Challenges in Volunteer Management

Edited by:
Matthew Liao-Troth, Western Washington University

A volume in the series: Research in Public Management. Editor(s): Lawrence R. Jones, Naval Postgraduate School.

Published 2008

Volunteer management has many challenges, not the least of which is how we study it and view it. Academics examine it from a variety of disciplines and practitioners experience it in a variety of contexts. However both approaches have limitations. In academia we go to public administration schools to learn about public and nonprofit management, to business schools to apply the principles of private enterprise to nonprofit management, to sociology departments to study the phenomena of volunteerism, to psychology departments to understand the motives of volunteers, and economics departments to examine the value or economic worth of volunteerism. The liability of the academic approach is the segmentation of study and research into departmental areas. The study of volunteers and volunteerism needs to cross all of these organizational and discipline boundaries to be fully appreciated and understood as a field of interest. In contrast, practitioners view volunteer management from their own unique experiences. They try to gauge success in volunteer management based on what they have encountered in particular organizations, towns, cultures, and countries in which they work. As important as these insights are, they are difficult to generalize beyond local settings. Just because an individual has been successful in working with volunteers, it does not mean that the lessons learned in one situation can be translated to others under all conditions.

The target audience for this volume is anyone who manages volunteers. The goal of the volume is to demonstrate the breadth of thought on volunteer management, both across disciplines and a wide range of settings in which volunteers work.

Foreword, Matthew Liao-Troth. Introduction: Challenges in Volunteer Management, Matthew Liao-Troth. SECTION I: ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES IN VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT. Management Capacity and Retention of Volunteers, Mark Hager and Jeffrey L. Brudney. No “One Best” Volunteer Management and Organizing: Two Fundamentally Different Approaches, Lucas C. P. M. Meijs and Ester M Ten Hoorn. A Typology of Short-Term and Long-Term Volunteers, Linda Hartenian. Streamlining Volunteer Management Through Information Communication, Valentina Mele. Volunteer Management in Community Currency Systems: An Examination of Time Banks, Bruce Clary. SECTION II: THE CONTEXT OF VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT. Introduction: The Context of Volunteer Management, Matthew Liao-Troth. Organizational Models for Emerging Volunteers in State Government, Sarah Hane Rehnborg and Thomas McVey. Challenges of Volunteer Management in Kazakhstan, Tamara G. Nezhina, Jeffrey L. Brudney, and Aigerim R. Ibrayeva. Volunteer Management in Polish NGOs: Challenges of Formalization, Angela L. Bies and Stephanie A. Curs. Fine Lines: Design and Implementation Challenges in Employee Volunteer Programs, Mary Tschirhart and Lyndia St. Claire. Fraternal Involvement in Volunteering: The Membership Impact of Join Hands Day, Robert Christensen and James L. Perry. Conclusion: So What? And What’s Next? Victor Murray. References. About the Authors.