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Trends and Issues

Newly emerging volunteer roles or other factors affecting the volunteer world that change how we do things. Another source of information about trends is the archive of Hot Topics.

I Really Want to Know: What’s Going on Out There?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
"A New Era of Responsibility": An Open Letter to President Obama, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Addressing Volunteerism Issues in the Blogosphere, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Targeting Volunteer Management, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Applied Futurism: Putting Trends to Work Today, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
The Big Merger: Many Unanswered Questions, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
California Governor "Pumps Up" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
A Call to Action on Behalf of Our Profession, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
The Choice of the Citizen: Pay Taxes, Do Without, or Volunteer, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
The Confusing Talk about "Service", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Corporate Citizenship: A Tax in Disguise?, Richard Teather, 2003
Challenging the philosophy behind the practice.
Days, Hours and Minutes of Service - Enough Is Enough, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
The Difference Between Needing and Wanting Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Don't Call Me a 'Senior'!, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
The Drive towards "Highly-skilled" and "Pro Bono" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
From Organizing Charity to Building Community, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Global Connections - International Volunteerism, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Good Intentions Going Nowhere -- Again, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Government, Politicians, and the Use of the Word "Volunteer", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
The Hot Topic Is the Hot Topic, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
How Will the Economic Crisis Affect Volunteering?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
"I Don't Have Time", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006
Identifying Who Is and Is Not a “Volunteer”, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
If the Whole World is Changing, Can Volunteerism Stay the Same?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
In the Exclusion Zone, Filiz Niyazi, pp. 3-4, The National Centre for Volunteering (England), 1996
Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit?, Amy Schiller, The Atlantic, 2014

"The troubling allure of turning philanthropy into consumer activity."

Is Volunteering the Emperor's New Clothes?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2012
Keeping an Eye on Things in the Year Ahead, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2005
Limiting Volunteers through Insurance Requirements, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Making Ongoing Volunteering Valued and Visible, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Making Volunteer Management Happen: A Proposal for AmeriCorps, Steve McCurley, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Marking a Special Birthday, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Media Blitz vs. Media Noise: What Are We Trying to Accomplish?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Microvolunteering Is Volunteering, Jayne Cravens, 2011

Jayne's response to the Sparked Blog post of Ben Rigby on Microvolunteering Is Not Volunteering

Millennials and Volunteering: Bridging the Generation Gap, Gary Bagley, New York Cares blog, 2015
Mixed Messages from Government: Lessons from Minnesota, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
The More We're Different, the More We're the Same, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Moving on from 2001, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
My Personal "State of the World's Volunteering" Report, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
The New Volunteer Workforce, David Esiner et. al., Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2009
Online Information Overload -- and How to Cope, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
The Perfect Volunteer Storm, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2012
Philanthropy, Civic Engagement, and the Lessons of Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
The Presidents' Summit One Year Later, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
A Proposal for Five Additional Goals after the Summit, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Redirecting Corporate Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Rethinking Volunteer Engagement, Volunteer Canada, 2001
The Self-Directed Volunteer, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Shaking Up Employee Volunteer Programs, Maura Koehler-Hanlon, April 25, 2014
Short Attention Spans versus Long-term Causes, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Should Board Members Be Paid?, Mark Athitakis, Associations Now, 2014

Includes links to similar articles at end.

The Spice of Life, Justin Davis Smith, Blog, 2015

Commentary on time banking and the "Spice" program in the UK.

Still Tilting at Windmills, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2005
Tackling Causes Not Symptoms: New/Old Roles for Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Taking the Client's Perspective in Designing Volunteer Roles, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Technology Acceleration: Grab Hold and Hang On, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Transition Strategies for the Volunteer World, Eva Schindler-Rainman, DSW, The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 1984
The Treasure Trove of Knowledge Philanthropists, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2013
Trend Watch: Are You Ready?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Troubling Numbers in Volunteering Rates, Paul Clolery, The NonProfit Times, 2014

Editorial on the data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Turbulence at the State Level, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1998
United Way is Not the Way for Volunteer Centers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Virtual Volunteering Revisited, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
Volunteering and Employability: Cause or Effect?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2013
Volunteering in For-Profit Settings: Exploitation or Value Added?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
Volunteers Should Not Be Second-Class Taxpayers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
Volunteers and the Quest for Innovation, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2014
Voluntourism - Pros, Cons, and Possibilities, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2007
Warning! We're about to Waste an Opportunity!, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
What's Ahead for 2009?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
What's Gender Got to Do with It?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
What's Hot, What's Not, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
When the Ax Falls: Budget Cutting and Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
When Volunteers Resist Change, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Why Microvolunteering Is Not Virtual Volunteering, Ben Rigby, 20110
and see the response: Microvolunteering Is Virtual Volunteering, blog post by Jayne Cravens
The Word "Volunteer" Can Reveal, Conceal, or Confuse, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Workplace Volunteerism: Have We Thought this Through?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
"Youth Involvement" in Our Field, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Reports for earlier years can be downloaded at http://www.civicenterprises.net/reports.php.
Written by Dr. Cynthia Gibson and commissioned by the Case Foundation. Proposes a re-thinking of what civic engagement is (and how volunteering fits in). , 2006, pp. 31
By Eric Greenberg. Explores the emerging power of the Millennials, the largest generation in American history. Based on a 2,000-person survey and twelve focus groups in four different regions of the country, Greenberg's research provides insight into the subtle and nuanced political views of young people today.

Researched by UK consulting firm nfpSynergy, this free, 7-part research report covers: the political and social landscape for volunteering; volunteering trends over the last decade; harnessing volunteer motivations; the changing mechanics of volunteering; engaging the young, the old and the family to volunteer; how do we manage the 21st Century Volunteer? -- with conclusions and recommendations.

, 2015, pp. 91
By Charles Leadbeater and Paul Miller, UK. Presents the concept of "Pro-Am" (professional/amateur) relationships as a way to add extra expertise to work on social needs. , 2004, pp. 70
Produced by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration or view the components of the Tool Kit on the MAVA site. , 2011, pp. 32
By Nora McClintock for the Canadian Centre on Philanthropy. The manual "is primarily intended for those who are new to the field of volunteer resource management." , 2004, pp. 42
by Renaissance London, report of a 3-year project at the largest archaeological archive in Europe designed to test volunteering as a form of social inclusion by recruiting volunteers from diverse backgrounds , 2010, pp. 18
by Kathryn Montgomery, Barbara Gottlieb-Robles, and Gary O. Larson, a report from American University's Center for Social Media about how an online youth civic culture, largely unnoticed by the general public, has taken root on the Internet and is fostering Generation Y's participation in U.S. politics and community affairs , 2004, pp. 158
Leveling the Path to Participation: Volunteering and Civic Engagement Among Youth From Disadvantaged Circumstances from the Corporation for National and Community Service. , 2007, pp. 32
Ashoka - Innovators for the Public

Network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, Defines the "citizen sector" (see definition). 

Better Together

Social trends discussed by author Robert Putnam and an initiative of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, this Web site defines "social capital" in great detail, and offers specific ways individuals and groups can become involved in building communities. Especially see the FAQs:http://www.bettertogether.org/faqs.htm

The Chronicle of Philanthropy - Section on Volunteers

Volunteerism is one of the categories in The Chronicle's "Managing" section of their Web site.  They post solid articles on current issues, practical and philosophical.

Citizens at the Center

Case Foundation's site proposing new approaches to civic engagement.

Civil Society section of Citizendium

Civil society is the "arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values." This new wiki (2007) is being compiled by academic Roger A. Lohmann.

Clictivist

"A place to discuss and dissect the successes, failures, and practices of online activism." Micro-volunteering actions for "digital campaigning, one click at a time."

Collective Impact Forum

"Collective impact" is an emerging form of community collaboration. This site expains the concept and offers many free articles about it.

Collective Impact Forum

"Collective impact" is an emerging form of community collaboration. This site expains the concept and offers many free articles about it.

Corporate Institute Blog

Posts about corporate social responsibility and tools for engaging companies in volunteering, from Points of Light..

Diversity Trends free articles

Trainer/consultant Tracy Brown (often speaks at volunteering conferences) offers practical information for dealing with diversity, as well as a free weekly e-mail *diversity toolkit tune up.*

DoSomething.org Blog

All about young people (teens and 20-somethings) and social change.

Engaging Volunteers (blog)

Excellent blog written by members of the VolunteerMatch team and third-party experts in the volunteering and technology community. Great source for trends in the field.

Exploring Volunteering (blog)

By Patrick Daniels, UK-based volunteer and international activist. The blog's tag line: "Notes on thinking and research about the development of volunteering."

Focus on the Economic Crisis

Site from the Foundation Center established to share many perspectives on how nonprofits and funders are behaving during the economic crisis.

From the Field: Conversations on Volunteer Management (blog)

Published by Volunteer Maine, with many guest contributors.

Generation We

Site devoted to explaining the perspective of Millennials and mobilizing them to service.

Guardian Newpaper

This newspaper web site devotes a full section to the topic of volunteering, with many provocative articles challenging the value and role of British volunteers.

HandsOn Network Blog

Reflections and announcements related to civic engagement from HandsOn Network in the U.S.

"Hot Topic" essays by Andy Fryar

Monthly essays by Andy Fryar from Australia.

"Hot Topics" by Susan J. Ellis

Monthly essays by Susan Ellis, with reader responses.

The Huffington Post section on Volunteerism (blogs)

With the tag line "Some News Is So Big It Needs Its Own Page," the popular daily news site has aggregated its volunteer-related stories in a special section. Many are postings from blogs on the site.

Idealware

"Idealware, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides thoroughly researched, impartial and accessible resources about software to help nonprofits make smart software decisions." The site offers a wide variety of free reports, articles, and links to information on Internet technology, social media, and use of software -- including for boards and other volunteers.

InnoVate Blog

From JFFixler Group, consultants in volunteer engagement and board developement

ivo - Multiple Blogs

This is a social networking site in the UK (but open to anyone, anywhere) focused exclusively on building community and exchange among volunteers and among leaders of volunteers (was formerly called i-Volunteer). A benefit of the free membership is all the tools to publish a blog, and several of the ones on the site are truly excellent, including:

Jamie Ward-Smith (the founder of ivo)
uncollectiveconsciousness
suevjones
robjconsulting
stevemoreton
jackal
johnr

Jayne Cravens Blog

One of the field's first blogs run by Jayne Cravens, expert in online volunteering, that offers great information and insight on volunteerism as well as nonprofit, development, and women's issues.

Kindness: New Ways We Give and Volunteer

USA Today's "daily source of inspiration and guide to making a difference in fresh and exciting ways," giving individuals the chance to share the volunteer service they do on a Kindness forum.

Management4Volunteers Blog

By Sue Hine in New Zealand, with the tag line: "Great volunteer programmes do not fall out of the sky: it is good management practice that makes them even better."

NCVO Blog Posts on "Volunteering"

NCVO in the UK regularly publishes insightful blog posts on the subject of volunteering written by a variety of knowledgeable staff members (many of whom were with Volunteering England when it merged into NCVO). 

Nonprofit News and Comment (blog)

A weekly news digest from the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University surveys major newspapers and periodicals for important stories and links to a wide range of nonprofit news -- including volunteering as a designated category.

OneWorld UK Volunteering Guide

OneWorld Guides offer an introduction to relevant sustainable development and human rights issues, with pointers to more detailed content. This one focuses on trends in worldwide volunteering.

Pro Bono Australia News (blog)

News items focused on volunteering by business people and professionals in Australia as pro bono service.

Pro Bono Junkie's Blog

A blog for those interested in integrating the pro bono ethic into their careers — giving their time and talent to strengthen nonprofit organizations. Part of the Taproot Foundation site.

Realizing Your Worth (blog)

Thoughts on corporate social responsibility and corporate volunteering by Chris Jarvis in Canada, through his consulting firm, Realized Worth. Has some cogent and valuable resources in the blog's archives.

Rob Jackson Consulting, Ltd. Blog

Read the informed musings of UK colleague Rob Jackson on volunteer management and trends in the field.

Social Citizens Blog - Glossary 2.0

Site utilizing the most innovative online technology for "social citizenship" offers this page defining blogs, wikis, and other tools (includes videos).

Social ROI: A Social Entrepreneurship Blog

"A blog about how social entrepreneurship is making this world a better place."

Time Banks USA

Founded by Edgar Kahn, describes how to set up service exchanges that give barter "value" to each hour of volunteer work contributed by participants.

Vantage Point Blog

This community blog from Vancouver, BC focuses on voluntary sector issues, leadership, organizations, and people engagement.

Volunteer NOW - Developing Volunteering

Free downloadable publications, checklists, and tools for volunteer management from this Northern Ireland peak body.

Volunteer Today

Nancy Macduff’s Web site with monthly current material and links for volunteer resources managers.

VolunTourism

VolunTourism is the integrated combination of voluntary service to a destination with the traditional elements of travel and tourism - arts, culture, geography, history, and recreation - while in the destination. This site explains it all. Subscribe to the freeVolunTourist Newsletter.

World Volunteer Web

As a follow up to the International Year of Volunteers 2001, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has created a comprehensive Web site offering continuing news of worldwide volunteer efforts, including government actions, research reports, and links to international volunteer resources.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

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This book offers leaders a new road map for transforming their organizations with talent, not money, by meaningfully engaging and integrating volunteers asbknowledge philanthropists.

Book cover

Stand-alone documents each on a single volunteerism-related subject, all ready for the copier or printer—perfect for newsletters, training handouts, flyers and more.

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New

Understand the concept and practices of virtual volunteering and integrate online service successfully into your overall volunteer involvement strategy.

Rants and Raves Anthology

Best-selling authors in the volunteer field to share what's on their minds about "hot button" issues.

Volunteer Speed Matching

Think speed dating meets volunteer recruiting! One clever volunteer center outside of London produced this Toolkit for the perfect, fun and upbeat recruiting event.

Volunteering by Unemployed People

A guide from the UK on how to recruit and retain people who are unemployed in volunteer work as a route to opportunity, with a realistic approach to issues and barriers.

Book cover

A very timely analysis of a major challenge facing nonprofits today - how to properly assess social impacts and the important contributions of volunteers.

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Last Updated: April 16, 2015