Issue 9: Autumn 2011Subscribe via RSS

Book Review: Volunteers: A social profile

Book by Marc A. Musick and John Wilson. Published by Indiana University Press, 2008 Reviewed by Prof. Ram Cnaan Twenty years ago I was able to read everything that was written on volunteers; today, Musick and Wilson demonstrate that it is no longer possible. This book is the most successful attempt to provide an authoritative review of the state of knowledge on volunteering, looking at hundreds of sources. For many reasons outlined in the first … Continue reading

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Governmentalities of volunteering: A study of regional Western Australia

By David Pick, Kirsten Holmes and Martin Brueckner, Voluntas, September 2010 This is a fascinating article which examines the applicability of the concept of governmentality to the volunteer sector. Governmentality can be understood in terms referred to by Foucault (1991) as ‘the conduct of conduct’; specifically it is about controlling or guiding the relationship between individuals and social institutions and communities. In light of Australia’s considerable dependence on the work of volunteers, particularly in rural … Continue reading

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By Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker, January 2010 On January 12, 2010 Haiti was hit by a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake. An estimated 230,000 people died, 300,000 were injured and 1,000,000 were made homeless. As in other mega-disasters, the global community reached out to help by giving large amounts of money and also by volunteering, including by people from other countries. In contrast to the title in the article “helpless” people strive to volunteer … Continue reading

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Employee experiences with volunteers

By Steven G. Rogelberg and others, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Summer 2010 Although one may think that employees in not-for-profits (NFPs) would always be happy to have volunteers in their organisations, we know that sometimes the working relationship between the NFP employees and volunteers can be challenging for several reasons, and when it does not work well, it can have a negative impact on the volunteers, the employees, the organisational leadership and the organisation. In … Continue reading

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Balance between volunteer work and family roles: Testing a theoretical model of work-family conflict in the volunteer emergency services

By Sean Cowlishaw, Lynette Evans and Jim McLennan. Australian Journal of Psychology, September 2010. The discussion of work-family conflict has gained popularity in the last two decades, and in this interesting article the authors apply it in the volunteering context, in particular to emergency service volunteers. Although proportionally small in relation to the total number of volunteers, emergency services volunteers make an important contribution by protecting life, property, and the environment, most in fire fighter … Continue reading

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Inclusive Volunteering: Community and Family Perspectives

By Kimberly Miller, Pam Scoglio and Stuart Schleien, International Journal of Volunteer Administration, July 2010 While volunteering has many advantages for the not-for-profit (NFP) sector, community and the volunteers themselves, it may emphasise social divides, as volunteers are typically people with higher income, higher education and social resources providing support for those in need. It is important to acknowledge the social risks involved and strive for inclusive volunteering. As Miller and her colleagues explain, inclusive … Continue reading

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Big-Hearted Blue

The Economist, October 2010 IBM managed to address some of the challenges involved with corporate volunteering by creating an international volunteering program – the IBM Corporate Service Corps. Teams work pro bono with municipalities and governments in the developing world to help develop new strategies in areas ranging from public transport and water supply to food safety and innovation. Launched in 2007 as a “corporate version of the Peace Corps”, the program is now being … Continue reading

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Corporate volunteering: Considering multiple stakeholders

By Louise Lee. Third Sector Review, Vol 16(1), 2010 Corporate volunteering is one of the fastest-growing areas of voluntary activity in the Western World as it is considered a win-win-win for the three main players: the company, employees and not-for-profit organisations (NFPs). However, there is little research evidence to support that assumption from the NFPs perspective. Lee conducted qualitative research among New Zealand companies and NFPs to discover their perceptions about the benefits and challenges … Continue reading

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Autumn 2011: Volunteering

2011 is the tenth anniversary of the international year of volunteering. Ten years ago, the United Nations declared 2001 to be the international year of volunteering and this had a strong impact on enhancing volunteering in developed and developing countries. In 2011 the UN will commemorate the 10 year anniversary by publishing the World State of Volunteering. As such, it is appropriate that the first Knowledge Connect in 2011 is dedicated to volunteering. As Prof. … Continue reading

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