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Leading Volunteers in a Dangerous Time

Leading Volunteers in a Dangerous Time

Leaders of volunteers around the world now face the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, far and wide. At e-Volunteerism, we wanted to try and address this sobering issue and offer some help. From our robust Archives, we bring you the following stories and pearls of wisdom on how to lead volunteers in challenging situations where ethical decisions are required. 

We have taken the liberty to keep this important topic posted in Training Designs for the next few months. In June, we look forward to presenting a new Training Designs by Erin McLean, "Volunteer Engagement and Powerful Questions: Work Smarter with the Answers You Get through the Questions You Ask." 

Professional Ethics

Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration
Created in 2005 and still maintained today, this is the most foundational of all documents to consult when faced with ethical dilemmas in the involvement of volunteers. It offers a six-step “Ethical Decision-Making Process” to help guide you through the stickiest of situations.     

The Rise of Informal Volunteers During Disasters

In times of disaster, we often see the best in people with a surge in spontaneous helping. How do you plan for this? Here are a few articles that help you manage spontaneous helping.

(Note: This is a subscriber-only professional journal and these articles are not available for free access by the general public)

When Disaster Strikes: Getting Volunteer Resources to the Right Place at the Right Time

Emergency Management Volunteers in British Columbia, Canada

Animal Rescue: Another Heroic Volunteer Effort during Hurricane Katrina

Students vs The Machine: Lessons Learned in the Student Community Following the Christchurch Earthquakes

Bridging the Divide Between Volunteer Management and Community Organizing

Training for Organization Leaders: Capitalize on Volunteer Resources During Tough Economic Times
Covid-19 is already having significant financial implications around the globe. What opportunities are presented for leaders of volunteers during tough economic times? Mary Quirk presents six strategies in this Training Designs article.

The Moral Obligation of Volunteer Recruitment Promises
This 2007 Hot Topics by Susan J. Ellis walks us through the moral dilemmas so often faced by Volunteer Engagement Professionals as we create expectations that are not always the reality volunteers actually experience.

When Should We NOT Involve Volunteers?
In situations where volunteers may be placing their lives or well-being at risk, how do we, as leaders, make decisions about whether that’s OK or not? This Keyboard Roundtable from 2005 brought together leaders of volunteers from around the world to consider and share their perspectives on this topic. 

Volunteer Rights

Every leader of volunteers would agree that volunteers have rights. However, where do those lines get drawn and what does it mean for our profession? We present two articles that explore the fascinating experience and learnings from the Volunteer Rights Inquiry from the UK:

Exploring the Issue of Volunteer Rights

On the Front Lines of the Volunteer Rights Inquiry

Fighting SARS: A Hong Kong Volunteer’s Story
For leaders of volunteers and other staff who work at our organizations day in and day out, many situations become commonplace to us. It’s helpful to consider the volunteer perspective. In this article, we get to see a first-hand account from a volunteer facing SARS.

Helping Volunteers Through Stressful Situations
Volunteers are people and bring their current experiences with them into our organizations, be that personal, physical, and emotional concerns. In addition, volunteers, due to the nature of their work with us, may face novel stresses. This Keyboard Roundtable explores where those lines are as leaders of volunteers.

FaCE-ing and Managing Boundary Dilemmas in Volunteer Management
They say that fences make the best neighbours. And this saying takes on a whole new relevance for any leader of volunteers who has had to facilitate a situation that involved over-stepped boundaries and ng volunteers (and really, which of us haven’t?). This article presents a unique tool that can be used to better equip volunteers to identify and make informed decisions about ethical dilemmas.


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