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Insights for Episodic Volunteer Management from Volunteers at a Religious Mega Event

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Episodic volunteering – as one-time or short-term volunteering is often called – is becoming the norm as times change and individuals move away from traditional volunteer roles that require consistent, long-term commitments. Technology has made it easy to find and sign up for events on the spur of the moment. It also makes it easier for organizations to organize such events and perform volunteer management functions such as recruiting, scheduling, and follow-up. Some of these events involve thousands of volunteers, and include marathons, sporting competitions, and festivals. 

One such mega event was the World Meeting of Families and the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in 2015. In this Research to Practice column, reviewer Laurie Mook looks at the results of a study of the experiences of over 2,400 volunteers at this mega event in the City of Brotherly Love. Mook’s examination provides useful insights for episodic volunteer management.