The Ivan H. Scheier Memorial Issue

Ivan - thumbnail photo

Volume IX, Issue 2, January 2009

As we sadly announced in our last issue, our colleague and friend Ivan H. Scheier died in October 2008, one of the true American pioneers of the field of volunteerism. We promised then that we would devote the next issue of e-Volunteerism to Ivan’s work. This is our Ivan H. Scheier Memorial Issue.

In Points of View, Steve McCurley and Susan Ellis remember Ivan and discuss why it’s important for the volunteer field to honor pioneers and major contributors.  Steve also writes Along the Web and Research to Practice in memory of Ivan, determined to keep Ivan’s extensive writing visible. Voices from the Past offers an excerpt from a booklet Ivan wrote in 1984 called Meanwhile…Back at the Neighborhood, while the Keyboard Roundtable revitalizes the debate Ivan started a dozen years ago on “Volunteer Administration: A Continuing Misnomer?”  In Training Designs, we revisit one of Ivan’s early and most popular group exercises called “Mini-Max.”  And last but not least, our three feature articles are devoted to stories about Ivan’s vast contributions, including Ivan’s “people approach” to volunteer work design, his unforgettable “Challenge Think Tanks,” and tales of how he thought, worked and lived in “Reminiscences of Ivan,” a compilation of notes, e-mails and various stories shared by colleagues in response to our call for such memories.   

We hope that this Memorial Issue serves to remember Ivan in the way he would appreciate most: by generating thought, provoking discussion, and evoking pride and recommitment to leadership of volunteers.

Books by Ivan:

Book coverMaking Dreams Come True without Money, Might or Miracles: A Guide for Dream-Chasers and Dream-Catchers
This extraordinary book by Ivan Scheier urges us all to nurture dreams--our own and those of others. Read more..

Building Staff/Volunteer Relations

When Everyone's a Volunteer

Exploring Volunteer Space



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Yes, Ivan was ahead of his time, struggling with the true nature of volunteerism and the high levels of professionalism required in many of these volunteer roles. Unfortunately, our society mainly judges a role by how much it pays, rather than how value it brings to the community, sigh!!!

These issues I experienced first hand in transferring learning/skills from volunteer roles in the Scouts, Church & Sunday School, Civil Air Patrol, and local leadership (Community Council and School Board) to career leadership roles in local government, higher education administration and corporate organizations. In fact, while directing management development programs at the Boeing Company, I challenged my client/students to seek out volunteer leadership, coaching, and mentoring roles. My rationale is; if you can successfully lead other volunteers whose loyalty and ties tend to be more emotional and fragile, then you'll gain a number of valuable tools and human sensitivities transferable to leading others in the work place where people have less-easily broken career and financial ties. What a win-win learning experience, the people and organizations all gain.

Thanks for sharing Ivan's legacy.

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