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Volunteer Management: Art or Science?

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In this quarter’s Research to Practice, Laurie Mook reviews a study by Mark A. Hager and Jeffrey L. Brudney testing whether or not the “adoption of ‘best practices’ (such as interviewing volunteers, matching them to assignments, supervising volunteer activities, and recognizing their contributions to organizations) are associated with program outcomes of recruitment ease, retention of volunteers, and the net benefits that volunteers bring to organizational operations” (2015, 235). The data arise from telephone interviews with volunteer administrators or executive directors in a nationally representative survey of 1,361 organizations in the U.S. Their findings may cause you to rethink (or reinforce!) your approach to volunteer management.