Mobilizing Volunteers in the Face of Budget Cuts:
A Realistic Look






Instructor: Susan Ellis
President, Energize Inc.
Non-Members: $79.00
Members: Free (Join)

Length: 90 min
Producer: SNPO
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When financial crisis strikes, organizations must be strategic and creative in stretching their budgets. Where does volunteer involvement fit? Are you positioned to expand your volunteer corps or do you still need to lay the foundation for welcoming community participation? Can/should volunteers fill gaps left if you must layoff staff?

In this webinar, we’ll consider:

  • Why responding to a crisis may be too late to mobilize more volunteers – but what your options are if you’re playing catch-up.
  • Realistic expectations for volunteer contributions.
  • Determining what you need and finding the right volunteers who can really help.
  • The wrong way to try to fill staff vacancies with volunteers.
  • The right way to engage volunteers in stretching your budget.
  • If volunteers are not free, what do they cost?
  • Planning for when more money comes in.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this webinar, nonprofit agency decision-makers will be able to:

  1. Articulate whether and how volunteers can be a vital resource when budgets are cut.

  2. List specific do’s and don’ts for engaging volunteers if staff positions must be eliminated.

  3. Plan strategically to engage volunteers realistically and effectively, whether revenues decrease or increase.

Class Format:

This course is the recording of a live webinar, and contains the slides and full audio from the original presentation (including Q & A sessions). Only a reasonably current version of FlashPlayer is needed to run this recording (most computers already have this installed).

About the Instructor, Susan Ellis

Susan Ellis, President
Energize, Inc.

Susan Ellis is President of Energize, Inc., an international training, consulting, and publishing firm that specializes in volunteerism.  She founded the Philadelphia-based company in 1977 and since that time has assisted clients throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Israel and Australasia to create or strengthen their volunteer corps.   The company celebrated its 30th birthday in 2007.

Susan is the author or co-author of twelve books, including From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Volunteer Program Success, The Volunteer Recruitment Book, and By the People:  A History of Americans as Volunteers. She has written more than 90 articles on volunteer management for dozens of publications and writes the national bi-monthly column, “On Volunteers,” for The NonProfit Times (since 1990).  From 1981 to 1987 she was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Volunteer Administration.

Energize’s innovative Web site has won international recognition as a premier resource for volunteer program leaders:  In 2000, she and Steve McCurley launched the field's first online journal, e-Volunteerism:  The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community (, for which she continues to serve as editor.   Energize also offers Everyone Ready®, online volunteer management training for organizations and individuals (, for which Susan serves as the dean of faculty.

Susan is an active volunteer in a variety of volunteerism associations and community groups, including Books Through Bars and Spark the Wave:  Igniting Teen Volunteers.

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