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Jeanne H. Bradner a well-known and nationally respected author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership is joining the writing team of Volunteer Today. She brings with her a special insight on the relationship between government and the nonprofit sector.

She is the author of the informative, inspirational book Passionate Volunteerism, the light-hearted but pungently insightful The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today. She is also a contributor to the John Wiley & Sons Handbook of Volunteer Management and The Nonprofit Handbook-- Management.

Career highlights include serving as Director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, providing support and technical assistance to nonprofit and government efforts throughout the state. In 1990, she was appointed Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, the agency responsible for VISTA and senior volunteer programs. She is an adjunct faculty member and program specialist for the Volunteer Management Certificate Program at Illinois' Harper College. She was the 1996 recipient of the international Association for Volunteer Administration Harriet Naylor Distinguished Member Service Award.

Welcome Jeanne to the distinguished ranks of contributing authors by visiting her page on Boards and Committees.


The Nonprofit Quarterly, a new publication from Third Sector New England has published its second issue. The publication is a practical learning journal of information for those working with nonprofit voluntary organizations. The latest issue focused primarily, but not exclusively on technology issues. Articles included such things as: "Mission-Driven Technology Planning," "e-Fundraising," "Developing Enabling Networks and Systems of Support," and "The Cultured Approach to Technology Development in Nonprofits." There is a special section devoted to working with a Board of Directors, financial management, advocacy, and opinions.

The opinion section has a terrific funny article titled: "Top 15 Things Executive Directors Need to Know about Technology." The first item in the article (numbered 15, like Letterman's Top Ten) says, "What is the digital divide? This term refers to the wide gap between Mr. Spock's second and third fingers as he holds up his hand and intones the Vulcan watchword, "Live long and prosper.'"

Yearly subscriptions are $39. For more information: 1-800-281-7770 or austin@tsne.org.


HandsNet is offering free subscriptions to its WebClipper service to social service organizations with annual budgets of less than $200,000. This clipping service allows the subscriber to receive information from the Web on specific topics of information. WebClipper searches 500 sites, providing daily information updates. If you are interested contact them at http://www.handsnet.org.


The first issue of "The Futurist," a publication of the World Futurist Society, provides a glimpse into the future. This year Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies describe trends and their long-term implications. This team of forecasters has an amazing track record of accuracy over a 40 year span. Here are some of their ideas that are likely to impact volunteers and the programs they serve.

The Economy
  • Economic unification in Europe will boost trade of all types
  • One of the fastest growing markets in the world will be the former republics of the Soviet Union
  • Labor markets will remain tight in skilled fields. This means employers must utilize more innovation in recruiting, benefits, perks, and in the for profit sector, profit sharing.
  • The wealth of older citizens in the West is off set by poverty among the young and poorer old. This concentration of wealth might impact the forces promoting economic growth.

  •  Population in developed countries will decline significantly. This, however, does not factor in the uncertain impact of immigration.
  • Population growth will be highest in countries least able to support it; Pakistan, for example at 2.68% per year into mid-century; Ethiopia at 3.17%. India's population will grow by more than 220 million over the same time period.
  • Due to declines in fertility in male sperm count in most of the developed world, there could be a decline in births. This has implications for seniors who will need to work for more years than currently anticipated.
  • The lack of workers will increase the likelihood that industrial nations increase and encourage migration from less developed countries.
  • Immigration from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern will continue at a rapid rate.
  • Culture clashes between native and non-native workers have the potential to destabilize societies in the entire developed world.
  • Service to individuals must be tailored and personalized. (No more global volunteer recruiting!)

Elderly Population
  • People over the age of 65 are 12.4% of the US population. By 2010 they will be 13%, by 2020 they will be 16%
  • The elderly are more populous in developed countries, most notably the US, Europe, and Japan. They are also the healthiest and the wealthiest.
  • With more free time and wealth, seniors will become consumers of tourism and the hospitality market.
  • Most seniors will enter old age wanting to continue the same activities and enjoyment they had at a younger age.
  • Centenarians will go from 135,000 in 2000, to 2.2 million in 2050. (Are you planning volunteer tasks appropriate for 90 year olds?)
  • Unless there are dramatic advances in geriatric medicine, the cost of health care can expect to skyrocket.

Information Technology
  • By 2005, 83% of American management personnel will be "knowledge workers."
  • The digital divide in the US is disappearing. In 2000, 50% of US white households had a computer, 43% of African-American households had them, too. The numbers of African-American computer owners is increasing rapidly. Hispanic purchases of home computers is also growing, but at a slower rate.
  • Computer competence will reach close to 100% in US urban areas by 2005. (Are you training volunteers to be this savvy?)
  • By 2005 nearly all college and many high school texts will be tied to Internet sites that provide rich resource material, exercises, and news relevant to the topic.
  • The increase in "knowledge" or technology workers means rising prosperity. They are often better paid than less skilled workers.

Cultural Diversity
  • Within the US and Europe, regional differences, attitudes, incomes, and life styles are blurring.
  • The increase in intermarriage continues to mix cultures, geographically, ethnically, socially, and economically.
  • Minorities are exerting more influence over political agendas, especially in the US and Europe.
  • The Internet and cultural exchanges will help reduce the conflicts of the 20th century. However, this is likely to produce a backlash, especially from religious fundamentalists. Dictators will use such movements to promote their own interests and encourage ethnic and sectarian violence.
  • Small businesses in the US are increasingly owned by minorities.

Societal Trends
  • US citizens may not be able to rely on things such as social security, and so self-reliance and cooperation will become more valued.
  • Family issues will dominate the US into 2008: day care, long-term health care, early childhood education, family leave, the environment, and anti-drug campaigns.
  • Tourism and travel will increase, growing 5% for the next decade. (Do you organize volunteer positions to accommodate for travel? Then advertise that fact?)
  • Personal health concerns remain strong, but are by no means universal. For example, young people have brought back an interest in "mixed" drinks. However, they limit themselves to one or two drinks with a meal, and appoint a designated driver.
  • Smoking continues to decline in the US. Currently 29% of men smoke; 23% of women. Europe is still smoking and it continues to grow in Asia.
  • 80%-90% of all diseases are stress related. The future means more efforts to reduce stress. (Ever read the material on the correlation between a healthy social life (including volunteering) and longevity? Why aren't you selling the health benefits of volunteering?)
  • Generation X and the e-generation are basically gender blind in the workplace, compared with the older generations.
  • Family is not what it used to be. Over 30% of Generation X returns to live in their parents home at some point in their early life.
  • More and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren. (This means they have a need for childcare, if they are to volunteer.)
  • Same sex relationships are likely to rewrite the rules of what consists of family. Vermont has the first law-granting partners the legal rights previously reserved for heterosexual marriages.
  • Governments are likely to do more to protect the environment. Costa Rica has moved 25% of its land into protected areas, such as national parks.

Volunteer Today Bookstore Accepts American Express

A note of interest to all VolunteerToday visitors. The Volunteer Today Bookstore is now accepting American Express Credit Cards via the telephone or snail mail. We were recently approved and are happy to provide this service. Visit our Bookstore and order some books in a new way.

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