“Volunteerism and Communities of Faith”
Volume XXVIII, No. 2 (July 2011)
FROM THE EDITOR
In This Issue: A Foundation of Faith ... link to pdf
The Road to Volunteering is Paved with Good Intentions: Volunteering in Immigrant Congregations as a Response to Religious, Social and Instrumental Motivations
Itay Greenspan, Jill Witmer Sinha, Ph.D., & Femida Handy, Ph.D.
The literature on volunteering has consistently found a positive relationship between an individual’s religious proclivity and volunteering. However, one might argue that for immigrants wishing to integrate – socially and economically – into a host society, the decision to volunteer will be equally influenced by other instrumental motives. Thus, we propose three theoretical frameworks that might explain volunteering in immigrant congregations: 1) religious beliefs, 2) social influence of peer congregants and authoritative clergy, and 3) perceived instrumental benefits of enhancing human and social capital. Using a sample of 495 congregants from 23 ethnic immigrant congregations in Philadelphia, we examine the effects of each of these motivations on immigrant volunteering. Findings suggest that among all first-generation immigrants, volunteering is strongly associated with religious beliefs, but among recent immigrants the decision to volunteer is further explained by instrumental motivations and social influence of peer congregants. A discussion of these results for volunteer administration follows. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteering, immigrants, congregations, motivation
Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More: The Role of Volunteer Lay Leaders in the Implementation of a Faith-based Health Promotion Program
Annie Hardison-Moody, Carolyn Dunn, Ph.D., David Hall, Lorelei Jones, Jimmy Newkirk, & Cathy Thomas
Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More (Faithful Families) is a research-based program that promotes healthy eating and physical activity in faith communities in nine counties in North Carolina. Faithful Families has worked with forty-one faith communities located in limited resource communities in these nine counties in North Carolina. Faithful Families uses the multi-level model to empower volunteer lay leaders and members of faith communities to carry out, in partnership with county level staff, individual education, policy and environmental changes, and community engagement and county-level coalition building. Volunteer lay leaders have become health ambassadors in their communities, connecting faith and health for program participants using scriptures, prayers and personal examples. Dramatic increases in positive nutrition and physical activity behaviors were recorded, notably as a result of training and working closely with volunteer lay leaders. Additionally, volunteers continue to advocate for policy and environmental changes that affect the healthy eating and physical activity behaviors of their faith communities and their counties. Program implementation draws on focus group research with volunteer lay leaders and program participants. Recommendations for working with volunteer lay leaders in faith communities on health promotion programs are presented. ... link to pdf
Key Words: lay leader, nutrition policy, health behavior, health promotion, religion
Skills-Based Volunteers in Congregations: Developing Safety Policy
Marilyn K. Lesmeister, Ph.D., & Sharon E. Rosenkoetter, Ph.D.
Despite frequent headlines about child maltreatment in religious settings, many faith-based organizations have not adopted formal policies to prevent the abuse of children and vulnerable adults. As congregations seek to establish policies for safe environments, they may find tremendous assets in volunteers with professional training in areas such as education, personnel management, and criminal justice. One congregation recruited a work group of volunteers with such professional knowledge and experience to address risk management issues. Skills-based volunteers are an asset to the congregation for the important work of developing safety policies. In a congregation of about 400 members, eight skilled volunteer who had 287 combined years of professional experiences, accepted the challenge to create a safer environment in their congregation. This article describes the need to develop child protection policies in faith-based organizations and guidelines for developing a child protection policy. The authors provide clear policies to prevent maltreatment, respond to allegations, fulfill the mission of the faith community, and involve skills-based volunteers effectively. The skills-based volunteers used their collective expertise to develop and implement a safety policy to help protect youth and vulnerable adults when those populations cannot protect themselves. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteers, faith-based, risk management, policy, youth, vulnerable adults
Where is the Faith?
Robert M. Bonesteel
This article comments on the importance and the absence of the faith community within the profession of volunteer resource management. Additionally, it explores reasons for this occurrence and advocates for the inclusion of the faith community in the dialogue and leadership of our profession. ... link to pdf
Key Words: church, engagement, faith, profession
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Book Review: A Review of Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement
Author: Betty B. Stallings (with Susan J. Ellis). Philadelphia, PA: Energize, Inc. (223 pages.
Reviewed by Harriett C. Edwards, Ed.D. ... link to pdf
FROM THE JOVA ANNALS
Church Volunteer Administration Similarities and Differences
The author discusses her perceived need for coordinating the volunteer services freely rendered by members of churches. She compares and contrasts church-based volunteer management with volunteer management in any formal organization. She concludes that the same management principles from the business world that are applied to volunteer management in non-profits should also be applied to volunteer management in churches. ... link to pdf
(Editor-generated) Key Words: volunteers, volunteer management, church
Using the Mission Statement to Recruit Church Volunteers
The author discusses methods of engaging the time and talent of church members as volunteers with a primary focus on using the organization's mission statement. ... link to pdf
Key Words: volunteers, church, mission statement, recruitment