Motivation

Connected to recruitment, supervision, and recognition, these resources on motivation offer general perspectives on why volunteers do what they do.

Altruistic People Have More Sex, Drake Bayer, New York Magazine (online), 2016
Both Receiving and Giving, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Cultivation and Critique, Claudia Kuric and Sharon Koll, with contributions by Myrl Weinberg, A Roadmap to Managing Volunteer Systems: From Grassroots to National, National Health Council, 2000
Decide Needed Roles and Set Recruitment Goals, Gary J. Stern, Moblizing People for Marketing Success, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 1997
Demand Excellence, Dr. Bill Wittich, pp. 43-44, Knowledge Transfer Publishing, 2002
Encouraging Entrepreneurial Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
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.

Enough Formal Banquets! Let's Transform Recognition Events, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
Getting to Yes: Strategies for Volunteer Recruitment, Susan J. Ellis, Girl Scout Leader
Good Intentions Going Nowhere -- Again, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
The Holiday Season: Going Beyond "Feel-Good" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
How To Respond to Common Excuses (not to volunteer), Liz O'Donnell, PTO Today, 2016
"I Don't Have Time", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
I'll help with that, but don't ask me to lead it!, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Keeping Former Volunteers in Our Circle of Good Friends, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2015
Lessening Social Exclusion through Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Make New Friends But Keep the Old..., Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Marketing Savvy - Our Field's Blind Spot, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
The Money Factor in Volunteer Management, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
The Moral Obligation of Volunteer Recruitment Promises, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Prepare: Equipping a Volunteer to Serve, Barry Altland, pp. 81-83, Peppertree Press, 2015
Reaching Out to International Visitors, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
Recruitment Maxims, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2005
Sending Volunteer Talent Down the Drain, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
Should Volunteer Program Managers Be Volunteers, Too?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Should We Ask Volunteers to Give Money on Top of Time?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
The Spice of Life, Justin Davis Smith, Blog, 2015

Commentary on time banking and the "Spice" program in the UK.

Stop Volunteers from Being Their Own Worst Enemies, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2013
Top Signs of Volunteer Burn-out, Lisa Barker (humorous), 2007
A Volunteer Needs a Good Reason for Doing the Task, Helen Little, Volunteers: How to Get Them, How to Keep Them, pp 37-38, Panacea Press, 1999
Volunteers Just Want to Have Fun, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2005
Voluntourism - Pros, Cons, and Possibilities, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
What's the Mystery about Motivation?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
When Saying Thanks Isn't Helpful, Wendi Hammond, 2013
When Volunteers Resist Change, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Why Don't People Volunteer?, Evelyn Beck, PTO Today, 2015

Volunteer Canada's report on "How do Canadians want to be recognized for their volunteer contributions?"

, 2013, pp. 10
Guide for charities who want to know more about working with the media, including volunteer recruitment, from askCharity in the UK. , pp. 90
From the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, Singapore , 2008, pp. 40

Results of the Abila Donor Engagement Study: "we decided to dig even deeper into donor behavior, to go beyond just engagement, and see what drives donor loyalty, what types of content donors really like to consume, what actions by an organization annoy donors, what role events and volunteering play, and how donors really feel when it comes to an organization spending money on overhead." Lots about Gen X and the connection of volunteering to giving money. 

, 2016, pp. 22
From MediaTrust and i-volunteer (UK), emphasizing social media , 2010, pp. 76

For Disaster Response Volunteers, First Responders and Disaster Planners, by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD). Also see VOAD's "Disaster Spiritual Care," a statement of principles about spiritual and emotional support of disaster workers. 

, 2013, pp. 64
Assesses factors that increase male volunteering in service programs and offers concrete approaches to overcoming barriers and designing programs that are attractive to males.

Another entry in the series of free Do-it How To Guides produced by ivo (England), this booklet looks at the broad spectrum of roles that volunteers engage in and the changing of volunteer motivations.

, 2015, pp. 16
Allison Fine for the Case Foundation. Social Citizens BETA addresses the unique characteristics of Millennials, who have grown up in a digital era, and "are equipped with innovative tools and ideas for bringing about change. This is a paper intended to start a "larger conversation with these 'social citizens, to share new ideas and "challenge perceptions about their approaches to being engaged." , 2013, pp. 65

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
Produced by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration or view the components of the Tool Kit on the MAVA site. , 2011, pp. 32
Edited by Andy Fryar, Rob Jackson, and Fraser Dyer. Essays from contributing volunteer managers around the world on attracting the best and most diverse volunteers and then working with them successfully. , 2007, pp. 204
Beyond Recruitment

"An Online Workshop About Recruitment & Maintaining Volunteers in the New Environment" by Community Literacy of Ontario.

Celebrity Volunteers

Several articles both cautioning about and explaining how to recruit and work with celebrities as volunteers, from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Convio Connection

Sample articles from free bimonthly newsletter for nonprofits on how to attract constituents, drive action, and build loyalty through online relationship management.

Encouraging Involvement in Community Work

Chapter 7 of the "Community Toolbox," with self-teaching modules on gaining participation by community members.

Fenton Communications

Approaches to advocacy communication campaigns. Click on "resources" from the home page to access their free resources.

PTO Today

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

The Serious Leisure Perspective

Canadian academic William A. Stebbins has devoted his career to studying the connection of leisure to work and volunteering,as well as professional to amateur. The site offers a wealth of materials, including a Digital Library of many articles.

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.

Tag Lines

Clever phrases for recruiting volunteers into virtual volunteering assignments.

Volunteer Genie

This very useful site, no matter where you are located, is a project of the Voluntary Action Media Unit (VAMU) in the UK. Volunteer Genie aims to help site visitors use the power of the media to recruit volunteers. Full of ideas, advice from media experts, and other free guides to develop a media strategy.

Volunteer Recognition Tool

Volunteer Canada has created (2014) this "Volunteer Recognition Tool" to  help volunteer managers plan meaningful recognition activities. Volunteers take the quiz to find out what their language of recognition is, and then share the results with their manager. Available in English and French.  Read more about the concept here.

Volunteer Recruitment: Tips from the Field

Resource guide compiled by Sarah Jane Rehnborg and Betsy Clubine with a team of volunteer professionals from around the state of Texas.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

77 Ways to Recognize Volunteers

An idea-a-page to show real appreciation for volunteers.

Engaging the Head, Heart and Hands of a Volunteer
New

A guide on volunteer motivation and leadership skills for leaders of volunteers to feed the passion of those who choose to serve.

Handling Problem Volunteers

Insightful and humorous guide to dealing with a wide range of problem behaviors exhibited by some volunteers, from irritating to seriously dysfunctional.

Book cover

A back-to-basics book on volunteer retention. A dozen easy tips to excite, inspire, & retain your most valuable asset...volunteers. 

Book cover

Examines the art of keeping volunteers productively connected to the organization including how to enhance volunteer motivation, avoid volunteer burnout, get beyond short-term commitments, and more.

Making Dreams Come True

Inspiration for leaders of volunteers who act at "dream-catchers" every day.  Examine how to keep dreams alive, form dream-nurturing environments, and support volunteers' dreams to reality.

Share of Mind, Share of Heart

A compact guide providing insight into nonprofit marketing and practical tools for engaging volunteers and paid staff in shaping the organization's image and brand.

Step-by-Step

Ideas for how young people can discover what they care about, gain support, and implement a plan for change.

Explores why people volunteer and teaches how to respect and respond to differences in motivational needs.

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.

Volunteering by Unemployed People

A guide from the UK on how to recruit and retain people who are unemployed in volunteer work as a route to opportunity, with a realistic approach to issues and barriers.

Supervising Volunteers

Advice, wisdom, and experience from over 85 real-life, on-the-job supervisors of volunteers: crystal clear analysis of what works and what doesn't in supervision.

"Fun weekly videos to help nonprofits raise money, steward donors, and inspire board members," produced by Chris Davenport with a range of guest presenters.  A new, short video (usually less than 5 minutes) comes out every Monday and you get the link via e-mail. 

Video of a 2014 TEDxUOttawa talk (11 minutes) by Tuan Nguyen, a young Canadian philanthropist and entrepreneur. Surviving death during his escape after the fall of Viet Nam in 1975, he sees the world from a lens of gratitude and has been the foundation for all his hopes, dreams, and vision. His stories demonstrates how volunteerism (mainly fundraising events) is the best platform for professional and personal development. 

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