Mobilizing volunteers is a tough job requiring skills and a lot of energy, but there are many resources to assist you. This is a look at some of the many sources of information that exist in the US and abroad to make your job an easier and to tap into the collective creativity of the many who are making a difference in their communities.
On-line Interactive Resource Forums
These are opportunities for open discussion on the Internet. Have a question you would like your peers and experts in the field to answer? Try these links:
Charity Channel is an online community with over 100,000 participants discussing every aspect of voluntary-sector issues in hundreds of forums. Here you can subscribe to newsletters such as Volunteer Management Review or browse the back issues online.
The Nonprofit FAQ from the Internet Nonprofit Center
A wonderfully comprehensive set of FAQs on all issues related to nonprofits, including Volunteer Recruitment and Volunteer Program Management. You can also subscribe to the free weekly e-mail newsletter Nonprofit Online News.
Association of Volunteer Administrators: Resources to Get the Job Done
Includes bibliographies, statistics, inspirational quotes, and sources for recognition items, consultants and trainers, and clip art. Be sure and check out their well-organized, selective list of Links to helpful resources for managing volunteers.
The Corporation for National and Community Service
This is the site for the government agency that supports the volunteer and service sector through such programs as the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Here you will find information about government resources available to support nonprofits that use volunteers to strengthen communities. Also, more tips and tools for organization and links to other sites.
Council on Foundations
Conferences, workshops and publications of interest to the nonprofit sector and volunteer managers.
Energize, Inc. ...especially for leaders of volunteers
This excellent site includes monthly "hot topics" discussions, volunteer recognition ideas, and links to other resources (be sure and check out the section titled Information Source.) You can also subscribe to the online newsletter e-volunteerism here - a high quality quarterly publication with sections such as Training Designs, Research to Practice, and Along the Web.
EpiCenter is an online database of effective program practices sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The mission of EpiCenter is to support the development of sustainable programs by sharing what works in community service and volunteering.
Improve Your Philanthropic Portfolio: A Guide to Investing in Volunteer Resource Management
This guide was developed by the UPS Foundation, the Association for Volunteer Administration, and The Points of Light Foundation to assist grant makers and corporations to assess and strengthen the capacity of nonprofits to effectively engage and manage volunteers.
This site includes a nonprofit information center and publications of interest to volunteer managers. Also included is a "Nonprofit Pathfinder" which includes promising practices in non profit innovation and resources to help nonprofits measure impact.
Internet Nonprofit Center Bibliography on Volunteerism
A list of 31 essential publications for managers of volunteers compiled by Susan Ellis, an expert with 25 years of experience consulting for and writing about the volunteer sector.
Milano Nonprofit Management Knowledge Hub
This site is produced by the Nonprofit Management Program at the Milano Graduate School at the New School University. There are many other universities with non profit management programs/schools who also maintain web-sites with resources for non profits.
National Campus Compact
Campus Compact promotes community service that develops college students' citizenship skills and encourages partnerships between campuses and communities. The Resources section of their website includes over 450 best practices for campus engagement.
The National Service Learning Clearinghouse
Your one-stop destination for information specific to service learning. Teachers/faculty members who want to incorporate service into classroom activities will find information here as well as nonprofit managers who want to enrich the experience of their volunteers. Another project of ETR Associates supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The National Service Resource Center
Your one-stop destination for all kinds of information specific to community service, with a focus on the National Service programs AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn & Serve America. Many of its resources are useful for any organization that uses volunteers. A project of ETR Associates supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network
One of the primary sources of information for the volunteer sector, the Points of Light Foundation has many resources for volunteer organizations including books and materials to purchase and conferences and training events you can register for on-line. The Volunteer Center National Network mobilizes people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community problems. Its over 400 member Volunteer Centers connect more than 2.5 million people with over one million volunteer opportunities annually; work in partnership with more than 100,000 public and private organizations; and train nearly 230,000 individuals a year. Over 150 million people (a majority of the U.S. population) live in the thousands of communities served by local Volunteer Centers. Call or visit 1-800-VOLUNTEER.org.
Retention and Recognition
This excerpt from the book Volunteer Management, by Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch covers in detail the proactive steps you can take to motivate your volunteers and ensure that they feel valued.
The Volunteer Management / Service Leadership Online Resources section of this website leads directly to valuable content on all aspects of volunteer management, including volunteer screening, matching, record-keeping and evaluation; legal issues and risk management; volunteer/staff relations, online recruitment, and volunteer management software. This is also the home of The Virtual Volunteering Project, with hundreds of ideas, tips and real-life examples for any organization that wants to involve volunteers via the Internet; a project of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs The University of Texas Austin.
United Way of America
The United Way of America and its network of local chapter organizations across the country provide nonprofits with a wide array of programs and initiatives. Start by checking out http://unitedway.org/ and explore links to local chapter web-sites as well.
Volunteer Management for Program Directors
Excellent articles on virtually every aspect of volunteer management, including recruitment, screening, retention, and supervision.
Volunteer Recruitment Websites, Articles, and Books
Includes links to the major online volunteer recruitment systems and other resources on volunteer recruitment.