Volunteer Engagement

Have students, will achieve

Written By: Elisa Birnbaum
January 9, 2012

We interviewed several organizations with student volunteer programs to find out the benefits and challenges of working with this unique segment of the population.

From scarcity to abundance

Written By: Allison Griffith Seniuk
December 6, 2011

"We need more volunteers!" is right up there with "We need more money!" in terms of the nonprofit sector's hot topics, most common gripes, and most often heard pleas. Endlessly discussed as a challenge in organizations, large and small, the problem of needing more people to accomplish organizational goals doesn't seem to be going away. In fact, the need may be more urgently felt than ever as organizations are trying to deliver more impact with fewer resources.

Re-energizing volunteer recognition

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
November 14, 2011

Why is volunteer recognition so important? Why do we leave it to once a year to recognize our volunteers? How can we make a difference throughout the year? These are key questions we should be asking ourselves as we plan for the coming year.

Knowing what’s right and failing to do it

Written By: Jack Shand
November 7, 2011

Volunteers and staff have all experienced a wayward member who is considered the loose cannon in the organization, known for wreaking havoc on boards and committees. By not addressing the issues caused by this person, you may be putting your organization at risk.

Volunteering your way to employment

Written By: Elisa Birnbaum
October 20, 2011

For a long time now, the adopted viewpoint in the nonprofit sector is that volunteering is the best route to a job. Anecdotal evidence affirms the truth in that statement. But how does that overarching goal fall in line with organizational objectives? Is it helpful or detrimental?

Evaluation: Your tool to volunteer program success

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
October 11, 2011

This article describes a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to volunteer program evaluation.

Involving clients in your volunteer program: Best practices

Written By: Amy Baskin
October 11, 2011

When homeless guests enter the Mustard Seed in Calgary Alberta, they receive more than coffee, a bagged lunch or a shaving kit. They receive a warm welcome from staff and from a volunteer who truly "gets" their situation. Like the guest, that volunteer has likely slept in the street that night. While there are benefits to nonprofits making use of volunteers who are also beneficiaries of the services provided, there are challenges as well.

Policies and procedures: The foundation of a successful volunteer program

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
September 12, 2011

This article outlines why it is imperative to have policies and procedures when working with volunteers and helps you get started with designing your own.

Internships and the law: What you need to know

Written By: Shaun Smith
September 12, 2011

Does your nonprofit use interns? If so, here's a question your human-resources managers need to be asking: Is your internship program potentially exposing your organization to legal action?

The top ten places to find volunteers

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
August 8, 2011

This article provides lists of the top ten usual and not-so-usual places to find new volunteers.

Challenges to volunteering for newcomers

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
July 11, 2011

This article outlines ways to effectively recruit and integrate volunteers who are new immigrants to Canada.

Volunteer management: A niche or mass market commodity?

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
June 14, 2011

This article considers the increasing importance of the professionalization of volunteer managers.

Ten tips for effective volunteer engagement

Written By: Jack Shand
June 7, 2011

This article outlines tips to transition your members into volunteers.

Millennial engagement: Bringing the next generation into your organization

Written By: Trina Isakson
May 2, 2011

Millennials have been described, and describe themselves, as passionate, connected, optimistic, and wanting to make an impact. Here’s how to welcome them into your organization.

How do I get to your nonprofit sans car?

Written By: Jayne Cravens
March 29, 2011

If I want to come to your for a training or a workshop, a special event or for your services, and I will not be driving, will your website tell me how to get there?

Ethics Q&A: Mixing religion and overseas volunteering

Written By: Jane Garthson
March 1, 2011

I was accepted as an international development volunteer by an NGO connected with my faith. However, I am upset—the orientation material they sent says I can’t bring my holy books to give away.

Evolving the volunteer program at the Saskatchewan 4-H Council

Written By: Elisa Birnbaum
February 8, 2011

Interview with Valerie Pearson, Executive Director, who speaks about evolving the volunteer program at the Saskatchenwan 4-H Council, after the organization was named as a Donner Award receipient.

Why emotional support is a valuable part of volunteer management

Written By: Jayne Cravens
February 8, 2011

Volunteers need mental and emotional support, otherwise they may suffer burnout. Here’s how to incorporate this level of support into your existing volunteer program.

Volunteering is the new Botox: Inject some into your life

Written By: Lori Gotlieb
January 11, 2011

Mayo Clinic research study indicates that volunteering is good for your health.

What about the people we don’t pay with money?

Written By: Colleen Kelly
January 11, 2011

This article suggests creative methods of engaging a new generation of volunteers.

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