid these kinds of controversies at nonprofit organizations and government agencies. This list is also compiled to refute those who believe that there are no such controversies (believe it or not, those people DO exist).

InnoVate Blog

From JFFixler Group, consultants in volunteer engagement and board developement

Investing in Volunteers (IiV)

"The UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management." Detailed and comprehensive set of occupation standards for the role of volunteer program manager and benchmarks for organizations.

Jayne Cravens Blog

One of the field's first blogs run by Jayne Cravens, expert in online volunteering, that offers great information and insight on volunteerism as well as nonprofit, development, and women's issues.

KM Consulting & Training (blog)

Blog from Kathleen McCleskey.

Management4Volunteers Blog

By Sue Hine in New Zealand, with the tag line: "Great volunteer programmes do not fall out of the sky: it is good management practice that makes them even better."

Rob Jackson Consulting, Ltd. Blog

Read the informed musings of UK colleague Rob Jackson on volunteer management and trends in the field. Also read his monthly "Voice of Volunteering" posting to the Third Sector (UK) site.

Speaking out on Volunteer Management! (blog)

Colleague DJ Cronin in Australia challenges the volunteer management community to get engaged in debate to strengthen the profession.

Twenty Hats

Elisa Kosarin says she "created Twenty Hats as a place for volunteer managers, development directors, and other nonprofit pros to find practical, skill-building information that they need and that they can use on the job right away. My blog posts, tools, webinars, and courses give you practical, useful information to help you master the skills you never learned in school."

VM Voice Blog & Comment

Blog written by members of the Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) in the UK- "a voice, a resource and a network in volunteer management."

Volunteer Frontier (blog)

"Dialogue on Strategic Service Engagement" from Reed Dewey, now a consultant, who has worked at various American national volunteerism organizations.

Volunteer Management Resource Center

Action Without Borders/, partnering with Energize, launched the Volunteer Resource Management Center in 2007 as a comprehensive site focusing on the role of the volunteer program manager .

Volunteer NOW - Developing Volunteering

Free downloadable publications, checklists, and tools for volunteer management from this Northern Ireland peak body.

Volunteer Plain Talk (blog)

"About the challenges we face as volunteer managers." Meridian Swift hosts this "place to blow off steam, commiserate with one another, laugh, shake our heads and realize that we are not alone in this profession."

Volunteer Today

Nancy Macduff’s Web site with monthly current material and links for volunteer resources managers.

Volunteering Australia - Volunteer Managers

Range of articles (PDFs) on various aspects of volunteer management.

Volunteering England - Volunteer Centres

Web area explaining what volunteer centers do and how they are critical in supporting volunteering.

Volunteering England Good Practice Bank

For volunteers and volunteer managers looking for advice and information about how to support volunteering -- find articles, information sheets, case studies and links to other helpful guidance or external websites

Wendy Biro-Pollard's Volunteer Management Blog

Articles and insights from this speaker, trainer and Certified Volunteer Administrator with over 25 years of experience.

Wendy Moore (blog)

Created by Australian Wendy Moore "to support, encourage and inspire people in the field of volunteer management, through sharing information and ideas to take our sector and boldly go where no one has gone before."

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Book cover

A compendium of the best techniques for leading volunteer engagement, proven to work in a myriad of settings.

Book cover for From the Top Down

Outlines the key executive decisions necessary to lay the foundation for successful volunteer involvement: policies, budgeting, staffing, employee-volunteer relationships, legal issues, cost and value of volunteers, and more.

Volunteer Management 3rd Edition

The most widely utilized text in the world on the theory and practice of managing a volunteer program.