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VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~ January and February ~

Dear Readers:

It’s a New Year and I’m back from an unplanned four-month sabbatical!  You know how life is . . . just when you think you’ve got it planned, someone or something comes along and your plan has to take a backseat.    I’m grateful to those of you who inquired about my absence.  So, send me your questions about volunteerism and volunteer program management because I’m back on track now!  J


Dear Connie:

I’ve discovered our resource library is seriously lacking in resources on volunteerism.  Do you have a top 3 - 4 favorite picks?  J

Dear J:

There are so many good resources on volunteer management that it’s hard to recommend only 3 or 4.  But, here goes:

  • Volunteer Management: Mobilizing All the Resources of the Community (2nd Edition) by Steve McCurley & Rick Lynch
    This book is the absolute bible in the field. It is a comprehensive guide offering all aspects of planning, organizing, creating, and implementing a high impact program for a new century including: recruitment, screening, interviewing, supervision, and evaluating plus volunteer-staff and risk management.  Available at www.VolunteerToday.com bookstore, $40.00


  • Episodic Volunteering: Organizing and Managing the Short-Term Volunteer Program by Nancy Macduff
    This book covers the basics of integrating short-term volunteer opportunities and people into the existing program. It begins by placing the episodic volunteer position in the context of the larger program and moves on to assessing the need, writing position descriptions, all the way to reward and recognition. The book is filled with charts, self-assessment tools, and forms suitable for copying.  Available at www.VolunteerToday.com bookstore, $30 print version and $18.95 .pdf version.
  • Best of All: The Quick Reference Guide to Effective Volunteer Involvement by Linda Graff
    This book is a concise compendium of best practices in volunteer coordination. Described as an “abundance of tips with a minimum of words,” it is a powerful tool for helping your volunteers to contribute their very best through your programs.  It is an important desk reference for busy people who don’t have time to search through libraries of literature for volunteer program management solutions.  Available at www.VolunteerToday.com bookstore, $18.95.


  • From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success

by Susan J. Ellis
This excellent book addresses the top decision-maker's role in a volunteer program. It illuminates the issues necessary to facilitate volunteer program success, including developing a vision for volunteer involvement, addressing questions of policy, budgeting funds and other resources, staffing the volunteer program, assessing the impact of volunteer contributions, and dealing with legal, risk management, and insurance issues. It also includes the revised FASB regulations on accounting practices regarding donated time.  Available at www.energizeinc.com bookstore, $24.95.

There are also two important online volunteerism journals to subscribe to:

  • International Journal of Volunteer Administration (IJOVA) seeks to provide an exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge and insights about volunteerism, and volunteer management and administration, both in North America and internationally.  Available at www.ijova.org, $40 for 3 issues annually.


  • e-Volunteerism is a quarterly "publication," in which a table of contents is posted at the start of each quarter (January 15, April 15, July 15, October 15), with a few items "ready" from the first day of the quarter. More items are posted until, at the end of three months, the entire issue is hot linked and available. Every item in the publication is interactive, inviting you to contribute comments and additional materials. At the end of each quarter, that issue is made permanent and archived--its major articles and features continuing to be accessible and interactive.  Available at www.energizeinc.com, $40 for 4 issues annually.


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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
10103 Edward Avenue * Bethesda, MD 20814 * VOICE: 301-530-8233 * FAX: 301-530-8299

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