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The Uncertain Future of Local Volunteer Centers

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Local volunteer centers exist in many countries around the world. Granted, they operate under different names and reflect regional differences in the specific things they do, but all volunteer centers have a surprising number of things in common, such as matching volunteers with organizations or working to develop and promote volunteer opportunities.

While one can find effective and creative volunteer centers in scattered places, authors Rob Jackson and Susan J. Ellis argue, however, that the majority of volunteer centers face an uncertain future. They note that most of these centers have never lived up to their potential, never received adequate funding and staffing, and never developed much visibility in their communities. The big question, the authors wonder, is “Why?”

In this Points of View, Jackson and Ellis look closely at the uncertain future of local volunteer centers, officially opening the debate on the issues and quandaries now confronting this part of the volunteer world.