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Books & Tool Kits

For generations, engaging volunteers has been a vital strategy for communities to solve problems, but the events of 2020 disrupted how people work and volunteer. While many organizations put their engagement strategies on hold, others saw the dramatic increase in demand for services, the increased spotlight on racial injustices, and the opportunities that technology offers. Instead of hibernating, these forward-thinkers actively adapted to engage community members despite the disruptions.

Transforming Disruption to Impact: Rethinking Volunteer Engagement for a Rapidly Changing World captures the many ways leaders across the sector engaged people in volunteer service to address the world’s most critical issues—made even more critical due to the pandemic. This collection of essays highlights practical, future-focused, innovative, and inspirational volunteer engagement strategies, practices, and tactics that were born out of necessity but are the future of service.

Click here to learn more about this new release, co-edited by VQ President Beth Steinhorn. 



Developing A Roadmap to Citywide Volunteer Engagement: The Playbook

More city leaders are adopting citywide volunteer engagement as a powerful strategy to strengthen their own communities. But knowing that citywide engagement is the city’s destination is not enough. Having a clear and strategic roadmap to reach that destination is crucial to ensuring that the journey is successful and that it utilizes resources efficiently.

The third in this three-part series of city volunteer engagement resources, this playbook includes:

  • Step-by-Step Guide to Implement the Strategy
  • Case Studies from the Field
  • Tools and Templates
  • Recommended Resources‍

      Click here to download for free.


      Revealing Volunteer Impact in Your City: The Playbook

      Sharing the positive difference volunteers make is more important than ever. Volunteer managers must communicate the impact of volunteers to gain program resources, recruit volunteers, and, ultimately, build strong communities.

      Download this guide to go beyond counting hours alone and transform the way you measure and communicate volunteer impact. Discover how to audit your current measurement practices, learn new ways to track impact, and develop a plan for success.

      The second in this three-part series of city volunteer engagement resources, this playbook includes:

      • Step-by-Step Guide to Implement the Strategy
      • Case Studies from the Field
      • Tools and Templates
      • Recommended Resources‍

        Click here to download for free.


        Developing New Volunteer Opportunities in Your City:
        The Playbook

        Creating new roles for volunteers—and not being bound to the way that things have always been done—is not about innovation for the sake of innovation. Rather, successful innovation in volunteer roles is a way to meet the evolving needs of your city, effectively and efficiently steward resources, and more.

        The first in a series of playbooks, this guide will help you take actionable steps toward identifying community needs, developing new volunteer roles to address those needs, and equipping staff to support volunteers.Developing New Volunteer Opportunities in Your City

        This Playbook includes:

        Step-by-Step Guide to Implement the


        • Case Studies from the Field

        • Tools and Templates

        • Recommended Resources

        Click here to download for free.


        In a culture of volunteer engagement, volunteer managers and directors do much more than “just” manage volunteers. They are strategic partners, change agents, content experts, administrative leaders, and champions. Overall, they serve as internal consultants and partners while supporting staff throughout the organization to engage volunteers impactfully.

        Internal Partnering to Enhance Volunteer Engagement: Guide to Collaborating Across Departments features insights and resources to help you nurture internal partnerships so that volunteers are engaged and supported in your organization. In particular, these tools are designed to present benefits of partnering internally and identify competencies of effective internal partners.

        Internal Partnering eToolkit Cover

        Download this eToolkit for useful planning tools and tips to:

        • Discover the potential of embracing the role of internal partner to advance volunteer engagement.
        • Identify core competencies to help you effectively partner internally.
        • Nurture relationships that matter, influence without authority, and provide meaningful training to equip others for success.

        Click here to download for free.


        The need for engaging volunteers to serve remotely or in a hybrid capacity is greater than ever. Effectively engaging volunteers virtually takes planning and intention for best results.

        This guide, Engaging Virtual Volunteers: Recruit, Ready, and Retain a Powerful Pool of Talent,  includes strategies and resources to help build support and strengthen a volunteer engagement professional’s tool kit. In particular, these tools are designed to enhance existing volunteer engagement practices. When seeking to engage volunteers who are eager and available to work remotely, these tools will help you reap the benefits of engaging virtual volunteers.

        This eToolkit includes:

        • Definitions of virtual volunteering.
        • Tools to identify and develop virtual volunteer roles, recruit qualified candidates, establish support and accountability, and recognize virtual volunteers.
        • Inspiration to nurture a sense of community across a hybrid workforce.

        Click here to download for free.


        Volunteer engagement has been evolving for years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations were forced to accelerate change at an unprecedented rate. With only a few exceptions, organizations either chose to adapt or temporarily shut down their volunteer efforts.

        Our Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Amid Uncertainty eToolkit, designed for leaders of organizations and organizational or community leaders of volunteers, offers a step-by-step guide to rethinking recruitment and retention.

        This guide provides:Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Amid Uncertainty

        • Up-to-date information on how to rethink recruitment and retention for our new reality.
        • Tools to assess needs, identify realistic goals and metrics, and develop a plan.
        • Inspiration to re-engineer volunteer engagement for greater impact.

        Click here to download for free.


        Volunteer engagement is a powerful strategy to strengthen communities. Yet, many city staff and residents encounter challenges when seeking to gain leadership support for citywide engagement strategies. Our free and downloadable Citywide Volunteer Engagement Guide is designed to help city staff, elected officials, and interested residents in building a case and support for citywide volunteer engagement strategies. While specifically written with city government in mind, the lessons are applicable to counties, states, and other entities as well.

        This guide provides:

        • Concise research highlights on the value and benefits of citywide engagement strategies.
        • Case studies illustrating how different cities have built the case for citywide engagement strategies and the paths they have taken since.
        • Tools you can use to build the case for support.
        • Additional resources.

        Click here to download for free.

        Rethinking Recognition will help you strategically plan your organization’s recognition efforts in affordable and effective ways. While most nonprofits recognize volunteers for their contributions, research shows there is a disconnect between what volunteers seek in recognition and what organizations are providing. Close that gap by using this free e-tool kit! This e-tool kit includes tools to help you:

        • Assess your organization’s culture of appreciationRethinking Recognition
        • Define your future culture
        • Set the stage for meaningful recognition
        • Tailor recognition to motivational styles
        • Develop and plan strategies to consistently and effectively recognize volunteers for their efforts annually and ongoingly—both formally and informally

        Click here to download for free.

        Enhancing the Volunteer Lifecycle contains easy-to-apply information and tips on enhancing the experience and impact of volunteers at your organization. And, it’s free!

        This e-book includes tools on how to:

        • Better develop and define volunteer positions so both your organization and your volunteers benefit.
        • Get the right people in the right volunteer roles, and set volunteers up for success with proper training and support.
        • Keep volunteers engaged by clearly communicating volunteer impact and outcomes.

        Click here to download for free.

        Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World taps expert knowledge from today’s volunteerism professionals – including Beth Steinhorn, VQ Volunteer Strategies President – to help nonprofits take a more inventive approach to volunteer engagement.

        Click here for more information.

        The Funder’s Guide to Investing in Volunteer Engagement provides a framework for how funders and organizations can collaborate to support volunteer involvement and impact. The Guide includes a summary of relevant research and tools to help funders appreciate the exponential return on investment for themselves and the community when they support volunteer engagement infrastructure and strategy.

        Click here to download this FREE resource.

        Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow is everything organizations need to engage skilled Boomer volunteers. This book, now a volunteer engagement classic, provides a step-by-step guide for engaging Boomers as volunteers to build organizational capacity.

        Click here to order.

        Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Facilitator’s Tool Kit enables you to engage volunteer facilitators to lead an engagement initiative at your organization. This Tool Kit is a great accompaniment to Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow and features field-tested tools to engage an experienced volunteer to facilitate your organization’s Boomer volunteer initiative, including timelines, monthly meeting agendas, group exercises, and evaluation tools.

        Click here to order.

        The Engaged Congregation Guides is a four-part series designed to provide synagogues with a step-by-step process of creating and maintaining a culture of volunteer engagement, which can build a congregation’s capacity beyond what staff alone can accomplish. While these guides include content and teaching specific to Jewish texts, the process and tools are universal and can be applied to congregations of many faiths or adapted for secular use.

        Download one or all four for free.