“Volunteerism in the 21st Century: The First Decade”
Volume XXVI, Number 3
FROM THE EDITOR
Looking Back . . . Looking Ahead ... link to pdf
Promoting Organizational Sustainability: Engaging Volunteers to Tell the Program Impact Story
Nancy K. Franz, Ph.D.
As pressure builds for volunteer resource managers to show impact and accountability for the use of funds and delivery of services, volunteers should be more fully engaged in helping with this process. This article provides a four step process used with volunteers in Virginia Cooperative Extension to conduct program evaluations and document impact, including (1) mapping the intended program, (2) determining what impact will be measured, (3) collecting and analyzing data, and (4) telling the impact story. Lessons learned in this process are shared to help volunteer resource managers benefit from this pilot program. ... link to pdf
Key Words: evaluation, impact, volunteers, Cooperative Extension, accountability
The Psychological Contracts of Volunteers: What We Do and Do Not Yet Know
Joy Turnheim Smith, Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A., & Matthew Liao-Troth, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Psychological contracts are interpretations by individuals and organizations about what each will do for and get from each other. Understanding the psychological contracts held by volunteers is important to a nonprofit organization because those contracts govern both the way individuals interpret their job tasks and how those tasks are carried out. Therefore, understanding what leads to the formation of a psychological contract, and the content of that psychological contract, is critical to the success of the sector. The authors map the current state of knowledge of psychological contracts within the nonprofit sector. They discuss why understanding the psychological contract helps in managing the behavior of volunteers in the nonprofit sector, present how the psychological contract works, review what we know about the psychological contract, and present implications for volunteer resource managers. They conclude with identifying areas for further investigation and implications for these issues as well. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, psychological contracts, labor relations
Leadership Development for Local Volunteers: A Case Study of Andragogy in Practice
Eric K. Kaufman, Ph.D., Hannah S. Carter, Ph.D., Rick D. Rudd, Ph.D., & Donna M. Moore, Ph.D.
Volunteer administrators recognize that development of volunteers is both an art and a science. This paper outlines a seven-step approach that was successfully applied when planning and implementing a professional development program for volunteers who serve in leadership roles with a grassroots, nonprofit organization in the USA. The steps are based upon principles of adult learning, known in the education field as “andragogy.” Accordingly, the steps draw connections to the Andragogy in Practice Model, outlining the process from the point of needs assessment through program evaluation. The implementation of the program was based on the theory that adult learning improves when the learners are engaged in all aspects of the planning and implementation of their learning experiences. ... link to pdf
Key Words: andragogy, grassroots, education, program, planning
4-H Program Quality Assessment: Can Volunteers Improve Quality?
Samantha Grant, M.A., & Eric Vogel, M.Ed.
Expectations for volunteers in youth development organizations have grown to include an emphasis on accountability. In recent years, the field of youth development has begun to investigate out-of-school time settings by measuring the quality of learning environments at the point of service- the places where youth and adults interact. The current study investigated 4-H volunteers’ experiences in building quality youth development settings. Ten 4-H clubs were randomly divided into either an experimental or control group. Clubs in the experimental group received three hours of training on topics related to quality. Results demonstrate that experimental clubs saw improvements in measures of supportive environments. In addition, interview data revealed three themes important for implementing quality initiatives in volunteer settings: emphasis on engagement, special considerations in working with volunteers, and importance of a system-wide approach. Implications and future directions are discussed. ... link to pdf
Key Words: quality, training, improvement, youth development
Why Do People Volunteer on Crisis Hotlines?
LaJuana J. Hector, M.S.S.W., & Regina T. P. Aguirre, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.- A.P.
A qualitative study was conducted to ascertain volunteer motivations for selecting a crisis hotline. Typically, crisis hotline volunteers commit to intensive training and a contract to volunteer for a certain length of time. Crisis hotline volunteers handle calls on difficult topics including mental illness and suicide. Crisis hotlines often struggle to recruit volunteers because of the considerable time commitment and taxing work. Researching crisis hotline volunteers’ motivations may lead to improved recruitment and retention efforts. Researchers found that altruism, finding the work challenging, personal experience with crisis and suicide, and having time to volunteer were motivations to select a crisis hotline over other opportunities. ... link to pdf
Key Words: crisis, hotline, motivation, recruitment, retention
Volunteers: Beyond Government Partners
Maria J. D’Agostino, Ph.D.
Practitioners and academics have expressed concern about the deteriorating morale and effectiveness of the public-sector workforce, citing its aging employees and competition for human capital from the private sector. Recruiting qualified public servants is complicated by negative perceptions of government, due in part to the rhetoric of politicians from all sides. Therefore, finding new ways to recruit and retain the best-qualified young graduates has become critical. This commentary examines an untapped resource—volunteers—an underutilized supply of well-qualified future public servants that also have the potential to transform the negative image of government among youth. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, public service, government
IDEAS THAT WORK
Using the Web to Effectively Attract Volunteers to Non-profit Organizations
Adrian Goh, B.S., Joseph Allen, M.A., Steven Rogelberg, Ph.D., & Anna Currie, M.B.A.
Non-profit organizations often rely on volunteers to help staff and sustain organizational services, functions, and programs. The web is a critical vehicle for attracting these needed volunteers. We searched the available literature and reviewed close to 100 non-profit organizational websites to identify practices of note. Fourteen best practices in web site design are forwarded and discussed. ...link to pdf
Key Words: web presence, web site practices, volunteer management, recruitment, non-profit organizations
Head, Heart, Hands, Health . . . Hunger
Holly Nevarez, Ph.D., C.H.E.S., M.P.H.
In today’s economically challenged times, hunger is increasing and food banks and soup kitchens are struggling to feed more people with fewer donations. To help stock local food reserves, California State University students created a food drive based on the defining components of 4-H and recruited, trained, and worked side-by-side with 4-H member volunteers from kindergarten through sixth grades. This cross-age volunteer effort resulted in 20,000 cans of donated food which translates to five months of meals or 48,000 servings for the local food bank. In return for their efforts, the college students and 4-H members changed the negative stereotypes they had held toward the homeless (Head); developed feelings of compassion and a value for sharing (Heart); engaged in an active, quantifiable service experience (Hands); and provided one of the most basic biological needs to those who are hungry and living in poverty (Health). A food drive can be an effective method of teaching the value of volunteerism and community service to people of all ages. This article outlines the steps for meshing service and learning together. ...link to pdf
Key Words: food drive, food bank, schools, 4-H, volunteerism, service learning
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
The International Volunteer Impacts Survey
Benjamin J. Lough, Amanda Moore McBride, Ph.D., & Margaret S. Sherraden, Ph.D.
The field of international volunteer service (IVS) is growing worldwide, yet there is little systematic evidence of outcomes for volunteers. Current scholarship about IVS is largely descriptive and lacks consistent measures and comparative designs that permit claims of impact. This lack of reliable information limits what researchers, program administrators, and policy makers can claim about program effects. This paper reports on a publically-available “tool of the trade”, the International Volunteers Impacts Survey (IVIS), which measures impacts of IVS on volunteers. The 90-item IVIS survey -- which can be administered by program staff, evaluators, and researchers – has undergone rigorous factor analysis procedures to assess the conceptual basis and reliability of a range of international volunteer outcomes. These outcomes include international contacts, open-mindedness, international understanding, intercultural relations, global identity, social skills, life plans, civic activism, community engagement, media attentiveness, and financial contributions. This paper discusses the importance and use of this survey for assessing IVS volunteer outcomes and building the knowledge base on IVS. ... link to pdf
Key Words: international, volunteering, research, evaluation, survey
FROM THE JOVA ANNALS
The Volunteer Movement in the United States
Bernard M. Kapell
The author describes the historical development of volunteerism in the United States as well as the current status of volunteerism in the country as of 1968. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteerism, United States, history
Transition Strategies for the Volunteer World
Eva Schindler-Rainman, D.S.W.
The author discusses the changing roles of professional volunteer managers in the 1980’s as organized around seven transitions: changing volunteer participants, changing roles and systems, changing organization structures, pushes to collaboration, changing values, and the increased need for planning. Specific management strategies are described for each transition. ... link to pdf
Key Words: change, transition, management, strategies
Volunteering: Continuing Expansion of the Definition and a Practical Application of Altruistic Motivation
Richard S. Shure, Ph.D.
Whenever we think about volunteering, we do so mostly from only one perspective, that of the volunteer. There are at least two others to consider: the perspective of the recipient of the voluntary act and the perspective of the society in which the voluntary action takes place. To limit ourselves only to the perspective of the volunteer will limit research into voluntary action. Altruism as a motivator of voluntary action is explored from several perspectives and suggestions on how to make this information operational are presented. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteer, altruism, motivation
Research Needs in Volunteer Activity
The author discusses eight areas in which he perceives needed research related to volunteerism in 1967: 1. need for volunteers, 2. usefulness of volunteers, 3. characteristics of volunteers, 4. utilization of volunteers, 5. motivation of volunteers, 6. role of volunteers, 7, qualifications of volunteers, and 8. prediction. ... link to pdf
Key Words: Research Needs in Volunteer Activity