Updated September 18, 2009
Essential/Favorite Resources Regarding
Volunteer Management and Volunteerism
There is a plethora of online and in-print resources promoting volunteerism,
as well as supporting effective volunteer engagement. But which online and
in-print resources are the best?
Below is a list of my favorite resources relating to volunteer
engagement. These are the books and online resources from trusted,
established people and organizations, and I believe these should be
required reading of anyone who recruits and supports volunteers. This is a
subjective list, not a comprehensive one, and I (probably) mean no
disrespect to any resource I have not included.
These resources are listed in NO particular order of importance, and
will be updated occasionally:
To find purchasing information about any of these publications, visit Energize,
Inc. or Amazon, or type the
title into a search engine like Google
- Beyond Police Checks: The Definitive Volunteer & Employee
by Linda Graff
Provides details on all of the various methods you can use to ensure
your volunteer program has everyone's safety in mind.
- Screening Volunteers to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: A Community
Guide for Youth Organizations
Just 31 pages long, this guide should be read by every
organization, not just those focused on youth.
- Kidding Around? Be Serious! A Commitment to Safe Service
Opportunities for Young People
By Anna Seidman and John Patterson
It seems like there is a new initiative announced every week to
promote volunteerism among youth. But ensuring youth safety in such
programs seems to be largely ignored. This book helps to detail both
possible problems and ways to prevent them.
- From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program
By Susan J. Ellis
This book changed the way I talk about the benefits of volunteering.
"Bottom up" practice has been a buzz phrase for some time, and this
book does not dispute its importance. Rather, its purpose is to help
those who work with volunteers to be able to educate their
organization's senior management to give real support to
volunteers, beyond just lip service. It helps such in-house advocates
to encourage senior management to look at the benefits of involving
volunteers beyond "money saved in paying staff" and volunteer numbers.
- The (Help!) I-Don't-Have-Enough-Time Guide to Volunteer
By Katherine Noyes Campbell and Susan J. Ellis
This is, IMO, the best basic volunteer management book ever.
Most people who manage volunteers have many, many other
responsibilities; this book recognizes that, and provides ready-to-use
resources and easy-to-use references to get you up-and-running
immediately with the basics of managing volunteers. Best part: it
helps a volunteer manager to enable volunteers themselves to take
ownership of the volunteer involvement program and help run it.
- The Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
By Jayne Cravens and Susan J. Ellis
I know it's incredibly egotistical to pick my own book, but this isn't
a book of my opinion; it's a book based on the experiences of more
than 100 organizations and initiatives that have involved online
volunteers, or used the Internet to support volunteers. The revised
edition is coming out later in 2011. You can find out when by the book
is available by subscribing to my
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to my blog.
- Energize, Inc.
This for-profit company, lead by Susan Ellis, not only provides a
massive bookstore of print and e-books for sale relating to volunteer
management, written by the best minds in the volunteerism field, but
also features a number of free resources, such as Susan's "Hot Topic"
each month. Energize also provides intensive online training in
volunteer management through its Everyone
Ready® program with trainings written or presented by
volunteerism experts from all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to
the Energize email newsletters/updates.
Management Resources for the Involvement of Court-Appointed
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association
supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused
and neglected children in the courts system. Their web site provides
an outstanding database of volunteer management resources, many of
them by Steve McCurley, that are easily adapted to a variety of
volunteer involvement scenarios. It's a complete volunteer management
at your fingertips. In addition to general volunteer management
resources and extensive resources on screening and supervising
volunteers who will work with children are articles such as "Why Good
Volunteers Do Bad Things," "Conflict Between Paid Staff &
Volunteers," "7 Deadly Sins of Supervisors," ethics-related articles,
and sample policies.
from a variety of British organizations to support the engagement of
volunteers. These examples of policies and procedures were
compiled Greater London Volunteering (GLV), the regional partnership
body for volunteering in London, England.
- The National
Service Resource Center
Although focused on those participants, and those who work with them,
in USA national service programs (Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA,
etc.), these extensive resources can be helpful to any
service/volunteering program. There's an extensive online library of
sample forms and policies, as well as articles, profiles of suggested
practices, and lists of conferences, online discussion groups, print
materials and other related web sites.
Un espacio en red de intercambio de experiencias, información,
reflexión y buenas prácticas de voluntariado.
- Topic of the Month
For more than five years, up until her untimely death in February
2006, Mary Merrill produced a monthly topic that touched on various
issues relating to volunteer management. The archive of these topics
are available on her web site, and are worth your time to read.
Although geared towards human resources manager, this web site and its
weekly email update, Workforce Week, provide advice and legal updates
that can be oh-so-helpful to volunteer managers: regarding policy,
supervision, applicant tracking, legal issues, evaluation, and more.
A lively online discussion forum and resource center for volunteer
managers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and "right throughout
the broader Australasian region." There are a few hundred members, all
active coordinators of volunteers, and the discussions are up-to-date
and the debates lively.
An online discussion forum and resource center for volunteer managers
in the United Kingdom, similar to OzVPM, also with several hundred
- ARNOVA E-News,
a quarterly electronic newsletter that disseminates research findings
that have application implications in the nonprofit sector. ARNOVA is
the Association for Research on
Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.
- ISTR-L, an
electronic mail network for those researching, or interested in the
work of researchers, regarding the Third Sector. International
Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) is a major
international association promoting research and education in the
fields of philanthropy, civil society and the nonprofit sector. It
provides a more international perspective regarding volunteerism.
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