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On this page are ideas to help you work more efficiently with volunteers. There are tips on recruiting, engaging, coordinating, and managing the work of volunteers.

~August 2013 ~




Portland State University

Earn a Professional Development Certificate

Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Program

Online Classes

  • Recruiting Volunteers
  • Training Volunteers
  • Leadership and Communication
  • Supervision and Manageme
  • Evaluation and Recognition of Volunteers

The VELP program is moving departments and will be up and running in the fall of 2013.

There is an email list for those who wish to be notified about the new location and how to register.

Send inquiry to: mba@bmi.net


June 26, 2013 by: Jennifer Clampet
Last Reviewed June 25, 2013

Engaging in 200 hours of volunteer work a year may keep hypertension at bay.

So says researchers with Carnegie Mellon University who found that volunteer work could be an effective non-pharmaceutical option to help prevent hypertension in older adults.

blood pressure gaugeStudy results showed that those who reported at least 200 hours of volunteer work during an initial interview were 40 percent less likely to develop hypertension than those who did not volunteer when evaluated four years later. The specific type of volunteer activity was not a factor – only the amount of time spent volunteering led to increased protection from hypertension. "As people get older, social transitions like retirement, bereavement and the departure of children from the home often leave older adults with fewer natural opportunities for social interaction," Sneed said. "Participating in volunteer activities may provide older adults with social connections that they might not have otherwise. There is strong evidence that having good social connections promotes healthy aging and reduces risk for a number of negative health outcomes."

The study – which was published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychology and Aging journal – focused on more than 1,100 adults between the ages of 51 and 91 from across the United States. Participants were interviewed twice, in 2006 and 2010, and all had normal blood pressure levels at the first interview.


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Gergana Markova, Robert C. Ford, Duncan R. Dickson, Thomas M. Bohn examined what moved people to join a professional member association.  They looked at tangible and symbolic benefits:  including such things as obtaining certification, continuing education, finding jobs, and interest in local chapter activities.  Here are some of their conclusions:

  • Among the benefits of most interest were access to conferences, website usage, professional development opportunities, and  good customer service
  • Survey results confirmed that retention was impacted by good customer service and tangible benefits are major factors for retaining members.
  • One result of the study was the strong positive relationship between good customer service and member satisfaction.
  • Ineffective performance of customer service (volunteer administration) diminishes the perception of benefits provided.  Benefits lead to retention.
  • Tangible benefits were more influential in determining the satisfaction of older members.

Read the full report in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.  Ask a local librarian to check inter-library loans or a local university may subscribe to this journal. 

Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Volume 23  Number 4   Summer 2013

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