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VolunteerToday.com~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

Celebrating 21 Years of Serving Manager of Volunteers

Management Image

~ May 2004 ~ Topics

Do You Remember 1983?

1983 - Do You Remember. . .Retro Clock Image

  • The "A-Team" debuted on TV
  • Washington Red Skins won the Super Bowl
  • Karen Carpenter died of anorexia
  • Ronald and Nancy Regan lived in the White House
  • The Soviets shot down a South Korean passenger plane
  • CD players hit the market and conventional wisdom said, "They'll never catch on."
  • Macduff/Bunt Associates was founded and started offering workshops on the management of volunteers and nonprofits

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What’s All This Fuss?

Macduff/Bunt Associates, the parent company of MBA Publishing and Volunteer Today was founded in 1983. By 1985 Macduff had published her first book. In 1987 another book appeared and a paper version of this newsletter was started and ran until 1992. Soon more books appeared, and then other people asked MBA Publishing to sell books and kits. There were conventions, contracts, conferences and so much more.

And through it all a faithful band of sisters and brothers committed to managing volunteers in ways to uplift, energize, organize, and reward came to workshops, bought books, and read the newsletters. The ideas, questions, suggestions, and comments have always been penetrating, curious, and on-target. Now it is time to say thanks!

Why a 21 year celebration? Well, some days the staff at MBA think we are "barely legal." So a 21 year celebration it is. Stay tuned all year for special information, ideas, special offers on books and services, and much more from friends and colleagues. This is all about celebrating your profession and the long history that brings us to the beginning of the 21st century.

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Question in Head Image How Did Volunteer Today Begin?

Volunteer Today began as a service of Macduff/Bunt Associates and in its current version is part of MBA Publishing - a subsidiary company. It started in 1986 as a paper version with four pages. There were columns on recruiting, communication, news, and even an events calendar. It was a decidedly North American endeavor, unlike the universality of the Web. By 1992, the year it ceased publication, it had added pages on retention, and training.

There were guest authors, some of whom we hope will write commentary for this anniversary celebration. We want them to tell 21st century readers the perspective they have gained by being in the field for so long. An interesting feature in the early paper version was title "One Liners." It was short tips, hints, ideas for managers of volunteers. It would fit nicely in a Web setting. Maybe we’ll add it to new versions of the online Volunteer Today.

So why did it go out of business? Here is a quote from an editorial written by Nancy Macduff in the last issue in December 1992:

"As I passed my 50th birthday this year I can say there is one thing I have learned. NEVER say never. So, while I see this as the end of Volunteer Today, who knows what the future holds. I am timid about saying I will never do this again. But this issue is the end of an era."

The editorial goes on to point out the resources available to managers of volunteers that had appeared from 1987 to 1992, and that happy circumstance made it time for Volunteer Today to leave the field. She ends by saying how she will miss writing for the field and hearing from readers about their concerns. A Shakespearean quote rounded out the editorial.

And as Nancy said, NEVER say never. The new Volunteer Today was born with the growth of the Internet. Do we know we are needed? 3600 subscribers tell us every month they want to know we are here with information that is current, cogent, and concise on the management of all types of volunteers in all types of settings, in countries far and wide.

One Liners from the Past
  • Do you let volunteers know they are appreciated? Set a goal to write one thank you note per day. (May 1987)
  • The word manager describes definable skills and behaviors. (July 1987)
  • Think globally, act locally. (March 1988)
  • 72% of all the poor people over 65 are women. (September 1988)


Washington State University offers a Volunteer Management Certification Program through the Internet. Individuals around the world can earn a certificate in managing or coordinating volunteers, without leaving home. For more information, visit Volunteer Today's Portal site, Internet Resources. Look for the Washington State University listing. There is a hot link to their Web site.

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