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July 2012
Volunteers throughout History
In This Issue
Featured Book: By the People
Other Resources
Excerpt: "Managing volunteers is challenging. No, really."
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Pro Bono Service: Get Ready for the Highly-Skilled Volunteer

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Trainer: David Warshaw, Principal, Vistas Volunteer Management Solutions, USA

 

Consider how "highly-skilled" volunteering may differ from other sorts of donated service.


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In the USA, July is a month devoted to reflection on the country's history. Because volunteers were integral to America's founding, we're featuring books that reflect upon volunteers throughout history.

resource2 Featured Book
By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers, New Century Edition
By Susan J. Ellis and Katherine H. Campbell

The Volunteer Shelf LifeDiscover the incredible impact volunteers have had on American society in a wide array of fields, and provide the volunteers you lead with understanding and pride in how their efforts fit into the larger picture of citizen involvement.

 

Read an excerpt from this book below.

 

This book is available in e-book (US$16.00), paperback (24.95), and hardcover (34.95).

 

Order By The People today!
resource2 Other Resources
Voices from the Past Collection
Compilation of articles from e-Volunteerism

Voices From the Past CollectionA set of a dozen articles rediscovering the lost history of key volunteer organizations and individuals.

Reader's Review

 

"Thanks for the history. We need to know where we came from.... Hope all our new-to-the field folks take the time to appreciate those who enabled us today to proudly say, "I'm a professional volunteer program director."

 

--Martha J. Martin, M&M Consulting, Southfield MI USA

  

Order Voices from the Past Collection 

Volunteering and the Test of Time: Essays for policy, organization and research
Justin Davis Smith and Michael Locke (editors)
Volunteering and the Test of TimeDrawing together a selection of articles, this book illuminates the ways that the political and social context in which volunteering operates has changed from the 1990s to the present.

Order Volunteering and the Test of Time: Essays for policy, organization and research
"Fighting SARS: A Hong Kong Volunteer's Story" e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community
A first-person account of the SARS Prevention Volunteer Campaign told by Sally Chung, a computer programmer who volunteered in a variety of ways as Hong Kong battled SARS.

 "Historic and Cultural Roots of Fund Raising in Italy" e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community
In 2003, Valerio Melandri challenges Italy to avoid imitating the American philanthropic model since fund raising in Italy is deeply rooted in antiquity.

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Resources Book Excerpt

Life Cycle of Volunteer Involvement 

Excerpted from from Chapter 12, "The Past Is Prologue," from By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers, New Century Edition, by Susan J. Ellis and Katherine H. Campbell (Energize, 2005).

 

A cyclical pattern can be discerned in the influence of volunteers on the formation of institutions and professions. First an individual or small group becomes involved in a cause. Soon other volunteers are brought in, and strategies are developed to take specific actions. Once the activity gains momentum, the group seeks funding to support both the cost of materials and other expenses. Employees become necessary as the group evolves into an organization, agency, or unit of government-not because volunteers could not do the job, but because the magnitude of the work grows beyond what part-time volunteers can handle. Employees provide continuity and coordination, and so, at some stage of growth, volunteers are displaced as primary service providers. This is also the stage at which professionalization occurs. In the most mature organizations, volunteers continue to be utilized mainly as fundraisers and policy makers (boards) and in limited support roles. Frequently, by this point, the founding volunteers have moved on to other causes, to initiate the process anew.

 

This cycle, traceable through history, can be interpreted in several ways. One interpretation is that the ultimate measure of the success of a volunteer effort is the creation of paid positions to institutionalize that response to a need. This contradicts the convenient belief that volunteers can be used as a substitute for adequate budgeting; history proves that the greater the number of volunteers who become involved in services, the greater the chance that stable financial resources will be developed.


Permission is granted for organizations to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must provide full acknowledgment of the source, as cited here:

Excerpted from from Chapter 12, "The Past Is Prologue," from By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers, New Century Edition, by Susan J. Ellis and Katherine H. Campbell (Energize, 2005). Found in the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/1-215-E-1

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