March 2020

Susan J. Ellis Foundation: Supporting the Volunteer Engagement Profession

By Kristin Floyd

Energize’s founder, Susan J. Ellis would have celebrated her 72nd birthday this month.  In her memory, the trustees of the Susan J. Ellis Foundation want to share with you the exciting work of the Foundation which was established by her estate.  

Susan was a passionate advocate for the professionalization of the volunteer engagement field and the Foundation is committed to continuing her work.  The Foundation will focus on the thoughtful dissemination and exchange of research, history, practices and trends related to the volunteer engagement profession. 

Towards this goal, there are two vital resources the Foundation is currently supporting – the professional journal, e-Volunteerism and the new Ellis Archives on the Professional Leadership of Volunteers (Ellis Archives).

Many of you are already familiar with e-Volunteerism which was established by Susan J. Ellis and Steve McCurley in October 2000.  This professional journal was supported by Energize (and its subscribers!) for over 20 years and is now part of the Foundation with Rob Jackson as its new editor-in-chief.   Rob is leading a review of the journal’s content and design and plans a re-launch of the journal for its 20th anniversary in October 2020. The re-launch will both celebrate this important milestone and ensure that the journal stays relevant for decades to come.

The Foundation is also excited to support the Ellis Archives. Katie Campbell, the lead archivist, is compiling the Ellis Archives from the many articles, sample materials and other documents that Susan saved throughout her career – most of these from pre-internet eras. The Foundation anticipates expanding the Ellis Archives with collections from other experts in the field. Katie Campbell has done an amazing job scanning and cataloging materials for digital access and we are eager to provide you partial access to the archives in late Spring. We will let you know as soon as they are available.

You can learn more about the Foundation by visiting or registering for the biannual e-mail update. We will also continue to share news about the Foundation on the Energize website.

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Comments from Readers

Submitted on
Lynne Allebach, volunteer coordinator, Living Branches, Lansdale, us

Thank you for continuing the work begun by Susan Ellis. As a subscriber to Energize, I have benefited from her guidance and insight. I have referred many new volunteer managers to the Energize site, so they, too, can benefit from the gathered wisdom found there.

Submitted on
Brenda Weiler, Project Coordinator, Chautauqua County RSVP, Jamestown , USA

Looking forward to seeing Susan Ellis's work available for us to continue to learn from.