Infrastructure to Support Volunteering

The term "infrastructure" is often used to describe the various national and local resources established to support volunteers, volunteer-involving agencies, and managers of volunteer resources.  These include "peak bodies" such as National Offices or Centers for Volunteering, professional associations of VRMs, university programs teaching about the field, and more.

21st-Century Networks, Sarah J. Butler, 21-22
Advocacy for Volunteer Involvement: The Role of Funders, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
The Big Merger: Many Unanswered Questions, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
A Call to Action on Behalf of Our Profession, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
Chicken or Egg: Why Are Our Professional Associations Weak?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Global Connections - International Volunteerism, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
If Google Can’t Find the People Who Lead Volunteers, No One Can, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2015
I'll help with that, but don't ask me to lead it!, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Let's All Resolve..., Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Let's Commit to International Exchange, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Mixed Messages from Government: Lessons from Minnesota, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
The More We're Different, the More We're the Same, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Moving on from 2001, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Mystifying Data: Can America's Promise Get Away with It?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
The Need for Institutional Memory, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
The Presidents' Summit One Year Later, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Reinventing Conferences, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Should Volunteer Program Managers Be Volunteers, Too?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Some Nagging Questions..., Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Turbulence at the State Level, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
United Way is Not the Way for Volunteer Centers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
A Utopian View of Volunteerism Professional Organizations, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Warning! We're about to Waste an Opportunity!, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
What's Gender Got to Do with It?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
What's the Mystery about Motivation?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Who is Celebrating IYV? Connecting the "Streams of Service", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Why a New Association Should Serve the USA, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
Wishes and Resolves for the New Year, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
Wouldn't It Be Nice to Really Know, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006

A "State of Volunteering Report" for 2014, produced by the Institute of Project Management for Volunteering Tasmania, Australia. Looks at the "value" of volunteers beyond financial.

, 2014, pp. 125

Produced by the Institute of Project Management for Volunteering WA. Comprehensive look at the "value"--beyond financial--of volunteer services. Report has nice infographics at the start and an executive summary.

, 2015, pp. 164

In 2012 the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) conducted its first study on volunteerism in rural Minnesota. The purpose of the survey was to learn what was changing in rural volunteerism, strategies being used to address the changes and current perspectives on rural volunteerism. The site offers a summary of findings, the report itself, and related articles.

, 2012

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the United Nations-declared "International Year of Volunteers," United Nations Volunteers (UNV) conducted an extensive research project to produce this unique overview of volunteering in 80 countries around the world. Sub-titled "Universal Values for Global Well-being," the report examines the important contributions of volunteers in diverse fields such as sustainable livelihoods, social inclusion, social cohesion and disaster risk reduction. By suggesting how volunteerism can be taken forward, the SWVR also provides an alternative vision of a better society.

Download chapter by chapter or the entire document.

, 2011, pp. 148

Produced by United Nations Volunteers, this new edition of their SWVR focuses on "Transforming Governance" through volunteer power, particularly in the developing world.  Important reading. Can be read online or downloaded as a PDF.

, 2015, pp. 132
By Susan J. Ellis. Provides a complete discussion of the role of a volunteer center and how to plan strategically for one. When the United Way of America let this book go out of print, Susan received permission to make it available online free of charge. Despite the dated title, the material is still very pertinent today for anyone starting or re-assessing a volunteer center. , 1989, pp. 97
Campus Compact

Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Campus Compact’s membership includes public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the spectrum of higher education.  List of state affiliates.

From the Field: Conversations on Volunteer Management (blog)

Published by Volunteer Maine, with many guest contributors.

HandsOn Network Blog

Reflections and announcements related to civic engagement from HandsOn Network in the U.S.

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

National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE)

A nonprofit membership association of educators, businesses, and community leaders. Founded in 1971, NSEE also serves as a national resource center for the development and improvement of experiential education programs nationwide.

ServiceSpace Blog

"ServiceSpace was conceived by volunteers, was built by volunteers, and is run by volunteers -- all for the benefit of volunteers. Our projects range from a daily positive news service, to an acts-of-kindness portal, to a gift-economy restaurant." The blog is an exchange of reflections among volunteers about inspiration and service.

Toolkit for Working with Rural Volunteers

The results of a  a pioneering three-year research project on rural volunteerism by the Office of Surface Mining (OSM), AmeriCorps VISTA, and community/watershed improvement organizations throughout Appalachia and the Rocky Mountain West, this site shares approaches to volunteer recruitment, management and retention that are successful in rural settings.

Vantage Point Blog

This community blog from Vancouver, BC focuses on voluntary sector issues, leadership, organizations, and people engagement.

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 Canada - Engaging Volunteers

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

Volunteer Insure Blog

Written by Bill Henry, director of Volunteers Insurance Service - VIS(R). Deals with risk and risk prevention for volunteer-involving organizations.

Volunteer NOW - Developing Volunteering

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

Volunteering Australia - Volunteer Managers

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

Volunteering England Employer Supported Volunteering Resource Hub

Wide range of articles, guides, reports, and more for those running workplace volunteer efforts -- both for the companies and for the volunteer-involving organizations.

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

World Volunteer Web

As a follow up to the International Year of Volunteers 2001, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has created a comprehensive Web site offering continuing news of worldwide volunteer efforts, including government actions, research reports, and links to international volunteer resources.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Book cover

Helps those in national or large organizations to think about how branch or regional offices can strengthen, support, and extend their reach.

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.

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 7, 2016