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Enhancing Inclusion in Volunteer Workforces

Enhancing Inclusion in Volunteer Workforces

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Schools, corporations and volunteer centers all send individuals and groups to perform volunteer service. In doing so, they have control over who is included and excluded in these activities. Encouraging volunteer-sending organizations to pay more attention to underrepresented groups in volunteering may help create a more inclusive volunteer workforce. This Research to Practice by reviewer Laurie Mook presents a study that explored ways in which volunteer-sending organizations might enhance volunteer inclusion beyond dominant status groups. Based on an analysis of qualitative interviews and literature, the researchers propose several strategies to connect with those less likely to volunteer. The article also discusses the relevance of this study for volunteer resource managers in volunteer-receiving organizations. 

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Fri, 02/24/2023

Very practical and useful tips. Thanks, Laurie! One of the items that stood out for me was the first point under "Encouraging" - don't call it volunteering. This shows, in my opinion, the negative connotation that many people have toward the word volunteer, and indicates that we need to do some work to change the word's image in many people's minds. Great article!

Tue, 02/28/2023

Hi Laurie,

Interesting article! I agree with Karen's comments wholeheartedly. 

The 'Enforcing recommendation', to me was really interesting. I have worked with many managers who manage Volunteer Co-ordinators, but are not managers of Volunteers. These managers who have never volunteered before, provide 'insights' on how Volunteer Co-ordinators should fulfill the functions of their role without understanding what it means to be a Volunteer. 9 times out of 10 they come at it from a human resource/workforce recruitment perspective where the 'carrot' is the promise of a wage. For Volunteers there is no wage and as such they lack the insight into the challenges faced by leaders of Volunteers.

In this instance it would be incredibly beneficial for people in those supervisory or managerial positions to undertake various forms of Volunteering and have them report back to their teams on their experiences. 

Definitely some points to consider here. Great work.