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Engage Library

The language we use to talk about Volunteer Engagement is a topic we’ve touched on before in Points of View, and authors Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink revisit this theme in this issue of Engage. Their article builds on a challenge issued recently by author Simon Sinek, which…
July 2021
  “Just a volunteer…” How often do you hear these words spoken at your organization? The implication that these three words indicate a lack of ability, lack of trust or lack of accountability is worrying. We all know, after all, that volunteer indicates a pay category, not a…
July 2021
Imagine that you are on a trip visiting your nation’s capital, and about to step into one of the highlights listed on your “places to visit.” Would that list include an interactive museum space that’s dedicated to volunteering and service? In this Voices, former U.S. Congressman…
July 2021
Mentorship: As defined by Merriam-Webster, "the influence, guidance or direction given by a mentor." Opinions, interpretations, acceptance and application of that definition can vary between individuals, and can be the foundation of discussion and debate. What changes when the…
July 2021
In 2003, while working at The Urban Institute, Mark A. Hager spearheaded a national study of volunteer administration called the Volunteer Management Capacity (VMC) study. In 2019, he returned to the field to collect new information and update the study. In this Research to…
July 2021
When volunteer engagement relies on practices borrowed from business for paid staff, we can lose the relationships and purpose that are fundamental to success. Adopting a concept known as “radical welcome” as a guiding principle offers an antidote that reconnects us with…
July 2021
Editor's Note:  Due to unfortunate circumstances, this issue's Ahead of the Curve on "End-to-End Impact: Crediting Volunteers with the Differences They Make" has been delayed but will appear in our July - September issue. In its place, we revisit a story on volunteer management…
April 2021
We are living through the democratization of impact data. Once the reserve of elite, institutional philanthropy, new tools and data are enabling a much wider swath of nonprofits to credibly demonstrate their mission impact to stakeholders, including donors small and big, and…
July 2021
As leaders of volunteer engagement, are you actively involved in ‘building back better’ discussions that are taking place in your post-pandemic organisation? Have you been invited to be part of these conversations? Have you asked if these conversations are happening, whether you…
April 2021
The proposal of a universal basic income (UBI) – the provision of unconditional cash payments to all citizens of a given society – is neither new nor unproblematic. The idea has, however, enjoyed a wave of renewed interest in the wake of the pandemic and its social and economic…
April 2021
“We had to be gone by 12 noon.” In this poignant, first-person Voices, Claire Haggarty describes what it was  like to be a volunteer manager who was forced to evolve during a pandemic. She recalls the touchstones of a year that included a fantastic professional start before the…
April 2021
What common challenges do leaders of Volunteer Engagement face when they approach ethical issues? What common mistakes do they make? In this Ethics column, Editor Erin Spink interviews volunteerism expert  SarahJane Rehnborg to discuss these and many more issues that surface…
April 2021
What if we addressed societal issues as a shared, co-productive responsibility of all members of society? What role would volunteers play? How would nonprofit and volunteer management look different? These are some of the questions addressed in a study of volunteerism in…
April 2021
There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused seismic shifts in the volunteer landscape. Organisations have had to re-evaluate how they involve volunteers, often dramatically accelerating the pace of progress. In many cases, long-held attachments to formal volunteer…
April 2021
It’s a fact: 70 percent of volunteerism throughout the world is done by passionate individuals who wish to serve others and do so outside the framework of an organization or other entity. And during the COVID-19 pandemic – when organizational volunteerism is being reduced or…
January 2021
Volunteer management professionals have been fighting for years to be recognized for their occupation, the work they do and the potential it holds. This journey contains key questions: What do we want? What has been accomplished? What have we yet to accomplish? What will…
January 2021
The last year brought unexpected change and disruption to the volunteer management profession. But as we all start a new year, the profession is poised to take advantage of opportunities to move forward and change the future for the better. In this Voices, Meghan Kaskoun…
January 2021
In this Part 2 conclusion of this new Ethics column, authors Katie Campbell and Erin Spink delve deeper into a key ethics tool known as the CCVA Values and Principles document. Together, Campbell and Spink unpack how these values and principles guide the ethical behaviour of…
January 2021
Question: How much time would you save if you no longer manually sourced, screened, scheduled, tracked, analyzed, reported on and reached out to re-engage your volunteers and their contacts? Answer: Though most of our peers wouldn't admit it, you'd probably reclaim 20 percent to…
January 2021
Meaningful volunteering is one way for employees with high work demands to recover from stressful work situations. Employees who volunteer show higher levels of positive organizational citizenship behaviors than employees who don’t volunteer. At the same time, many nonprofit…
January 2021