Volunteering New Zealand is committed to bringing you regular research updates throughout 2018. These updates include relevant up-to-date research, both nationally and internationally, that will help you better lead, manage, develop and engage with your volunteer workforce. In this post we examine “The limits and possibilities of volunteering”, by US researcher Becky Nesbitt.
Our first research update addresses a common issue for Volunteer Organisations regarding some of the limitations when hiring, managing and retaining volunteers and the impact of these regarding volunteer involvement in an organisation.
“The Limits and Possibilities of Volunteering”
In thinking about this issue we have looked at “The limits and possibilities of volunteering”, an article by US researcher Becky Nesbitt, which draws on how organisational characteristics, volunteer management, and environmental factors affect the overall scope of volunteer involvement in an organisation.
This article is a must-read for anyone looking to increase or evaluate the effectiveness of their existing programme as it takes an in-depth look at what you could be doing differently or better.
If volunteers’ contributions to organisations are as valuable as almost everyone suggests in regards to service quality, community impact and individual growth, we should expect every non-profit organisation to use volunteers to the utmost. Becky Nesbit and her research can help organisations achieve this goal.
Becky Nesbit – in her words
We have been lucky enough to have Becky Nesbit share an overview of this study, specifically recorded for Volunteering NZ!
Key highlights of Nesbit’s research includes:
- Acknowledgement of the gap between the benefits/encouragement of volunteering vs the actual management and delivery of service of volunteers.
- How organisational characteristics, volunteer management, and environmental factors affect the overall scope of volunteer involvement in an organisation.
- Identification of eight dimensions of volunteer involvement.
Four of these dimensions include involving organisational decisions:
- Decision to use volunteers
- Magnitude of volunteer use
- Volunteer contributions to the organisation
- Status of volunteers.
Four of these dimensions relate to volunteers’ decisions;
- Volunteer entry into and exit from the organisation
- Volunteer’s characteristics and diversity
- Intensity and duration of volunteers’ commitment
- Volunteers’ work quality.
Did you find Becky Nesbit’s research useful for your organisation? Do you have any limitations within your own Volunteer Management program?
We enjoy hearing your thoughts and providing a forum for discussion, so please share your answers with the Volunteering New Zealand team firstname.lastname@example.org
We have recently updated our VNZ Research page with more Volunteering Research.