The New Volunteerism Project

The Archival Collection of
Ivan Henry Scheier

Section X

Strengthening Entirely (or mainly) Volunteer Groups

June 1999

The page #'s refer to the pages of the "New Volunteerism  Project: The Ivan Scheier Archival Collection."
Five bound volumes placed in the Reference collection of the
Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University
Table of Contents Page #
Introductory Notes
"When Everyone’s a Volunteer: © 1-2

        The Effective Functions of All-Volunteer Groups"

"Enhancing Entirely Volunteer Organizations"  @ 3-6
"Meanwhile Back at The Neighborhood" @ 7-43
"Consultant to Entirely Volunteer Groups: @ 44-52
                     A Promising New Career Track"
"Volunteer Administration: An Emerging Misnomer"© 53
"Volunteerism: Is There Life After Agencies"© 54
"Creating a New Career Path for Yourself and For the Profession: © 55

           Some Starting Steps"

"Working With Grassroots Groups" @ 56-60

@ -- permission for use-with-acknowledgment
© -- Appropriate permission must be secured from the publisher for re-publication

Introductory Notes on Strengthening Entirely (Or Mainly) Volunteer Groups
Ivan Scheier
June 1999

The Core of the Packet

The main message of this section is delivered by a relatively recent publication: "When Everyone’s a Volunteer: The Effective Functioning of All Volunteer Groups", 67 pages, 1992, published and copyrighted by Energize, Inc of Philadelphia, PA. This booklet is therefore presented intact as the core of this section, even though parts of it also appear in other sections: notably, Chapter 7 on Networking (Network Initiation Packet), Chapter III on ‘The Effective Distribution of Work’ (Work Enrichment Section) and Chapter VI on ‘Feasible Fundraising.’

Around the Core, Supplementing

The following supplemental materials are also included:

"Enhancing Entirely Volunteer Organizations" – a frequently used training handout for presenting the gist of the material at workshops.

"Meanwhile Back at the Neighborhood," a 65-page booklet published in 1984 by @Yellowfire Press, Boulder, Colorado. Though the term "all-volunteer group" was not used in 1984, so far as I know, neighborhood groups are in fact typically of that genre, and this booklet is about working with them.

"All Hands On Board: The Board of Directors in an All-Volunteer Organization," 24-pages, 1999, by Jan Masaoka, published by The National Center for Nonprofit Boards, Washington, D.C. This should be considered a recent addition to the Bibliography on page 63 of "When Everyone’s A Volunteer." (I am, not so sure, however, I want to add the pamphlet’s term " AVO" for all-volunteer organization," as in "AVA is mainly an AVO") Speaking of newly realized resources, at this time, the most knowledgeable consultant working the area of entirely volunteer groups is Nancy E. Hughes, Trainer and Consultant, 210 Sylvia Way, San Rafael, CA 94901. Email is ©( As bibliography only, not included).

Three recent published articles culminate in more reason to hope. They are:

"Volunteer Administration: An Emerging Misnomer,"© Grapevine, Nov/Dec 1996;

"Volunteerism: Is There Life After Agencies," ©Grapevine, March/April 1997,

"Creating a New Career Path for Yourself and For the Profession: Some Starting Steps," ©Grapevine, May/June 1997.

"Working With Grassroots Groups," 4-page chapter in "Managing Volunteer Diversity" (Sue Vineyard and Steve McCurley, Eds) ©1992. Along with Neighborhood association, grassroots groups are usually entirely composed volunteer.



After a while, you do actually begin to understand your own work a little better. Hence, these recent reflections on applicability of the material.

The material could, and probably does, apply equally well to under-staffed as well an non-staffed groups. In the former, the ratio of volunteers to paid staff is high to very high: the "outnumbered" paid staff person, often only part-time at that, functions mainly as a back-up and/or coordinator for "volunteer staff." There must be millions of such under-staffed groups. (Or better say "lightly staffed," to avoid the implication that fewness of staff is necessarily an inadequacy?)

Whether non- or under-staffed, it now seems I was thinking mainly of relatively small and informal groups, when I developed this material. I am not sure it applies as well to larger and/or more highly structured groups. In any case, I begin to see now why so much of "When Everyone’s A Volunteer" (Sections VIII and IX) was occupied by Chapter 7 on Networking. In fact, is it not so that smaller, more informal groups, when healthy, are largely a kind of crystallized network?

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Ivan Scheier
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt