The International Journal of Volunteer Administration
Welcome to The International Journal of Volunteer Administration (IJOVA), the next generation of the former Journal of Volunteer Administration. The Journal is a refereed publication of the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, USA. The IJOVA seeks to provide an exchange of ideas and a sharing of knowledge and insights about volunteerism and volunteer management and administration, both in North America and internationally.
Formerly published by the now-dissolved Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA), The Journal is a not-for-profit service of the Department and North Carolina State University that seeks to connect practitioners, academicians, and consultants in greater service to the global volunteer community and the professionals who lead it.
A Proud History of Service
Until the organization’s formal vote of dissolution in April of 2006, AVA was an international professional association comprised of members engaged in the management of volunteers in nonprofit, governmental, school-based, quasi-nonprofit, and similar organizations (Association for Volunteer Administration, 2006). The organization had existed since its formal charter in 1961 as “The American Association of Volunteer Services Coordinators” (AAVSC), adopting its most recent name in 1979. At the time of its dissolution, the mission of AVA was to “advance volunteerism and enhance quality of life locally and globally by engaging leaders of volunteers through professional development, networking, and quality products and services.” As of January 1, 2006, AVA had approximately 2,100 paid members, with approximately 90% from the United States, 10% from Canada, and a few from other nations.
Since 1961, thousands of individuals and organizations benefited significantly from AVA's major programs and services, including (but not limited to) the Certified Volunteer Manager (CVM) certification program; The Journal of Volunteer Administration (The JOVA); quarterly Member Briefings; the CyberVPM electronic mailing list and chat room; and the Volunteer Management magazine. Another program of the Association was the annual International Conference on Volunteer Administration, which brought the best experts and instructors in the volunteer administration profession together to educate individuals managing volunteers on all levels of experience, resulting in new friendships, camaraderie, and strengthened networks of professional peers.
While AVA had provided a variety of products and services to both members and volunteer administration professionals at-large, one premier product and service had been The JOVA. AVA had assumed the publication of The JOVA in 1982, and the final four issues published in 2005 had comprised Volume XXIII. Four issues of The JOVA were published per volume. During 2005, approximately 42% of the organization’s total members were paid JOVA subscribers (i.e., 882 subscriptions).
The End of an Era
Since the autumn of 2005, however, AVA had been experiencing a tremendously difficult period. According to an open letter e-mailed to the AVA membership on February 23, 2006, by Ellen Didimamoff, AVA Board President:
I am truly saddened to inform you that AVA is in the process of closing its doors on March 1, 2006, because there are no funds to continue operating. Starting in June 2005 the board persistently asked about the financial status of the organization. The board never really was given a true picture of AVA's financial situation until January 2006 when it learned that AVA was $300,000 in debt. . . . On February 3 the board, staff, and three pro bono attorneys met via teleconference to discuss options for the future of AVA, including bankruptcy and dissolution. The decision was a difficult and emotional one for the board to make. . . . The professional credentialing program (CVA) and The Journal of Volunteer Administration, both copyrighted, will have temporary "homes" for now – places where their credibility and integrity will be preserved. Individuals who have been committed to these programs are planning to continue in their roles. Unfortunately, this past weekend, AVA's dear colleague Mary Merrill, journal editor, passed away. Those involved in the transfer of the journal to "a new home" are also committed to carrying on her work.
The former seven-year editor of The JOVA (Mary Merrill, a private consultant in volunteer/leadership development who resided in Ohio) died very unexpectedly in February 2006. Dr. R. Dale Safrit, Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of 4-H Youth Development at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, had served as The JOVA Associate Editor since 1998 and was asked to assume the editorship of The JOVA by the AVA Board President, the Board Vice-president for Professional Development, and the acting AVA Executive Director.
In light of the AVA Board’s decision to dissolve AVA as of April 22, Mary Merrill had begun investigating transferring The JOVA to another nonprofit organization (i.e., 501c3 organization) that would serve as its new “home.” According to the pro bono attorneys for AVA, The JOVA could be transferred legally to another “like organization” (i.e., another 501c3). This transfer concept had been approved by the AVA Board and acting Executive Director with advice from the organization’s pro bono attorneys. In the days immediately preceding her untimely death, Mary Merrill had been engaged in preliminary conversations with a faculty member and The JOVA editorial reviewer at The Ohio State University to possibly transfer The JOVA to the University. However, Ohio State had decided not to pursue the opportunity, so as of March 1, 2006, The JOVA was still without an organizational home.
Legal Transfer of The JOVA to North Carolina State University
The new editor worked with both the AVA Board and NCSU administrators and attorneys to officially transfer The JOVA to North Carolina State University, and specifically the Department of 4-H Youth Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, according to the existing AVA bylaws. The former vote by the AVA Board vote was 10 in favor with none opposed, and the transfer was effective as of April 18, 2006. Under its land-grant university charter, NCSU qualifies as a 501(c)3 organization. This official and legal transfer was especially appropriate with respect to:
- NCSU’s contemporary emphasis upon University engagement and outreach, seeking to extend the resources of its Raleigh campus to better serve the citizens and communities of North Carolina, the United States, and the world;
- Both the historical and contemporary foci of North Carolina Cooperative Extension as one of the country’s largest volunteer-based community education and development organizations;
- The volunteer development focus of the NC 4-H program that engages more than 23,000 teen and adult volunteers annually to deliver educational programs throughout the state;
- The July 1, 2006, merger of the Department of 4-H Youth Development with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, resulting in even larger faculty and staff numbers working with community-based volunteers; and
- The Journal editor’s (i.e., Dr. R. Dale Safrit) professional faculty responsibilities as a tenured full professor in teaching, research, and service focused upon continuing professional education (i.e., professional development) in nonprofit organizations, specifically community-based volunteer development programs.
Under the transfer, NCSU and the Department of 4-H Youth Development obtained:
- the copyrighted name of The JOVA, including all rights and privileges pertaining thereto,
- all inventories of printed copies of past issues, and
- The JOVA subscription list (as mailing labels).
Additionally, AVA verified with NCSU attorneys that NCSU and the Department would not to be held liable for any financial debts or liens related to either the AVA organization or The JOVA incurred before April 22, 2006.
Valuing the Past – Creating a Future
As a result of the April 18 transfer, Dr. R. Dale Safrit appointed Dr. Ryan Schmiesing (The Ohio State University) as Associate Editor. Dr. Schmiesing has served as The JOVA manuscript reviewer for more than seven years. Time devoted to editorship duties by Drs. Safrit and Schmiesing is in addition to their regular faculty responsibilities and is contributed in-kind by their respective host universities. Copy editing and layout services are contracted at an hourly rate.
During a JOVA Board meeting conducted via conference call on June 12, 2006, the Board members voted unanimously to rename The Journal as The International Journal of Volunteer Administration (The IJOVA) and to move immediately to an online publication format only. Four (4) issues of Volume XXIV will be published in 2006-2007 with the following targeted posting dates and respective foci:
- July 1, 2006 (Vol. XXIV, No. 1): Trends and Transitions;
- October 1, 2006 (Vol. XXIV, No. 2): Volunteerism and Health Care;
- January 1, 2007 (Vol. XXIV, No. 3): Volunteerism and the Other Sectors; and
- April 1, 2007 (Vol. XXIV, No. 4): Volunteerism and Holistic Community Development.
The Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences will develop and host a web site for The IJOVA to which the four issues of Volume XXIV will be posted for general access to any reader with access to the Internet. The four 2006-2007 issues will also serve to market The IJOVA to future individual and organizational subscribers.
Financial support for The IJOVA’s current transition publication year of 2006-2007 is being provided graciously through a targeted gift to the North Carolina 4-H Development Fund by IMPACT: A Fund for Change Through Volunteerism (i.e., The Volunteer IMPACT Fund, to which The UPS Foundation is a lead contributor). Thus, all four issues of Volume XXIV will be posted via public domain and available free of charge to anyone with access to the Web. Beginning in 2007, The IJOVA will move to a Web-based subscription-only publication. Future subscription rates as of July 1, 2007, also approved by the Board during its meeting, will be an individual subscription rate of $40 and a prorated organizational subscription of $30 per member for 101-200 members, $20 for 201-500 members, $10 for 501-1500 members, and $5 for more than 1,500 members.
The IJOVA is governed by a six-member Editorial Board representing the three predominant genres of volunteer management professionals: (a) practicing managers of volunteers, (b) consultants, and (c) academicians focusing upon volunteer management and administration. Three Board members represent the United States while one member each represents Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D.