Trends and Issues

Newly emerging volunteer roles or other factors affecting the volunteer world that change how we do things. Another source of information about trends is the archive of Hot Topics.

Challenges in the Contemporary Volunteering Environment, Jeni Warburton, pp. 27-29, Volunteering SA&NT
Don't Call Me a 'Senior'!, Susan J. Ellis
Energize Turns 40!, Susan J. Ellis
In the Exclusion Zone, Filiz Niyazi, pp. 3-4, The National Centre for Volunteering (England)
Marking a Special Birthday, Susan J. Ellis
Moving on from 2001, Susan J. Ellis
The Perfect Volunteer Storm, Susan J. Ellis
The Rise of the Knowledge Philanthropist, Colleen Kelly & Lynda Gerty, pp. 28-29, Vantage Point
Selections from Volunteer Engagement 2.0, Wiley and VolunteerMatch
The Self-Directed Volunteer, Susan J. Ellis
Still Tilting at Windmills, Susan J. Ellis
Trend Watch: Are You Ready?, Susan J. Ellis
What's Ahead for 2009?, Susan J. Ellis
What's Hot, What's Not, Susan J. Ellis
Written by Dr. Cynthia Gibson and commissioned by the Case Foundation. Proposes a re-thinking of what civic engagement is (and how volunteering fits in). , 2006, pp. 31
By Eric Greenberg. Explores the emerging power of the Millennials, the largest generation in American history. Based on a 2,000-person survey and twelve focus groups in four different regions of the country, Greenberg's research provides insight into the subtle and nuanced political views of young people today. , 2009

Report from BoardSource  on its survey of more than 1700 board chairs and executives of nonprofit organizations sharing data and insights about their boards’ composition, practices, performance, and culture. Of special interest for its data on lack of diversity. See a review of the study published in Nonprofit Quarterly on 9/6/17.

, 2017, pp. 64

Researched by UK consulting firm nfpSynergy, this free, 7-part research report covers: the political and social landscape for volunteering; volunteering trends over the last decade; harnessing volunteer motivations; the changing mechanics of volunteering; engaging the young, the old and the family to volunteer; how do we manage the 21st Century Volunteer? -- with conclusions and recommendations.

, 2015, pp. 91
By Charles Leadbeater and Paul Miller, UK. Presents the concept of "Pro-Am" (professional/amateur) relationships as a way to add extra expertise to work on social needs. , 2004, pp. 70

By  Mai Moua, Ph.D. for the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA). Results of a 3-year study of the attitudes of immigrants (especially  the Hmong, Latino, and Somali communities of Minnesota) about volunteering and those of organizations about recruiting these populations. 

, 2010, pp. 40

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
By Nora McClintock for the Canadian Centre on Philanthropy. The manual "is primarily intended for those who are new to the field of volunteer resource management." , 2004, pp. 42
by Renaissance London, report of a 3-year project at the largest archaeological archive in Europe designed to test volunteering as a form of social inclusion by recruiting volunteers from diverse backgrounds , 2010, pp. 18
by Kathryn Montgomery, Barbara Gottlieb-Robles, and Gary O. Larson, a report from American University's Center for Social Media about how an online youth civic culture, largely unnoticed by the general public, has taken root on the Internet and is fostering Generation Y's participation in U.S. politics and community affairs , 2004, pp. 158
Leveling the Path to Participation: Volunteering and Civic Engagement Among Youth From Disadvantaged Circumstances from the Corporation for National and Community Service. , 2007, pp. 32
Ashoka - Innovators for the Public

Network of social entrepreneurs worldwide. 

Citizens at the Center

Case Foundation's site proposing new approaches to civic engagement.

Civil Society section of Citizendium

Civil society is the "arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values." This new wiki (2007) is being compiled by academic Roger A. Lohmann.


"A place to discuss and dissect the successes, failures, and practices of online activism." Micro-volunteering actions for "digital campaigning, one click at a time."

Collective Impact Forum

"Collective impact" is an emerging form of community collaboration. This site expains the concept and offers many free articles about it.

Corporate Institute Blog

Posts about corporate social responsibility and tools for engaging companies in volunteering, from Points of Light..

Diversity Trends free articles

Trainer/consultant Tracy Brown (often speaks at volunteering conferences) offers practical information for dealing with diversity, as well as a free weekly e-mail *diversity toolkit tune up.* Blog

All about young people (teens and 20-somethings) and social change.

Engaging Volunteers (blog)

Excellent blog written by members of the VolunteerMatch team and third-party experts in the volunteering and technology community. Great source for trends in the field.

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."

Focus on the Economic Crisis

Site from the Foundation Center established to share many perspectives on how nonprofits and funders are behaving during the economic crisis.

Generation We

Site devoted to explaining the perspective of Millennials and mobilizing them to service.

Guardian Newpaper

This newspaper web site devotes a full section to the topic of volunteering, with many provocative articles challenging the value and role of British volunteers.

Hot Topics by Susan J. Ellis

Every month since April 1997, Energize President Susan J. Ellis has written an opinion piece on a volunteerism subject that concerns her -- and welcomes responses from readers.  The most current one is featured on the Energize home page and the full archive is online here.

The Huffington Post section on Volunteerism (blogs)

With the tag line "Some News Is So Big It Needs Its Own Page," the popular daily news site has aggregated its volunteer-related stories in a special section. Many are postings from blogs on the site.

InnoVate Blog

From JFFixler Group, consultants in volunteer engagement and board developement

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.

Kindness: New Ways We Give and Volunteer

USA Today's "daily source of inspiration and guide to making a difference in fresh and exciting ways," giving individuals the chance to share the volunteer service they do on a Kindness forum.

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."

NCVO Blog Posts on "Volunteering"

NCVO in the UK regularly publishes insightful blog posts on the subject of volunteering written by a variety of knowledgeable staff members (many of whom were with Volunteering England when it merged into NCVO). 

Pro Bono Australia News (blog)

News items focused on volunteering by business people and professionals in Australia as pro bono service.

Pro Bono Junkie's Blog

A blog for those interested in integrating the pro bono ethic into their careers — giving their time and talent to strengthen nonprofit organizations. Part of the Taproot Foundation site.

Realizing Your Worth (blog)

Thoughts on corporate social responsibility and corporate volunteering by Chris Jarvis in Canada, through his consulting firm, Realized Worth. Has some cogent and valuable resources in the blog's archives.

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.

Social Citizens Blog - Glossary 2.0

Site utilizing the most innovative online technology for "social citizenship" offers this page defining blogs, wikis, and other tools (includes videos).

Social ROI: A Social Entrepreneurship Blog

"A blog about how social entrepreneurship is making this world a better place."

Time Banks USA

Founded by Edgar Kahn, describes how to set up service exchanges that give barter "value" to each hour of volunteer work contributed by participants.

Vantage Point Blog

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

Volunteer NOW - Developing Volunteering

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

Volunteer Today

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

World Volunteer Web - UN Volunteers

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.