Membership Development

"Membership development" is really "volunteer management" for all-volunteer associations or any group that refers to its voluntary constituents as "members." Members are recruited to join the group and then are expected to participate in various projects and committees.

Be Ambassadors to the Community, Jan Masaoka, All Hands on Board: The Board of Directors in an All-Volunteer Organization, pp. 15-16, National Center for Nonprofit Boards and the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, 1999
A Bill of Rights for Members, Bryan Leipper, The Dear Association Leader
Decision Making in Small Groups, Nathan W. Turner, Leading Small Groups, pp. 49 - 50, Judson Press, 1996
The Engagement Pyramid: Six Levels of Connecting People and Social Change, Gideon Rosenblatt, Idealware, 2010

What does it mean to "engage people"? Rosenblatt offers a new assessment of engagement levels.

I'll help with that, but don't ask me to lead it!, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Leading Volunteers, Nancy Beach
Limiting Volunteers through Insurance Requirements, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Jan Masaoka, originally published by the National Center for Nonprofit Boards , pp. 19
developed for conservation volunteer leaders who are responsible for leading groups of other volunteers, by the Federation of Ontario Naturalists., pp. 66
A series of nine books by Volunteer Northwest Territories and Volunteer Nunavut in Canada for volunteers and volunteer groups in small and large communities. The link here is to book 1, which links to the other 8 booklets of 40 pages each., 2004, pp. 40
From HandsOn Network and the Corporation for National Community Service, this PDF provides a simple overview of the tasks of managing a project with volunteers. Especially pertinent for volunteers leading other volunteers. , 2010, pp. 56

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
Archival Collection of Ivan H. Scheier

IvanScheier was one of the most instrumental and forward-thinking leaders in the volunteerism field for over three decades. Before his death in 2008, Ivan gave more than 700 pages of his innovative writings, most out of print and only available online, to Regis University. This remains a remarkable trove of cutting-edge ideas, notably about volunteer-employee relations and the role of the volunteer resources manager.

The Center for Association Leadership

Site for staff and officers of trade and professional associations, with many articles, sample forms, "cool tips," etc. Search under "volunteer" or "member development."

Mark Levin Leadership Articles

Professional speaker and association manager Mark Levin shares his archive of articles about membership development for associations.

PTO Today

Wonderful publication and online resource for parent-teacher organizations -- but with all sorts of useful nuggets for ANY all-volunteer organization.

PTO Today Archives

Wide range of articles on recruitment, fundraising, and making things work, written for leaders of parent/teacher groups but applicable to any all-volunteer organization.

Self-Help Sourcebook Online

All sorts of information for running a self-help group, including links to existing groups and tips for effective online support.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Focused on officers of all-volunteer groups, from the Risk & Insurance Management Society

Volunteer Spot

Free site designed to enable anyone to quickly mobilize, coordinate , and schedule volunteers in their community, congregation and social network to accomplish projects more easily.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Book cover

Learn to develop a dynamic membership development campaign by applying great, practical tips from two college fraternity leaders. (Not just for recruiting volunteers on campus!)

Secrets of Successful Boards

A Boards 101 book for trustees new to boards, for leaders of all-volunteer associations, or for anyone starting a nonprofit from the ground up, with chapters by ten well-known authorities on boards.

Volunteer Speed Matching

Think speed dating meets volunteer recruiting! One clever volunteer center outside of London produced this Toolkit for the perfect, fun and upbeat recruiting event.

Top Tips for Recruitment DVD

Australian trainer Martin J. Cowling cuts straight to the chase in this video presentation of what organizations do correctly and incorrectly in connecting volunteers.

Volunteer Recruitment Book

Complete guide to recruitment, from designing volunteer roles to assessing your organization’s image to where and how to look for new volunteers. Long chapter on membership development for all-volunteer organizations.

Book Cover

Challenges conventional wisdom about boards, fundraising, and membership development when applied to grassroots volunteer efforts. Includes great group interaction exercises.

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