1st Edition

Volunteer Management A Strategic Approach

By Jaclyn S. Piatak, Jessica E. Sowa Copyright 2025
    282 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Volunteers play a critical role serving communities and delivering public services. Volunteers serve across many areas—in schools, human service organizations, emergency services, and more. By providing services to those in need, volunteers expand the capacity of organizations and can devote extra time to the populations they serve. While research on volunteering has shifted from a focus on recruitment and motivation to management and retention, the focus is largely on universal, one-size-fits all prescriptions. Volunteer management only recently moved to a contingency perspective focused on organizational needs. However, volunteer management should adapt to meet the needs of organizations and volunteers.

    Taking a strategic approach, this book provides an overview of volunteer management from planning and recruitment to engagement and evaluation, considering both organizational and volunteer needs and capacity. We develop a strategic volunteer management approach for volunteering to benefit not only the organizations and communities served, but also volunteers and society more broadly.

    This book advances research on volunteer management by combining the organizational and volunteer perspectives, provides a guide for volunteer administrators and coordinators, and serves well as text for courses in volunteer management, non-profit management, and human resource management.


    Chapter 1. Volunteering: Concepts and Context

    Chapter 2. Volunteer Management Models

    Chapter 3. Strategic Volunteer Management

    Chapter 4. Volunteer Motivations and Benefits

    Chapter 5. Determinants of Volunteering

    Chapter 6. Types of Volunteering

    Chapter 7. Volunteering on A Board

    Chapter 8. Determining Organizational Needs

    Chapter 9. Planning and Allocating Resources for Volunteer Management

    Chapter 10. Recruitment, Screening, and Placement of Volunteers

    Chapter 11. Orientation and Training

    Chapter 12. Managing Volunteers & Organizational Relationships

    Chapter 13. Leading, Communicating, and Engaging

    Chapter 14. Recognition and Retention

    Chapter 15. Evaluating and Communicating the Value of Volunteers



    Jaclyn S. Piatak is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and teaches courses in the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration Program, including Volunteer Management. Her research focuses on public and nonprofit management, including human resource management and volunteering. She currently serves as co-Editor of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly as well as on nine editorial boards, including Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory and Public Administration Review. Her professional experience includes working in the federal government at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and at the Corporation for National and Community Service, now AmeriCorps. Her MPP is from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD in Public Administration is from American University.

    Jessica E. Sowa is a Professor in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware. Dr. Sowa received her Ph.D. in Public Administration in 2003 from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on public and nonprofit management with an emphasis on human resource management. She is the co-editor-in-chief of Perspectives on Public Management and Governance.

    Volunteer Management: A Strategic Approach is a must-have book for anyone who wants to study volunteer management. Piatak and Sowa cover all the essentials of volunteer management, from planning to evaluation. Their strategic approach to important issues and topics in volunteer management is perfect for student learning in both undergraduate and graduate classrooms. I will be sure to use this book in my volunteering courses.” Young-joo Lee, Ph.D., Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

    "Volunteer Management: A Strategic Approach" is a very timely and much-needed book centering volunteers and their experiences in the various organizational contexts they serve. Piatak and Sowa do this by grounding their work in human resource management and volunteer management theory and research while making strategy the main player across the various chapters. A must-read for volunteer researchers and managers!" Marlene Walk, Professor at the School of Business and Economics at the University of Freiburg, Germany

    "Volunteer management is almost an oxymoron. How can one manage people who are not obliged to serve, nor can they be financially motivated or sanctioned. Traditional Human Resource Management practices are only partially helpful. Not surprisingly, volunteer management is the most understudied aspect of volunteerism. This book significantly moves the needle and offers a comprehensive review of the field. Volunteer management becomes manageable. The book would be a most useful source of wisdom to both scholars and practitioners." Ram A. Cnaan, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social policy & Practice