Strategic Volunteer Engagement - Now Available in the Energize Online Bookstore
What do nonprofit and public sector leaders need to know to work effectively with volunteers? What systems and strategies need to be in place to effectively engage volunteers? What misconceptions stand in the way of more effective volunteer involvement? These are just a few of the questions answered in the booklet Strategic Volunteer Engagement: A Guide for Nonprofit and Public Sector Leaders, now available in paperback in the Energize online bookstore!
Written by Sarah Jane Rehnborg, PhD at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, with assistance from Wanda Lee Bailey, MSW, Meg Moore, MBA, and Christine Sinatra, M.PAff., this 40-page booklet emerged from the findings of Volunteer Champions Initiative, a research project funded by the Volunteer Impact Fund and conducted by The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Advisors to the grant received by Rehnborg were Betty Stallings, Building Better Skills; Susan J. Ellis, Energize, Inc.; Jane Leighty Justis, Leighty Foundation; Jeff Brudney, Cleveland State University; and Jackie Norris (ret.), Metro Volunteers Denver.
Utilizing a series of focus groups attended by executive directors in Austin, Texas and Denver, Colorado, the project sought to discern the issues that impede nonprofit and public sector organizations from more effectively engaging volunteers. This research engaged skeptics as well as “true believers” in intensive dialogue about both their fears and their positive experiences with volunteers.
In response, Strategic Volunteer Engagement provides a step-by-step strategic plan which can be implemented in your organization. It also includes the Volunteer Involvement FrameworkTM within which executives can assess the full range of options available for creating a volunteer engagement system tailored to meet the unique needs of the organization. Strategic Volunteer Engagement also offers guidance for executive directors interested in engaging volunteers to reach strategic goals in their organizations, including a worksheet for assessing current patterns of volunteer engagement, a chart of the volunteer management program cycle, questions to consider when hiring a volunteer manager, and additional resources about volunteerism. It’s an incredible amount of information packed into a small, easily digested packaged!
This guide is part of a larger effort addressing this critical need and builds upon and interacts with the work of some the advisors to this project. Specifically, it is a companion piece to The Executive Role in Volunteer Involvement Set, which includes the 3rd edition of Susan J. Ellis’s best seller From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement and Betty Stalling’s practical toolkit Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement, offering checklists, templates, and other practical tools to implement the principles Ellis’s work presents. The publications of Ellis, Stallings, and Rehnborg are designed to be complementary, together seeking to build a body of knowledge and inform current and future organizational leadership about effective practices supporting volunteer engagement.