Susan J. Ellis

Susan J. Ellis

Susan J. Ellis is president of Energize, Inc., a training, consulting, and publishing firm that specializes in volunteerism. She founded the Philadelphia-based company in 1977 and since that time has assisted clients throughout the world (23 countries) to create or strengthen their volunteer corps. She has an international reputation as a passionate advocate for the power of volunteers and those who lead them.

Susan is the author or co-author of fourteen books (see below), several of which have been translated into Japanese, Taiwanese, French, and Italian. From 1981 to 1987 she was editor-in-chief of The Journal of Volunteer Administration. She has written more than 120 articles on volunteer management for dozens of publications; has posted a provocative “Hot Topic” essay on the Energize Web site monthly since 1997;  and writes the national bi-monthly column, "On Volunteers," for The NonProfit Times (since 1990). 

Energize’s comprehensive Web site has won international recognition as a premier resource for leaders of volunteers ( Since 2000, she has been publishing editor of the field's first online journal, e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community ( and, since 2005, has been the dean of faculty for Energize's Everyone Ready®  Online Volunteer Management Training Program ( 

For the past several years, Energize President Susan J. Ellis has been successfully living with cancer. She is currently taking time off from her consulting and training responsibilities. Please contact us at if you would like to discuss your needs for training, consulting, or writing with one of our associates.  

Books By This Author:
Book cover for From the Top Down
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Children as Volunteers
Church Puzzle Book cover
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Proof Positive
Rants and Raves Anthology
Stalking the Elusive Exec
Volunteer Recruitment Book
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From the Top Down UK edition book cover