Diversity: Race, Ethnicity, Religion

Volunteering is done by everyone, but not every organization has a diverse volunteer corps representative of the community served. The materials here will help you to evolve and adapt volunteer involvement practices to be more welcoming and effective with a wider range of target populations. "Diversity" encompasses many demographics and you may want to look at some of the other library categories as well as this one.

Cultural Awareness, Ruth Wilson, p. 37, The National Centre for Volunteering (England), 2003
Diversifying the Volunteer Base: Latinos and Volunteerism, Beverly Hobbs, Journal of Extension, 2001
DIVERSITY: Different Perspectives on the Same Topic, Sue Vineyard, Megatrends & Volunteerism, pp. 121-123, Heritage Arts Publishing, 1993
How to Effectively Manage People Who Are HIV-Positive as Volunteers, By Irene K. Wysocki, An Untapped Volunteer Resource: People with HIV Disease, ARC or AIDS
Latino Outreach Programs: Why They Need to Be Differents, Beverly Hobbs, Journal of Extension, 2004
Time and Money: An In-Depth Look at 45+ Volunteers and Donors, 2003
study by AARP on the extent of volunteering by older Americans, including informal helping and attention to ethnic minorities.
What Does Love Look Like Politically?, Bob Seidel, 2003
Excellent, provocative article examining social justice and controversies in service-learning and other places where "diversity" is a focus.
Whom Don’t We Ask to Volunteer?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
A guide from UK's leading services for people with disabilities, Leonard Chesire and Scope. Can also download the guide in sections at http://www.can-do-volunteering.org. , 2006, pp. 72
A workbook designed to familiarize community organizers with the process of developing collective leadership across the traditional boundaries of race, class, gender and culture. A publication of the Kellogg Leadership for Community Change project. , pp. 60
Report from Temple University's Center for Intergenerational Learning on a study to gain a better understanding of why and how older immigrants contribute to their families and communities and to identify promising practices that support the engagement of immigrant elders in meaningful roles. , 2008, pp. 64

Produced by the National Centre for Volunteering (UK), this booklet examines how developing the right policies leads to a more diverse volunteer corps.

, 2002, pp. 20
12-chapter handbook (+ 4 appendices) for the inclusion of people with disabilities from the National Service Resource Center (US). Although written for national and community service programs, the material is adaptable to any setting, discussing outreach, recruitment, selection, and retention of participants with disabilities. Download entire manual in one PDF or as 16 PDF sections.
From the New Zealand Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector , 2008, pp. 61
Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector, New Zealand , 2007, pp. 60
By Beverly Hobbs, 4-H Youth Specialist, Oregon State University.

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
Over a dozen practical, free manuals to support (international) inclusion projects for socially excluded young people, from SALTO-YOUTH (Support, Advanced Learning and Training Opportunities within the European YOUTH programme). , 2010

By Nora L. Silver, based on work done by The Volunteerism Project on volunteering by diverse ethnic/cultural groups. Seven focus groups provided the basis for the book:

  • A Chorus of Voices, African American focus group facilitated by Vicki Clark in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Self-Determination: Messages for Our Native Youth, two American Indian focus groups conducted by Kouslaa Kessler-Mata in Oakland and San Francisco, California
  • Uno Recibe lo que Uno Da: You Get What You Give, Central American focus group conducted in Spanish, facilitated by Coco Mendoza and translated by Gary Wheelock in San Francisco, California
  • Extending the Family, Chinese American focus group conducted by Mae Chao in San Francisco, California
  • Giving Generously, Japanese American focus group conducted by Mami Ishikawa in Berkeley, California
  • Three Continents, Four States, Ten Cities, Korean American focus group facilitated by Debbie Ng in Oakland, California
  • La Gran Familia, Mexican American focus group facilitated by Ramon del Castillo, with simultaneous translation by Patsy Roybal in Denver, Colorado
, 2011, pp. 131

By Natasha Menon, Amanda Moore and Michael Sherraden, published by Center for Social Development/Global Service Institute.

, 2002, pp. 15
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 Joanna Machin of the  Institute for Volunteering Research (UK) for the Voluntary Action Media Unit to identify research and information which address issues related to the image of volunteering and volunteers by the public and the media -- specific reference made to the images held by different social groups. 

, 2005, pp. 47

Informative report about the innovations of TimeBank in the UK to update volunteering. Discusses "legacy" volunteering desired from the London Olympics and the "Mind the Gap" project aimed at recruiting young people of different minorities.

, 2005, pp. 28
African-American Philanthropy: A Bibliography and Resource List

Excellent resources compiled by the Foundation Center.

Community Development Policy (New Zealand)

NZ government site offering policy statements, reports,and other materials on volunteering as well as other community development,  including a study of Maori volunteering.

Diversity Links

The Minnesota Council on Foundations has compiled links to Web sites and resources for philanthropy by diverse communities and cultures, including African-Americans, American Indians, Asian/Pacific Island Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans,Lesbians & Gays, the Disability Community, and others.

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.*

MEM-VOL Migrant and Ethnic Minority Volunteering

Reports from a trans-Europe research project from 2002-2006.

Scope's Inclusive Volunteering Programme

Scope is an activist disability organization in England and Wales whose focus is people with cerebral palsy, but with the broader aim that "disabled people achieve equality: a society in which they are as valued and have the same human and civil rights as everyone else." The Inclusive Volunteer Programme is a special project to expand volunteer opportunities for people with disabilities.

Service-Learning Diversity Toolbox

The National Youth Leadership Council's efforts at examining diversity in service-learning programs, with several excellent downloadable reports and articles of relevance to any setting or type of volunteer work.

Stronger Together: Recruiting and Working with Ethnocultural Volunteers

Online manual by the Central Volunteer Bureau of Ottawa-Carleton (Canada) about how to make volunteer programs attractive and accessible to ethnic minority volunteers, based on input from program managers with experience.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

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Refugees and asylum-seekers are potential new volunteers in England and other countries. Learn how to reach out successfully to involve this growing population for mutual benefits.

A 70-minute video presentation by Dr. Bernadette Sanchez made in 2007 for the Extension Center for Youth Development at the University of Minnesota. An overview of research about the effects of gender, age, ethnicity and culture on mentoring. The Web page also includes 3 downloadable PDFs with supporting information.

"Our Diverse Communities" Poster
Submitted by Helen Scobie, ESOL Home Tutor Service , New Zealand

Here in New Zealand, the ESOL Home Tutor Service, fuelled by an enthusiastic band of some 3,000 volunteer tutors, has produced a great resource - a colour poster welcoming our diverse communities in 41 different languages. View the poster


The two most prominent languages are English and Maori - the others reflecting our main migrant communities over the years. Latest languages include Ethiopian (Oromo), Punjabi, Albanian, Burmese and simplified Chinese. All have a note of which language or region it comes from. If you want to learn more about what we've done, vist our website at http://www.esolht.org.nz.