The IJOVA Volume XXIV, Number 6


In This Issue: "Insight through Innovation, and Innovation through Insight," R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D., Editor-In-Chief ... link to pdf


“If I can see further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants,” R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D. ... link to pdf


Motivations and Barriers to Volunteering by Seniors: A Critical Review of the Literature
Andrea M. Petriwskyj & Jeni Warburton, Ph.D.
Information about the motivations and barriers to volunteering by seniors is of vital importance to nonprofit agencies seeking to recruit and retain older volunteers. This paper presents a critical review of the social and behavioural literature in relation to volunteering by seniors. The focus in the literature is on what motivates seniors to volunteer, with less attention to barriers to volunteering. Whilst findings from these studies are relatively consistent and provide important general information, a critical review of this literature raises a number of conceptual and methodogical concerns that could limit the applicability of findings to the field. For example, many studies fail to differentiate either by age of participants and/or by differences in volunteer activities. Overall, very few studies incorporate validated scales that can be assessed across activities and contexts. It is important that new researchers recognise these limitations and address them in future research, particularly if volunteer administrators are to build the best available evidence into their policies and practices... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteering, motivations, barriers, seniors, literature review

Culturally Responsive Practice: The Key to Engaging Latinos as Adult Volunteers
Beverly B. Hobbs, Ph.D.
To successfully engage volunteers from a culturally diverse audience, volunteer administrators must adopt a culturally responsive approach, that is, one that reflects an acknowledgement, appreciation, and acceptance of the differences associated with the culture. This article presents elements of culturally responsive volunteer practice based on the Oregon 4-H program's efforts to increase the involvement of Latino adults as 4-H volunteers. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteers, Latino, Hispanic, 4-H, culture, culturally responsive

Using Information Technology (IT) Volunteers: A Conceptual Framework
Kieran Mathieson, Ph.D.
Volunteer organizations (VOs) offer important services the private and public sectors cannot or will not provide. VOs tend not to use information technology (IT) to the extent they could, and so don't receive the benefits it offers. This paper examines the challenges using IT volunteers creates, including limits in availability, expertise, commitment, organizational knowledge, and equipment ownership. A framework for thinking about the effectiveness of IT volunteers is presented. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteers, information technology, effectiveness, challenges

The Importance of Initial Assignment Quality and Staff Treatment of New Volunteers: A Field Test of the Hobson-Heler Model of Nonprofit Agency "Volunteer-Friendliness"
Charles J. Hobson, Ph.D. & Kathryn Heler, Ph.D.
Using the Hobson-Heler model of nonprofit agency "volunteer-friendliness," the impact of initial assignment quality and treatment by staff on volunteer satisfaction and subsequent continuation of volunteering, and intentions to volunteer in the future and make donations was evaluated with a field sample of 542. Subjects were students at a university commuter campus, assigned to complete a 10-hour service learning project with local United Way affiliates. A written survey was administered at the conclusion of their assignment. Results strongly supported the Hobson-Heler model and indicated that: (1) initial assignment quality and treatment by staff were major determinants of satisfaction and (2) satisfaction was significantly related to continuation of volunteering, likelihood of future volunteering, and likelihood of making future financial contributions. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteers, volunteer-friendly, satisfaction

Measuring the Volunteer - Nonprofit Organization Relationship: An Application of Public Relations Theory
Richard D. Waters, Ph.D. & Denise Bortree, Ph.D.
Because nonprofit managers often face challenges in deciding how to best incorporate volunteers in working toward the organization's mission, it is important to understand how volunteers view their involvement with organizations. This study provides nonprofit managers with a short survey instrument they can use to help understand the nonprofit-volunteer relationship with volunteers by focusing on four dimensions: trust, satisfaction, commitment, and power balance. These four relationship outcomes are derived from public relations scholarship on the organization-public relationship. This study found that although volunteers all evaluated the relationships with organizations positively, there were significant differences when looking at the amount of time volunteers gave to organizations. This study also offers suggestions on how relationships can be improved with volunteers based on their evaluation of the relationship. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteer management, relationship, evaluation

Winning Volunteer Scenarios: The Soul of a New Machine
Lucas C.P.M. Meijs & Jeffrey L. Brudney, Ph.D.
The authors introduce a new metaphor of volunteer involvement based on a "slot machine," founded on generating "winning volunteer scenarios." We define a volunteer scenario as a combination of the Assets of a potential volunteer, the Availability of volunteers, and a particular volunteer Assignment or job offered by the host organization. Our model seeks to optimize "winning" volunteer scenarios -- that is, triple A ratings (AAA) -- in which the Assets and Availability a potential volunteer brings to the organization is matched with, or negotiated to fulfill, an organizational Assignment. The article shows that this model can be useful in understanding changes in the world of volunteerism, designing strategies to adapt to them in a variety of organizational contexts, and helping both individuals and organizations learn how to create and integrate diverse offers of time and resources from prospective volunteers. ... link to pdf
Key Words:episodic volunteering, matching, assets, availability, assignments


The Congress of Volunteer Administrator Associations (COVAA)
Rita Chick & Joanna Johnson, CVA
The Congress of Volunteer Administrator Associations (COVAA) formed as a result of a historical convening of official representatives of existing associations of volunteer program managers throughout the United States. Mandated by the delegates, COVAA's Steering Committee is committed to forming a new national association for leaders in volunteer engagement that is positive, relevant, and sustainable. Maximizing the opportunity to create a vibrant, healthy organization, the building process has been intentional, strategic, and inclusive of a variety of stakeholders, both inside and outside the traditional volunteer management field. The following article describes the origins of COVAA, its goals, and the exciting opportunity that faces the field in this birthing process. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteerism, professional association, leadership, professional, congress

The Association of Volunteer Resource Managers (AVRM)
Celeste Sauls-Mark
The author discusses the creation of a new national association for professional managers of volunteer resources. Conversations that were initiated on the Volunteer Resource Management (VRM) Roundtable listserv in early 2006 resulted in the formation of a team to construct an industry survey. Survey results gathered from 737 respondents clearly identified the areas that professionals felt it was important for a professional organization to address in terms of services and products, and also identified various aspects of the organization, such as geographic scope. Based on the survey results, a taskforce was developed to address a variety of issues and build elements necessary to become a sustainable, transparent organization that was incorporated on March 5, 2007 as the Association of Volunteer resource Management (AVRM). On October 3-5, 2007, the Association held its first national conference in Dallas, Texas. In January 2008, a new board of directors will replace the founding board and will guide the new organization through its continued development focused upon principles of transparency, sustainability, diversity and inclusion. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteer management, certification, credentialing

The CVA Credential: A Mark of Excellence
Katherine H. Campbell, CVA
The Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) credential offers an important professional development tool for practitioners with at least three years of experience mobilizing and managing volunteers. This performance-based certification program consists of an exam and a written portfolio, and provides a way for individuals and organizations to demonstrate their commitment to excellence. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteer management, certification, credentialing

Book Review: Training Busy Staff to Succeed with Volunteers: The 55-Minute Training Series
Betty Stallings. (2007). Philadelphia: Energize, Inc. (ISBN 978-0-940576-44-5)
Reviewed by Harriett C. Edwards, Ed.D. ... link to pdf


Successful Methods and Positive Outcomes for 4-H Volunteer Evaluation
Linda A. Strieter, M.A., & Virginia Powell, M.S.
4-H professionals working with volunteers need a feedback process that opens communication and troubleshoots potential problems. The article demonstrates how the New Jersey 4-H Volunteer Review Process is an effective evaluation tool to address this need, as well as to provide an ideal forum for expanding volunteer roles through leadership development and goal setting. The process allows the volunteer and supervisor to engage in dialogue and work together to determine areas that may need improvement and build on strengths and achievements. By investing in the time taken to conduct the interview and by showing an interest in volunteer leaders, 4-H agents and staff help to promote continued and expanded volunteer efforts and programmatic successes. ... link to pdf
Key Words:4-H, volunteers, evaluation, interview


Volunteerism in Nepal
Bishnu Hari Bhatta
The author addresses historical and contemporary aspects of volunteerism in Nepal as a fundamental building block of civil society. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteerism, civil society, Nepal, Hinduism, Buddhism


Personal Capacities for Volunteer Administrators: Drawing Upon the Past as We Move Into the Future
[Published originally in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 1999, Vol. 17, No. 4]
R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D., & Mary Merrill, L.S.W.
Today and into the future, both professional competencies and personal capacities will be critical for volunteer administrators. Professional competencies are knowledge and skills based, serve as a critical intellectual foundation for any profession, and involve fundamental levels of cognitive learning including assessing, comprehending, and applying knowledge to our day-to-day roles and responsibilities. Personal capacities involve the higher levels of cognitive learning including the abilities to analyze specific situations; synthesize new insights from existing knowledge and skills; and evaluate the broader, more abstract current or future situation. Capacities involve affective and emotional components in addition to knowledge and skills. Based upon the literature and their experiences, the authors identify six personal capacities critical to any volunteer administrator: creating and communicating a shared vision; embracing diversity while nurturing pluralism, accepting change and managing ambiguity; acting within shared values and championing ethical behavior; linking effective management to personal leadership; and reflecting. ... link to pdf
Key Words:competencies, capacities, volunteer, management, administration

Dollar Value of Volunteer Time: A Review of Five Estimation Methods
[Published originally in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 2003, Vol. 21, No. 2] 
Paula M. Anderson & Mary E. Zimmerer, Ph.D.
There is a renewed call in the United States for volunteer service, and volunteers are answering the call - in fact, in 2000, it is estimated that 44 percent of U.S. citizens volunteered within our \communities. Meanwhile, volunteer program managers struggle to account for the value of their volunteers' efforts. One of the prominent practices is to place a dollar value on hours of service - often referred to as the dollar value method. This review addresses the variables present in several methods, and applies those methods to one city's statistics. The result emphasizes the lack of uniformity in dollar value practices. The most effective method attempts to equate work of paid employees to the work of volunteers. ... link to pdf
Key Words:value, volunteerism, financial, volunteers

Barriers to the Development of Volunteer Leadership Competencies: Why Johnnie Can't Lead Volunteers
[Published originally in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 2004, Vol. 22, No. 4]
Barry L. Boyd, Ph.D.
More than 109 million Americans volunteered for nonprofit organizations in 1998, carrying out almost one-third of the work of the organizations. A nation-wide Delphi study was conducted to identify the competencies that will be required by volunteer administrators (VAs) during the next decade as well as barriers that prevent VAs from acquiring such competencies, and how those barriers may be eliminated. This article discusses 12 barriers to acquiring volunteer leadership competencies, as well as 21 methods for addressing those barriers and motivating volunteer administrators to acquire them. It is recommended that organizations make the acquisition of these competencies a part of the employee's performance expectations, and should redirect resources to assist volunteer administrators in acquiring the competencies. Organizations must also create an organizational culture that values the contributions of volunteers and the role of the volunteer administrator. ... link to pdf
Key Words:volunteer administration, competencies, professionals, barriers, professional development

The Volunteer and Staff Team: How Do We Get Them to Get Along?
[Published originally in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, 2005, Vol. 23, No. 1] 
Nancy Macduff & F. Ellen Netting, Ph.D.
Both practitioner and research literatures were reviewed to determine items relevant to developing volunteer and paid staff relationships. An online survey targeted to members of the Association of Volunteer Administration and the CYBERVPM electronic mailing list was conducted. Respondents included 557 volunteer program managers. A nine-item volunteer and paid staff climate instrument was completed, followed by a 27-item behavioral scale. Respondents reported that expressing appreciation, welcoming volunteers, and being present at association meetings are almost always/usually done. These civility items were closely followed by communicating clear information on roles and expectations. Although all items were relevant to at least some programs, instrumental tasks that engaged paid staff and volunteers in the same training events, projects, and meetings occurred in fewer organizations... link to pdf
Key Words:paid staff, staff climate, relationships, volunteers

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