Susan J. Ellis

Susan Ellis - 2nd Photograph

Susan J. Ellis is President of Energize, Inc., a training, consulting, and publishing firm that specializes in volunteerism. She founded the Philadelphia-based company in 1977 and since that time has assisted clients throughout North America (48 states and 5 provinces), Europe (8 countries), Asia (3 countries), Latin America and Australia to create or strengthen their volunteer corps. The year 2007 marked Energize's 30th anniversary.

Ellis is the author or co-author of eleven books, including From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success, By the People: A History of Americans as Volunteers and The Volunteer Recruitment Book. All her books can be found in the Energize Online Bookstore. From 1981 to 1987 she was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Volunteer Administration. She has written more than 90 articles on volunteer management for dozens of publications and writes the national bi-monthly column, "On Volunteers," for The NonProfit Times. [Complete bibliography of Susan's books and articles.]

Ellis' interest in new technology has taken Energize into cyberspace, where its innovative Web site has won international recognition as a premier resource for volunteer program leaders: She co-authored The Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, which is available in electronic form on the Energize Web site. In 2000, she and Steve McCurley launched the field's first online journal, e-Volunteerism: The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community, for which she serves as editor.

She was the recipient of the Association for Volunteer Administration's 1989 Harriet Naylor Distinguished Member Service Award. Ellis is an active volunteer in a variety of volunteerism associations and is treasurer of the board of the New Society Educational Foundation.

You can e-mail Susan Ellis at:

From the Last Issue

Training Designs

Tricks and Tips to Help Learners Learn from Each Other

By Susan J. Ellis
Adult learners bring a wealth of knowledge to any training session. But more often than not, they still expect the trainer to do most of the teaching. As trainers, we have plenty of information to... Read more

Elf Management

By Steve McCurley
Just think about it: What helps explain why organizations don’t bother giving volunteers proper training or structure? Why do paid staff often act as though volunteers aren’t really human? Why are... Read more
Research to Practice

Calculating an Organization’s Social Return on Investment in Volunteers

By Laurie Mook
This quarter’s Research to Practice reviews an article that presents a way to measure the social returns on investment in volunteer recruiting, training, and management. Called Social Return on... Read more