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Deconstructing Engagement: Beyond the Buzzword

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The term ‘engagement’ has gained appeal in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors to explain and understand relationship management with paid and voluntary staff. Yet little to no research has been done that focuses specifically on a volunteer’s engagement and how that might differ from a paid employee’s. This feature story will deconstruct the concept of engagement and suggest variables which need to be acknowledged in studying this concept and how it applies to volunteers. Looking to the future, we’ll also explore how to move forward to increase engagement capacity within the volunteer management profession.