Volunteer resource management is a hybrid discipline encompassing aspects of human resource management, project management, interpersonal relations, advocacy, membership management, conflict resolution, special events, fund development and risk mitigation, to name just a few of subjects areas that may be covered in a typical course. Consequently there are any number of texts that may be appropriate in whole or part. Listed below are some of the frequently utilized resources used for instructional purposes.

Volunteer Management

Best of All: The Quick Reference Guide To Effective Volunteer Involvement (2005).

Author: Linda L. Graff A quick reference guide to working with volunteers. Highly readable yet comprehensive. Available through Energize Inc. at

From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success, 2nd Edition 1996 – 3rd Edition pending.

Author: Susan J. Ellis One of the best selling books in the field, From the Top Down orients the executive director to the options and possibilities inherent in volunteer engagement. The volunteer manager benefits from a practical theoretical grounding in the precepts of the field. Available through Energize Inc. at

Volunteer Management: Mobilizing all the Resources of the Community 2nd Ed. (2006).

Authors: Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch A comprehensive 17-chapter, 270-page text covering all facets of volunteer management. Available through Energize Inc. at

The Volunteer Management Handbook (1999).

Editor: Tracy Daniel Connors, Published by Wiley This 18-chapter text covers a wide array of topics germane to the field. There is some overlap among chapters and some material, while important is more aptly focused on the needs and concerns of nonprofit organizations as opposed to the actual work of the volunteer resource department.


Volunteers: A Social Profile (2008), Indiana University Press.

Authors: Marc A. Musick and John Wilson A serious analysis of volunteering and volunteerism, this 663-page text is based on an analysis of the data collected by the Independent Sector and provides an in depth analysis of the volunteering by two highly respected sociologists.

A Source for Other Publications

Source for Materials on Volunteerism and Volunteer Management: Energize Inc. Bookstore ( is one of the foremost collections of books on the topic of volunteer management. In addition to more general texts described on this website, the portal provides access to specialized resources in risk management, volunteer recruitment, supervision, interviewing, volunteer staff relations and a host of topics including working with youth volunteers, the disabled and virtual volunteering.