What We’re Reading This February 📚: Our Favorite Volunteer Engagement Blogs & More

We’re one month into 2019, and the main theme of conversations in the volunteer engagement space  continues to be, “How can leaders of volunteers best advocate for their role and for their volunteer programs?”

While volunteer managers know that volunteers are vital to their organization’s mission, this isn’t always clear to the public. Recent studies can help lay the groundwork for some of the strategies aimed at addressing this issue, along with other common challenges volunteer engagement professionals encounter.

In February’s edition of our new monthly digest, check out what your peers are proposing to propel the common interests of the field forward. How do these findings fit in with your plan for the year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

2019 VolunteerPro Volunteer Management Progress Report — Tech Edition
Tobi Johnson & Associates for VolunteerPro

The team behind VolunteerPro released the 2019 Volunteer Management Progress Report this month. In its fourth year, the report continues to provide invaluable insight into the priorities, challenges and opportunities that volunteer management professionals face. This year, the survey focused on technology. The team looked at what tech tools volunteer engagement professionals currently use and how technology can help address some of the challenges in the field.

webinar iconTune into a discussion with Tobi Johnson and VolnteerMatch’s Jennifer Bennett as they discuss the findings of this year’s report.

How Volunteer Action in 2018 Can Focus Us for 2019
Susan J. Ellis for Energize Inc.

Susan J. Ellis reflects on the many demonstrations of volunteer power last year, including volunteer responses to natural disasters and politics. Based on her observations, she proposes several strategies for leaders of volunteers to focus on in 2019 to improve the effectiveness of their roles and volunteer programs. A great read to lay the groundwork for what’s sure to be an important year ahead.

Empowerment Not Management
Ruth Leonard for Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM)

AVM chair Ruth Leonard shares her takeaways from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ (NCVO) recently released Time Well Spent report. From shifting how we think of the role (from one of management to one of empowerment) and advocating for the support and recognition of the role’s responsibilities, this post is full of takeaways for anyone who works with volunteers.

Gaining Buy-In for Your Volunteering Programme by Working With Your CEO — The Myton Hospice Story
Rob Jackson for Rob Jackson Consulting

Getting staff buy-in is commonly cited as one of the top challenges volunteer engagement professionals face (see the 2019 Volunteer Management Progress Report for more). Check out this inspiring success story of how one volunteer manager advocated for the volunteer program at her organization and worked closely with her CEO to build buy-in across departments.

webinar iconWant help building staff buy-in for your program? Join us for our free training on the topic.

As Shutdown Drags On, Some Step Up to Help Unpaid Federal Workers
Glenn Thrush, Julie Bosman and Kirk Johnson for the New York Times
and ‘It Belongs to All of Us’: Volunteers Help Clean Up National Parks in Shutdown
Sandra E. Garcia for the New York Times

In uncertain times, one thing’s always true — people will rise to the occasion and lend a hand when needed. Here’s some great coverage of how awesome volunteers took care of their furloughed neighbors and national parks during the government shutdown. Thank you to everyone who stepped up!

What have you been reading lately? Share your favorite volunteer engagement articles and blogs in the comments section below.

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