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Glossary

Advisory volunteering
Hands-on volunteering
Direct service
Online volunteering
Skilled volunteering
Volunteer Resource Managers

Advisory volunteering

Serving in a more behind-the-scenes role to help build an organization's capacity to reach their mission (providing feedback on strategic or fundraising plans, helping organizations learn more about using social networking sites and tools, serving on a committee or board whose role is largely oversight and governance)

Direct service

Serving on the front lines of the organization and likely having direct contact with the population served (delivering meals, packing food bank boxes).

Hands-on volunteering

Activities where almost anyone can show up and, with minimal training, get started (taking tickets, cleaning up parks, planting trees)

Online volunteering

completing projects that you can do from anywhere in the world as long as you have email or internet access (translating materials, blogging, developing websites, advising on strategic plans)

Skilled volunteering

Tasks that depend on a volunteer's particular skill set or experience (using graphic design skills to help an organization redesign brochures, building or maintaining a nonprofit's website, providing legal advice for an immigration support agency)

Volunteer Resource Managers

Volunteer resource managers—whether they go by the title of volunteer coordinator, volunteer manager, director of volunteers, or even do most of their work in another role entirely like human resources manager, office manager, or executive director—are, at the most basic level, those responsible for finding, matching, and supervising volunteers.

In reality, though, they do far more than this. The people responsible for engaging volunteers at an organization also serve as bridges to the community, providing an accessible way for citizens to learn more about and lend a hand to local, national, or even international efforts. At the same time, they are in a key position to understand holistically an organization's needs and goals, as well as how volunteers can be vital to moving the effort forward. Finally, they are the support system, advocates, and leaders for the volunteer experience. These are the folks you should turn to if you have questions, concerns, ideas, or even just want more information!

Interested in learning more about volunteer resource management? Check out our Volunteer Management Resource Center.