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."

"A New Era of Responsibility": An Open Letter to President Obama, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Addressing Volunteerism Issues in the Blogosphere, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Advocacy for Volunteer Involvement: The Role of Funders, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Targeting Volunteer Management, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Beyond Common Sense: Volunteer Management as a Specialty, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
Bridging the Gap between HR and Volunteer Management, Sean Brinkley, Thoughtful Thursdays discussion on Twitter, #ttvolmgrs, 2016
Celebrate Collective Accomplishments, Not Volunteered Time, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Chicken or Egg: Why Are Our Professional Associations Weak?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
The Difference Between Needing and Wanting Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Exercise Your Volunteering Funny Bone, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
The Fair Labor Standards Act and Other Obstacles to Progress, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
Fighting against Ignorance: Picking up My Sword Yet Again, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2015
The GEMS Model for Volunteer Administration, Barry Boyd, Texas A&M University

Summary of the model created by Ken Culp, III, et. al.

A Great New Report to Praise, Criticize, and Use, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Identifying Who Is and Is Not a “Volunteer”, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
If Google Can’t Find the People Who Lead Volunteers, No One Can, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2015
If the Whole World is Changing, Can Volunteerism Stay the Same?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
I'll Never Understand Why Executives Still Don't Understand, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Is Volunteer Management Really a Profession?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Lessening Social Exclusion through Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Let's All Resolve..., Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Let's Commit to International Exchange, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
The Limits of the "V" Word, Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Making Volunteer Management Happen: A Proposal for AmeriCorps, Steve McCurley, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Marking a Special Birthday, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Money is No Object, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
The Moral Obligation of Volunteer Recruitment Promises, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
The More We're Different, the More We're the Same, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
My Personal "State of the World's Volunteering" Report, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
National Volunteer Week: Does Anyone Care?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Not 'Just' a VPM, Andy Fryar, pp. 28-29, Energize, Inc., 2003
On Being a Dream-Catcher, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
Once in a Millennium Opportunity, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
One Step Further: Volunteer Services and Agency-wide Education, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
Overview of the GEMS Model of Volunteer Administration (Generate, Educate, Mobilize and Sustain), Ken Culp, III, Journal of Extension, 2012

Thoughtful framework for the functions of volunteer management.

Philanthropy, Civic Engagement, and the Lessons of Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Practicing What We Preach: Volunteers Helping Us, Too, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2012
Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration
oiginally developed by the former Association for Volunteer Administration and kept current by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration http://cvacert.org/
Reacting to the Critics, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Real Professions Have Strong Associations, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Reimagining Service: Is Corporate HR Management What We See?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Reinventing Conferences, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
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
Revisiting the Seven Deadly Sins of Directing Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2013
The Role of Volunteer Resources Managers in the Serve America Act, Paula J. Beugen, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Selections from Volunteer Engagement 2.0, Wiley and VolunteerMatch, 2015
So, What Do You Do?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Some Nagging Questions..., Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Staff Resistance and Highly-Skilled Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Still Tilting at Windmills, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2005
Tackling Causes Not Symptoms: New/Old Roles for Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Trend Watch: Are You Ready?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Universal Standards vs. Your Own Situation, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
A Utopian View of Volunteerism Professional Organizations, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Virtual Volunteering Revisited, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
Volunteer Managers and the Time Management Trap, Andy Fryar, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Volunteer Rights Inquiry - Reports, 2010

Material from the innovative Inquiry conducted in the UK, 2009-10.

Volunteer Rights Inquiry - Reports, 2010

Material from the innovative Inquiry conducted in the UK, 2009-10.

Volunteering in For-Profit Settings: Exploitation or Value Added?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
Volunteers as the "Third Branch" of an Organization, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
The Wall of Executive Indifference, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
What Is Volunteer Management?, Frederik C. Boll, Nana G. Alsted and Jakob M. Hald, 17-19, Ankerhus Publishing, 2012
What Leaders of Volunteers Can DO to Gain Executive Attention, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
What Would the Perfect Volunteer-Involving Organization Look Like?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2012
What's Ahead for 2009?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
What's Gender Got to Do with It?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
What's Hot, What's Not, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
What's in a Name or a Title?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
When the Ax Falls: Budget Cutting and Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Who is Celebrating IYV? Connecting the "Streams of Service", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Who Is Harriet Naylor Anyway?, Susan J. Ellis, e-Volunteerism, Vol. I, Issue 1, 2000
Why a New Association Should Serve the USA, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
Why Do We Love Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2012
Why Is It Labor Unions vs. Volunteers?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Wishes and Resolves for the New Year, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
The Word "Volunteer" Can Reveal, Conceal, or Confuse, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
The World According to Volunteer Experience, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Wouldn't It Be Nice to Really Know, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
The Volunteer Enterprise: Building Capacity for Civic Engagement - The National Human Services Assembly, seeking to advocate the findings of the 2004 Volunteer Management Capacity (see below) report, sponsored "From Research to Action," an executable blueprint of capacity building strategies. Two guides were produced: "Organizational Readiness and Management Brief " and"Communicating and Messaging Brief."

Volunteering New Zealand produced this summary of their identification and development of key competencies for leaders and managers of volunteers. Learn more about VNZ's work in this area.

, 2013, pp. 12

Volunteer Wellington has released this guide for Managers of Volunteers to provide practical tips, tools, and resources to help develop their volunteer program. The guide is intended to complement the Competencies for Managers of Volunteers that were developed by Volunteering New Zealand. As a manager of non-profit organisations, the resource will act as a first or next step for developing individual aspects of your volunteer program. 

, 2016, pp. 60

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

, pp. 37

Search on "volunteer management" for a long list of free, downloadable publications and resources.

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 (http://www.cvacert.org). , 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
Archival Collection of Ivan H. Scheier

IvanScheier was one of the most instrumental and forward-thinking leaders in the volunteerism field for over three decades. Before his death in 2008, Ivan gave more than 700 pages of his innovative writings, most out of print and only available online, to Regis University. This remains a remarkable trove of cutting-edge ideas, notably about volunteer-employee relations and the role of the volunteer resources manager.

The Commission on the Future of Volunteering

Established in 2006 by the England Volunteering Development Council to develop a long term vision for volunteering in England as a legacy of the Year of the Volunteer 2005.

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.

From the Field: Conversations on Volunteer Management (blog)

Published by Volunteer Maine, with many guest contributors.

Idealist Volunteer Management Resource Center

Comprehensive site focusing on the role of the volunteer program manager from Idealist.org.

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.

ivo - Multiple Blogs

This is a social networking site in the UK (but open to anyone, anywhere) focused exclusively on building community and exchange among volunteers and among leaders of volunteers (was formerly called i-Volunteer). A benefit of the free membership is all the tools to publish a blog, and several of the ones on the site are truly excellent, including:

Jamie Ward-Smith (the founder of ivo)
uncollectiveconsciousness
suevjones
robjconsulting
stevemoreton
jackal
johnr

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.

ServiceLeader.org

Wide range of information on volunteer management and virtual volunteering, from the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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."

Value Volunteer Management

Initiative of Volunteering England to advocate for the importance of "investing in volunteering."

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 Administration: Competencies for Success

Online course developed by Barry Boyd at Texas A&M University in the basics of volunteer management, based on the GEMS model developed by the Extension Service. There are 6 modules with a set of lessons and supporting materials for each.  All the information is available at no cost, but contact the instructor for how to obtain academic credit. Video introduction included.

Volunteer Canada - Engaging Volunteers

How-to resources on many volunteer management topics, most free for download or for sale in printed form.

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/Idealist.org, 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 Power Articles and Ezine Archives

Practical and thoughtful articles on a diversity of volunteerism topics by consultant Tom McKee.

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

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

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Revised in 2005, this book remains the only presentation of the full scope and depth of volunteer activity throughout three centuries of American history.

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.

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Is managing volunteers only part of your job? Or just not enough hours in a day? Learn to build a management team and and feel some relief from carrying the whole weight of leading volunteer involvement alone.

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Workbook of checklists, worksheets, idea stimulators, and other practical tools for senior-level leaders to incorporate volunteer involvement as a key ingredient in the overall strategy of an organization.

Rants and Raves Anthology

Best-selling authors in the volunteer field to share what's on their minds about "hot button" issues.

Visionary Leadership in Volunteer Programs

A collection of favorite and most-requested presentations from Marlene Wilson, volunteer management pioneer and leader in the field.

Volunteer Engagement 2.0 book cover
New

35 experts in volunteerism explore innovative volunteer engagement approaches that are reshaping nonprofits and their communities, and share how you can put these insights into action in your own organization. 

Volunteer Management- How and Why?

A holistic, organizational approach to strategically engaging volunteers in organizations.

A validating tool for analyzing the effectiveness of an organization's volunteer management practices, with complete Scoresheets and instructions to conduct the process successfully.

Volunteer Management 3rd Edition

The most widely utilized text in the world on the theory and practice of managing a volunteer program, revised for the third time.

Volunteer Program Management: Essential Guide

Truly an essential guide, the book is filled with solid information for both starting and strengthening a volunteer program in any setting.

Volunteering and the Test of Time

Drawing together a selection of articles, this book illuminates the ways that the political and social context in which volunteering operates has changed from the 1990s to the present.

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Last Updated: December 2, 2016