About Serviceleader

Serviceleader.org: The art and practice of community engagement.

Serviceleader.org offers specialized resources for volunteers, volunteer managers, nonprofit leaders and staff, and instructors, faculty, and researchers.  

Serviceleader.org is operated by the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Site content is developed by Center faculty, guest authors, and students.

Our Mission

Serviceleader.org strives to provide nonprofit professionals, community leaders and volunteers with high-quality information that furthers the study and practice of volunteerism, community engagement, and nonprofit management.

Our Vision

  • That volunteers will be recognized as one of the critical human resources powering our neighborhoods, communities, and service organizations and through service, volunteers will be empowered to make a difference as they rebuild our social structures.
  • That colleges and universities across the US and beyond will offer academic course work on volunteerism and volunteer management on both a graduate and undergraduate level.
  • That research in volunteerism will begin to focus on effective approaches to maximize the power of our communities in rebuilding our social fabric and affecting change.
  • That nonprofit and public sector organizations, along with charitable foundations, will take seriously the need for thoughtfully managed infrastructure designed to support effective community engagement.

Our History

Serviceleader.org was created in the 1990s to present groundbreaking research on the ways nonprofit organizations and volunteers applied the Internet as a vehicle for service. Jayne Cravens, the Director of the Virtual Volunteering (VV) Project, was the driving force behind the creation of Serviceleader.org. Cravens pursued research in virtual volunteerism as part of Impact Online, an initiative of VolunteerMatch.org. Craven’s original research, The Virtual Volunteering Project, is available here.

In 1998, the Charles A. Dana Center for Math and Science Education, a division of the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, became the home of The Virtual Volunteering Project and Serviceleader.org through a collaborative working relationship with Cravens. When Cravens left the Dana Center for a position with the United Nations Volunteer Division in 2000, Serviceleader.org was entrusted to the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. The RGK Center has since managed the web site and its content.

Linking the evolution of Serviceleader.org from the Dana Center to the RGK Center is Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Ph.D. Rehnborg’s tenure with the University of Texas began at the Dana Center, where she served as Director of Community Engagement. In this position, Rehnborg oversaw Cravens’ work with the Center. In 2000, Rehnborg joined the RGK Center and now serves as the Center’s Associate Director of Planning and Development and as a lecturer at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

From 2003-2008 under the direction of Rehnborg, ServiceLeader.org was expanded to include useful articles written by leading practitioners and graduate students studying volunteer administration at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2009, Serviceleader.org was extensively revised and updated. The revisions to the site coincided with a new vision for Serviceleader.org as a resource dedicated to a conceptual and strategic understanding of volunteerism.

In 2014 the site was updated and expanded to address the frequent inquiries we receive to provide basic nonprofit start-up and management information and to encompass the extension of our research on volunteerism to a broader focus on effective community engagement.

About the RGK Center
The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at The University of Texas at Austin builds knowledge about nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and volunteerism, and prepares students and practitioners to make effective contributions to their communities.
Learn more about the RGK Center.

Serviceleader.org Copyright
Use of information and images from this website is permitted for non-commercial use with the following credit - "This material was found on Serviceleader.org, a web site of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin." If you have questions, please contact Bailey Cool at baileycool@austin.utexas.edu.