Volunteer Resources Management Clearinghouse

December 29, 2005

Next Steps for VRM Clearinghouse

Filed under: Regular edition — by vrmclearinghouse @ 12:05 pm

Thanks to those who have left comments and also sent me messages expressing enthusiasm for this blog!

Next Steps/Plan

Your comments actually will help me get started on the contents of this blog.  I want to structure it around the major sites for Volunteer Resources Managers (VRMs) and what their latest articles and other tools are.  I will be writing to a number of them today for permission, etc.  What I hope to accomplish with this is to help VRMs keep track of all the material on our profession that is out there.  I remember when the only sites on VRM were my CyberVPM website and list and some great articles on the topic at CASANet.  I was thrilled when the resource I love so much, the Internet, was picked up and used, as I knew it could.

I am still developing ideas for VRM Clearinghouse and will soon announce the sections I hope to have in each update.  There will not be original articles. I will save that for VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT REVIEW  which you can find a link to on the right of this page.  My plan, as earlier stated, is to cover what sorts of new material is out there on the web, etc.  I would love to do book reviews but as I am severely visually impaired, I cannot do that in a timely fashion. But I certainly want to hear about reviews published elsewhere, of books, training, software, web sites, you name it.

 I am a skilled self-promoter, balanced by the larger proportion of what I do being given rather than sold — so I will keep you apprised of course of my own doings in the field.  But that is not the primary purpose. Bringing it all together in one place is.  Hope that works for you. 

~ Nan Hawthorne

You Asked For It

In this section, I will address specific requests for information or tools on a space available basis.

Communicating the Value of Volunteers

There are so many ways and terms for calculating this value.   

Perhaps the best single resource for making the Powers That Be in your organization get how valuable volunteers, and even more to the point, a well-managed volunteer resources program, is Susan J. Ellis’s extremely fine book, FROM THE TOP DOWN: THE EXECUTIVE ROLE IN VOLUNTEER SUCCESS.  You can get it at virtually any bookstore, but why not get it at Susan’s own site, Energize!?  Susan herself describes the book thus:

The first and only book that addresses the top decision-maker’s role in a volunteer program. It illuminates the issues necessary to facilitate volunteer program success, including developing a vision for volunteer involvement, addressing questions of policy, budgeting funds and other resources, staffing the volunteer program, assessing the impact of volunteer contributions, and dealing with legal, risk management, and insurance issues. Also includes the revised FASB regulations on accounting practices regarding donated time are explained.

Some other articles and tools you might consider:


The Case for Hiring a Manager of Volunteers by Nan Hawthorne

Cashing In on Your Volunteer Program by Michael Lee Stills

What Makes a Good Manager of Volunteers? By Nan Hawthorne

Out on the web:

If you Google “calculate value volunteer” you find many terrific articles on this topic.

Exploring the value of volunteering from the Merrill Associates site offers a nice synopsis of the issue in two parts.

Dollar Value of Volunteer Time (USA) on the International Association for Volunteer Administration does as well.

The economic equation of volunteering from the UK’s Joseph Roundtree Foundation looks at the value/cost equation, which can be helpful when justifying a volunteer resources program.

But when calculating value, there are so many more assets volunteers provide other than labor.  For more on this take a look at these sites:

Value of a Volunteer Hour?  Hands On Orlando.

While writing this I actually went looking online to find an article I thought I wrote on how value involves things like impact on community relations, access to talent and tools, the value of volunteer donations, and much more… it is out there somewhere.  As I looked, though, I ran into literally dozens of useful sites and articles.  I hope you will share your favorites with us by leaving a comment.  (See below.)

Until next time, then.

If you are receiving this by email from a colleague, visit https://vrmclearinghouse.wordpress.com/ for more like this.



  1. Hi, Nan:

    Many thanks for your endorsement of From the Top Down and for referring people to Energize’s online bookstore!

    Good luck with this new blog. We’ll post its availability in our referral Networks area of our site to help others find it.

    Every good wish for a happy, peaceful, and far-less-disaster-filled 2006!


    Comment by Susan Ellis — December 30, 2005 @ 7:57 am |Reply

  2. Great articles Nan, both this one and the other on the intangibles that volunteers bring. I thought of a few you could add, the next time you write that one or something like it and they are: the skills and tools to do specific tasks that the agency or organization can’t pay for (like particular skills- computer, marketing etc), the mass of people who can actually finish a mammoth task for which you can’t afford to pay (park clean up, building playgrounds etc), and then there’s what I call the indefinable something, that energy or synergy that occurs when the paid staff group has an injection of someone or someones from the outside- their different perspectives and the fact that they aren’t mired in the culture of the organization sometimes can lead to incredible creativity that wouldn’t have ocurred without the volunteer injecting the idea or the question.
    Does that make sense?

    I am so glad you are doing this- hope you are well. Sam

    Comment by Sarah (Sam) Elliston — January 5, 2006 @ 8:25 am |Reply

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