Linking collegiate service‐learning to future volunteerism: Implications for nonprofit organizations

University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
Nonprofit Management and Leadership (Impact Factor: 0.58). 06/2008; 19(1):3 - 26. DOI: 10.1002/nml.202


One of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits is attracting and retaining volunteers to help deliver their programs. One way that colleges and universities are attempting to educate students on the importance of community issues and to graduate “good citizens” is through service-learning (S-L) programs. Although many scholars argue that collegiate S-L programs will increase the extent to which students volunteer following graduation (for example, Astin, Sax, and Avalos, 1999; Misa, Anderson, and Yamamura, 2005), more empirical research has been called for to examine this relationship. This article proposes three predictors of future volunteerism for alumni of a collegiate S-L experience: the amount of personal development experienced during the S-L project, the perceived value of the S-L project to the community organization, and the level of volunteerism prior to participation in an S-L project. Results showed significant effects of all the proposed predictors on postgraduation volunteering. Our findings have implications for nonprofit managers charged with maintaining a sufficient level of volunteers to provide their community services as well as individuals who are responsible for organizing S-L programs. These managerial implications and directions for future S-L research are discussed.

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    • "The completed survey is distributed to the respective student teams during their sponsorship group session where they reflect on the feedback and discuss the lessons learnt from the experience. Students are more likely to volunteer in future when they perceive that their work is valued by the organisation (Tomkovick et al. 2008). Experience has shown that providing a copy of the survey to students during the block teaching period stimulates reflection on performance expectations and has increased student reliability and their commitment to achieving the unit outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: As a result of constrained funding community sport organisations are under increasing pressure to seek external funding to support their programs, equipment, athletes and even organisational survival. Sponsorship has emerged as a key income stream to support both operational and more strategic initiatives Since the pursuit of funding is now integral to many of the roles that are likely to play, it is advisable for students to enhance their sponsorship related skills. This article discusses a service learning-based unit of study that has been developed over four years in partnership with sporting organisations to ensure benefits to all parties. The unit combines blended learning and service-learning, thereby enabling teams of students and managers from community sport organisations to produce a sponsorship proposal and presentation intended to secure a sponsor. Improved student learning and greater community awareness has resulted and evidenced through surveys and verbal communication. Follow up telephone calls to managers five months after the experience indicate enhanced confidence and success in obtaining sponsorships. The prospective sustainability of the service-learning initiative has been provided with impetus through the interest shown by other community sport organisations and a request by a local council to the university to collaborate with five of their sport organisations annually.
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    ABSTRACT: Volunteerism is changing, and traditional ways of coordinating volunteers need re-examination in order for human service programs to survive. Our practitioner/academician team has been using well-known frameworks to reveal deep-seated assumptions about how people volunteer at the dawn of the 21st century and how changes in volunteering influence the organization and coordination of those efforts. The different styles of volunteering demand that coordinators' engagement strategies vary when different worldviews are held. In this article, four types of volunteer programs are identified: traditional, social change, serendipity, and entrepreneurial. Examples of each program type are provided, along with guidelines for their oversight. We conclude with a call for research that examines the important differences in how to appropriately use the talents of increasingly diverse types of volunteers in community practice.
    Journal of Community Practice 10/2009; 17(4-4):400-423. DOI:10.1080/10705420903300488
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose Our current global economic crisis will have considerable consequences for nonprofit human service organizations, particularly in relationship to meeting escalating community needs with fewer financial resources. To make sense of the current political and economic challenges and their potential influence on the helping professions, it is useful to reflect upon the past and how nonprofits have historically accommodated changes in their external environments. Developing a historical grounding provides a deeper understanding of the nonprofit human services landscape over time. This understanding can help place the recession in a larger context and facilitate creative thinking about how to respond to current and future challenges. This paper details a cross-journal analysis of 2013 published articles on nonprofit management in the human services. The purpose is to take stock of the expanding literature on nonprofit management in order to build a knowledge base on nonprofit organizations. The overall goal of the analysis is to build a research agenda based on an understanding of this knowledge base. Methods This literature review is based on a thorough search of articles published in Administration in Social Work (1977), Nonprofit Management and Leadership (1990), and Nonprofit and voluntary Sector Quarterly (1971). These nationally-recognized journals were selected based on their history of focusing on nonprofit management in the human services. The University of California's library internet search engine was used to identify all articles published in these three journals from their inception through 2008. Two independent raters conducted an initial sort of the total sample of 2013 article abstracts to identify major categories that would facilitate a mapping of the knowledge base of nonprofit management in the human services. Once the initial sorts were completed, a set of 23 categories was agreed upon. The 23 categories were used to sort the 2013 abstracts, resulting in 79% inter-rater reliability. Disagreements during the sorting process were primarily a result of different interpretations and definitions associated with similar topics. The categories were then clustered into five overarching themes. Results The analysis resulted in the identification of five overarching themes that map the existing knowledge base of nonprofit management in the human services. These themes are: 1) Leading and Managing Nonprofits 2) Financing and Evaluating Nonprofits 3) Managing Human Resources 4) Managing Different Types of Nonprofits 5) Managing NGOs Worldwide A working paper was developed for each theme to assist with the formation of a research agenda for the Mack Center on Nonprofit Management in the Human Services. A searchable database of the 2013 abstracts and the five working papers are available at Conclusions and Implications This analysis represents the first cross-journal review of nonprofit management articles, the most current assessment of articles published throughout the existence of three major journals, and one of the few comprehensive efforts to identify future research agendas. This analysis contributes a knowledge base of nonprofit management for use as a platform for future research and provides access to a searchable database on nonprofit management for practitioners, scholars and policy makers.
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