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August 2014
In This Issue
Featured Title: Volunteering and the Test of Time
More Books & Resources
Relevant Articles from e-Volunteerism
Excerpt: Classic and New Styles of Volunteering
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Digging for Volunteerism's Meaning and Purpose

As summer draws to a close in the northern hemisphere, many of us are gearing up for the start of yearly volunteer initiatives or beginning new service programs. We may try to sneak in one last bit of quiet reflection, good book in hand. If you are able to find a few extra moments before the autumn air sweeps in (or planning for longer, warm days in the southern hemisphere), we challenge you to choose a book that digs deeper into the meaning behind service and volunteerism.

Keep the how-to guides and practical worksheets filed near your work space, and crack open (or flick on) one of our many publications written to understand the core philosophy underlying the leadership of volunteers. You'll find that gaining such perspective will guide you in practical ways, too.
resource Featured Resource
Volunteering and the Test of Time:
Essays for Policy, Organisation and Research

Edited by Justin Davis Smith and Michael Locke 

 

Volunteering and the Test of Time Drawing together a selection of articles and published in the UK, this book illuminates the ways that the political and social context in which volunteering operates has changed from the 1990s to the present. The issues will relate to readers worldwide, such as:
 

  • how formal and informal volunteering have developed in this new century;
  • how volunteering is connected to changes in the relationship between government and its citizens;
  • the management of disaster volunteers;
  • different cultural concepts of volunteering; and new styles of youth volunteering.
Get your "feet wet" in the world of volunteering research with nine provocative, accessible, and useful essays.

 

Read an excerpt from this book below.

 

This e-book is available in e-book (PDF) format for immediate download (US$16.00).

 

Order Volunteering and the Test of Time today!
resource2 More Resources
Visionary Leadership in Volunteer Programs:
Insight and Inspiration from the Speeches of Marlene Wilson

A collection of favorite and most-requested presentations from Marlene Wilson, volunteer management pioneer and leader in the field. Re-ignite or discover the passion for your career (whether you chose or "fell into" it).

This book is available as an e-book (PDF format) for immediate download (US$12.00) as a paperback (US$16.95). Order Visionary Leadership in Volunteer Programs.

Making Dreams Come True without Money, Might or Miracles
This extraordinary book urges us all to nurture dreams - our own and those of others. Every important social, community, and personal change starts with a spark of inspiration flamed by creativity and will - and all leaders of volunteers can be "dream catchers." 

This book is available as a paperback and offered with a Special Discount for just US$7.50Order Making Dreams Come True

 

Exploring Volunteer SpaceExploring Volunteer Space:
The Recruiting of A Nation

A philosophic-yet-practical exploration of the universe of volunteering, attempting to describe, define and explain how and where volunteering occurs. It was published in 1980, yet remains amazingly relevant! Think differently about what the world of volunteering is all about.

 

We carry the last remaining (slightly shelf-worn) paperbacks of this book. At US$5.00, it's a gem that shouldn't be passed up. Order Exploring Volunteer Space.

 

By the PeopleBy the People:
A History of Americans as Volunteers
This book remains the only presentation of the full scope and depth of volunteer activity throughout three centuries of American history. Discover the incredible impact volunteers have had on American society in a wide array of fields - expect the unexpected!

This book is available as an e-book (PDF format) for immediate download (US$16.00), in paperback (US$24.95), and in hardcover (US$34.95). Order By the People

What Counts book cover
Social Accounting for Nonprofits and Cooperatives
A very timely analysis of a major challenge facing nonprofits today - how to properly assess social impacts and the important contributions of volunteers. In an era of resource constraints and increased demands for accountability, creating accounting procedures that highlight the social impacts of nonprofits is critical. 


This book is available as an e-book (PDF format) for immediate download (US$27.95). Order What Counts.

resource2 Relevant Articles

e-Volunteerism Logo

Journal subscribers can log in here to read all the articles below. Non-subscribers can read all the articles and more with affordable 48-hour access to the journal.


 
Vision Volunteering

In this article, read excerpts from Jane Mallory Park's early books on volunteerism: Meaning Well Is Not Enough: Perspectives on Volunteering. In the chapter, "Vision Volunteering," Park proposes "What if?" scenarios and speculates about intriguing concepts such as "promoting volunteer liberation" and "appealing to enlightened self-interest."

 

When Should We NOT Involve Volunteers?
As advocates for volunteers, we are generally in the position of convincing administrators and frontline paid staff to be more creative in designing work for volunteers - to involve them more. Yet there are times when an organization might ultimately decide not to assign volunteers to a role or task. When would a "no" decision be best? What criteria should be applied or what circumstances should be considered, and why?

 

Public vs. Private Compassion: Colored Ribbons, T-shirts, and SUVs

In his book Conspicuous Compassion: Why Sometimes It Really Is Cruel to Be Kind, Patrick West comments that people who wear colored ribbons to show empathy with worthy causes and mourn in public for celebrities they have never met are part of a growing culture of "ostentatious caring which is about feeling good, not doing good." e-Volunteerism editors ruminate on how public displays of emotion or politics relate to volunteering as we know it.

  

 

Subscribe now and get immediate access to all of the above articles, plus everything in the current issue of the journal and its 13-year archive. 
resourceBook Excerpt

book coverClassic and New Styles of Volunteering

By Lesley Hustinx

From Volunteering and the Test of Time, London: Institute for Volunteering Research, 2007, pp 63-7. 

 

...[T]here is a growing conviction among practitioners that volunteering is undergoing a fundamental change, from the classic model of commitment to a completely new type.... Whereas Classic volunteering can generally be characterised as coherent and stable, the New type is rather unpredictable, fragmented and inconstant. Classic volunteering is inspired by collective identities and traditional roles, whereas New volunteering is a matter of personal preferences.

 

The culture of the volunteers

The culture of the Classic volunteer is strongly linked to social class, gender, religion or local community. These traditional cultural phenomena create fixed identities and coercive patterns of behaviour that affect volunteering.

 

New volunteers no longer identify with these fixed cultural frameworks. Individualisation means freedom of choice in all spheres of life, including voluntary action. Instead of an ideological system, personal preferences dictate whether a person volunteers and in what kind of work. New volunteers consciously consider all the options before choosing one particular kind of volunteer work.

 

The choice of organisation

The Classic volunteer chooses an organisation on the basis of strong cultural identification, often associated with religious beliefs and ideological convictions. As a result, this type of volunteer is very loyal and is willing to accept a hierarchical structure in which power lies with an autonomous leader or leaders.

 

New volunteers are loyal not to a particular organisation but to a particular cause. They choose an organisation because it offers them the kind of volunteering activities they are interested in. If their interests change, they may well change organisations also. Hence being a volunteer increasingly resembles being a consumer (Verstraete 1996: 50). New volunteers prefer loose networks offering occasional 'pick and choose' commitments. Moreover, they demand a decentralised, horizontal organisational structure rather than a rigidly bureaucratic hierarchy....

 

Relationship with the beneficiary

Classic volunteers devote themselves to a community, a group or a person in the name of the core ideology of the organisation. Classic volunteering is often embedded in a religious tradition of altruism. A purely self-sacrificing model of volunteering prevails. The relationship with the beneficiary is one way: the volunteers do not expect anything in return for their efforts.

 

New volunteers combine solidarity with a personal search for fulfillment and identity....New volunteering is a matter of giving and receiving. The relationship between New volunteers and beneficiaries is reciprocal. This shift requires us to rethink the traditional polarity of egotism and altruism in terms of a continuum. Volunteers are not born altruists; they can adopt any position on the continuum between pure altruism and pure egotism. 

 

*****

 

 

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

 

Excerpted from Volunteering and the Test of Time:Essays for Policy, Organisation and Research, edited by Justin Davis Smith and Michael Locke (London: Institute for Volunteering Research, 2007). Available in the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore at http://www.energizeinc.com/store/5-229-E-1 .
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