“Volunteerism Around the Globe: New Ideas, New Insights”
Volume XXVI, Number 1
FROM THE EDITOR
In This Issue: We Are All World Citizens ... link to pdf
Are Volunteers Attracted by the Part or by the Whole?
The Case of the Belgian Red Cross
Lesley Hustinx, Ph.D., & Femida Handy, Ph.D.
This article explores volunteer attachments in a large multi-service national volunteer organization, the Red Cross, which seeks to establish a universal standard of reference through locally rooted service provision. We ask whether volunteering for locally run chapters contributes to the strengthening of volunteers’ loyalty to the parent organization as a whole, or whether volunteer loyalty is directed primarily at the organization’s parts, i.e., the local chapters in which the volunteering takes place. The analysis reveals a complex mixture of holistic and local tendencies. We conclude that holistic community development among volunteers for the Red Cross is a goal more easily attained at the cognitive level than at the affective level. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, loyalty, Red Cross
Assessing Volunteer-Based Cultural Organizations in Portugal: What Potential?
Timothy Koehnen, Ph.D., & Tiago Santos
This case study investigates organizational behavioural components within volunteer-based cultural organizations in rural mountainous communities in northern Portugal. An assessment of organizational components resulted in specific suggestions for increasing nonformal educational planning for volunteers, articulated to organizational concerns and community development. The established volunteer-based platform permits consideration of non-formal educational programs to increase community and organizational decisionmaking, empowerment, and reflection for alternative leadership styles. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, organizational behaviour, community development
Effect of Design Elements for Corporate Volunteer Programs on Volunteerability
Lucas C.P.M. Meijs, Mary Tschirhart, Ph.D., Esther M. Ten Hoorn, & Jeffrey L. Brudney, Ph.D.
Corporate volunteer programs may affect current and future volunteering both through the program and independent of it. This article addresses how corporate volunteer program design and implementation choices affect “volunteerability” (i.e., the willingness and ability to volunteer) and provides insights for both corporate volunteer program managers as well as volunteer resource managers in non-profit organizations hosting corporate volunteers. Emphasis is placed on program choices regarding the level of corporate commitment, program restrictions, participation encouragement, and benefits emphasized. Predictions of effects are grounded in an understanding of the dynamics of legitimization, resource needs, expectations, socialization, substitution, incentives, and resentment. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteering, corporate, program, design, manager
Volunteers as Partners: Fostering Client-centred Care
Beth Morgan, M.Sc.O.T., Heidi Hunter, M.Sc.O.T., Samantha Anstey, M.Sc.O.T., Anne O’Riordan, B.Sc.O.T., Margo Paterson, Ph.D., & Debbie Docherty, M.S.W.
This study provides insight into the experience of volunteering from the perspective of community members with disabilities who are involved in educating occupational therapy students. Setting the stage for the study is a first person perspective highlighting the personal significance of volunteering as an educator of health care students. This qualitative research study used semi-structured interviews to discuss volunteerism and the lived experience of disability. Four common themes emerged: personal development, advocacy, education and the dynamic relationship. These themes are illustrated in the Volunteer Experience Model and discussed in relation to other volunteering opportunities and experiences found in the health care literature. This study provides evidence for further research relating to teaching roles for people with disabilities. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, occupational therapy students, disability, client-centred care
Volunteering and Social Activism: Pathways for Participation in Human Development
Karena Cronin, & Helene Perold
Volunteering and social activism are sometimes understood as separate spheres of action. Yet activities such as advocacy, campaigning, and awareness-raising can be associated with both volunteering and social activism. This commentary explores the dynamic relationships between volunteering and social activism in relation to social change and development by looking at diverse forms of people’s participation in society. In particular, the authors consider how volunteering and social activism contribute to people’s participation in meeting development commitments such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The authors draw upon a 2007-2008 study commissioned by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE,) and United Nations Volunteers (UNV), which engaged over 100 volunteer-involving organizations and tapped the experience of individuals from 54 countries. The authors conclude that both volunteering and social activism are important strategies for fostering people’s participation in social change and human development and have the potential to help foster the scale and diversity of participation needed to confront major development challenges. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteering, social activism, development, participation
Recognizing the Role of Volunteers in Building Democracy
It is easy to take for granted the fundamentals of our invaluable democratic process, and in particular, the volunteers who ensure its health and vibrancy. During election campaigns in many countries like Canada, we see levels of voter participation that are reflective of an apathetic citizenry. This commentary suggests that in order to respond to cynicism and indifference towards the democratic process, one should look at the volunteers who participate behind the scenes, both during and in-between elections. A federal election in Canada, for example, brings together more volunteers than any other event, making it the largest episodic volunteering effort in the country. From the various tasks related to campaigning to the organization of advocacy and awareness activities related to specific policies, these volunteers protect and build upon the democratic principles that many other countries have yet to grasp. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, democracy, civic, participation, elections
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
The Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit:
What Difference Does Volunteering Make?
With the growing interest and increasing demand for volunteer-involving organizations to monitor, measure, and document the impact and benefit of volunteer programs, the Institute for Volunteering Research developed the Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit in late 2004 to help organizations undertake their own research to assess the impacts of volunteering. Providing a framework and set of tools for managers of volunteers, the toolkit has been used to inform the development and improvement of volunteer programs and to provide evidence for funders on the benefits of volunteering for volunteers themselves, volunteer organizations and their staff, service users, and the wider community. This article introduces the toolkit, discusses how it can be used, and identifies some of the challenges of assessing the impacts of volunteering. ... link to pdf
Key Words: evaluation, impact, assessment, benefits, human capital, social capital
IDEAS THAT WORK
Health and Safety Guidelines for Employee Volunteering Programmes in New Zealand.
Formalised employee volunteering has arrived and is growing in New Zealand. In many instances this involves groups of employees undertaking projects which may involve skills, equipment, and/or settings quite different from their usual workplaces. There are special health and safety issues involved and the question has been asked as to whether the participating employer organisations and the host community organisations know about and follow appropriate health and safety precautions for these situations; interim data collected to date suggest they may not be. Volunteering New Zealand is therefore beginning to develop new guidelines that may be used by employers, their employee volunteers, and host community organisations participating in these projects. ... link to pdf
Key Words: employee, volunteers, health, safety, risk management
FROM THE JOVA ANNALS
Altruism or Self-Actualisation? Disabled Volunteers’ Perceptions of the Benefits of Volunteering
Jane Andrews, Ph.D.
Since the election to the British Government of “New Labour” in 1997, voluntary action and volunteering have become highly political issues. Despite this, volunteerism amongst the disabled population remains a largely invisible phenomenon. This paper aims to address this issue by drawing attention to the various beneficiaries of the voluntary activities of a group of wheelchair-users volunteering within different organizational settings within Great Britain. The paper then offers practical guidance for managers of volunteers about the management of disable volunteers. ... link to pdf
Key Words: motivations, disabilities, volunteerism, United Kingdom
Volunteering in Cultural Institutions: A Comparison Between the United States and Germany
Gesa Birnkraut, Ph.D.
While volunteering in the arts in the United States is already a very important factor for the arts sector, this development has just started in Germany. This research is the first to take a look at the standard of volunteer activities and volunteer management in the arts not only in the United States, but also in Germany. A quite important factor is the different history of volunteerism and the founding of the arts institutions in both countries. Negative and positive potentials as well as strengths and weaknesses of volunteer activities in the arts are focused in comparison between the United States and Germany. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, Germany, arts
What Coordinators of Palliative Care Volunteers in New Brunswick, Canada Have to Say about their Programs, Themselves, and their Program Management Practices
Stephen Claxton-Oldfield, Ph.D., & Jane Claxton-Oldfield
Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the coordinators of 13 palliative care volunteer programs in New Brunswick, Canada in order to obtain information about (1) their programs; (2) themselves; and (3) their program management practices. Palliative care programs have been providing volunteer support services to patients and families in New Brunswick since the mid-1980’s. The majority of the palliative care volunteer programs in the province are hospital-based and hospital-funded. All of the volunteer coordinators who took part in this study were women and the majority of them (69.2%) had a university degree. Eight of the 13 coordinators (61.2%) were general volunteer coordinators/managers, for whom the palliative care program was only a small component of their job; 6 of the 13 coordinators (46.2%) were part-time. There was a huge range in the number of paid hours per week coordinators worked (4 to 37.5 hours) and the hourly rate of pay for their position (CAD$12 - $30 per hour). The findings also revealed considerable differences in terms of the training of volunteers, volunteer duties, etc., highlighting the need for the development of provincial (or national) standards for volunteers in palliative care to ensure consistent and high-quality end-of-life care. ... link to pdf
[Editor-generated] Key Words: palliative care, hospice volunteer, program management
Younger Volunteers in Sweden
Richard A. Sundeen, & Sally A. Raskoff
This article reports the findings of a study of volunteering by younger persons (age 16-24) in Sweden based on an analysis of data from a 1998 Swedish survey. As in the U.S., half of younger persons volunteer based in Sweden, although the context of Swedish volunteering differs significantly. After discussing the Swedish context of volunteerism, the article presents the differences in background between volunteers and non-volunteers, as well as areas of volunteer participation, activities and tasks carried out, motives for volunteering, and ways by which volunteers become involved. A summary of the results, including a discussion of volunteer commitment by younger Swedes and an agenda for future research follows. ... link to pdf
[Editor-generated] Key Words: youth, volunteers, Sweden