About Us

Who We Are

The Initiative for Strategic Volunteer Engagement is a joint effort of funders and nonprofits to transform the future of volunteerismWe believe in the power of volunteers to expand impact and maximize mission accomplishment.

Through practical and research-informed tools and resources, the Initiative for Strategic Volunteer Engagement inspires nonprofits to intentionally engage their volunteer networks and funders to further invest in strategic volunteer engagement. 

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About Strategic Volunteer Engagement

Research shows that Strategic Volunteer Engagement (SVE) builds the capacity of nonprofit organizations to: 

  • Be more adaptable, sustainable and capable of going to scale
  • Accomplish their missions at lower cost than those nonprofits without volunteers
  • Leverage more financial contributions from their volunteers than donors who don’t volunteer

However, engaging volunteers takes time, expertise, planning, and sufficient resources, and it demands strategy. Too often, volunteer engagement falls short in these categories, leaving untapped the immense potential of people who want to contribute their time and talent.

The nonprofit sector is also currently experiencing a perfect storm of a staffing workforce crisis coupled with a national decline in volunteerism. There is a critical need for nonprofits to build staff and volunteer capacity to strengthen program and mission delivery. Too many organizations lack the understanding, skills and resources to engage volunteers effectively. 

Why does Strategic Volunteer Engagement matter?

Strategic Volunteer Engagement is a shared responsibility between Funders and the organizations they fund (Non-profits). 

Data tells us funders though are not providing the resources nonprofits need to fully embrace this renewable resource of human energy. Strategic Volunteer Engagement calls funders to invest in the capacity of nonprofits to build out and scale robust volunteer bases as a mission-focused way to meet their communities’ growing needs. 

The Initiative for Strategic Volunteer Engagement (ISVE) was organized to address these gaps, bringing together funders and nonprofit leaders to reimagine volunteer engagement—moving from being one of the most undervalued resources in the philanthropic ecosystem to becoming a critical organizational strategy for mission fulfillment and rebuilding our communities.


Initiative Partners

Funding partners include The Leighty Foundation, The Lodestar Foundation, VolunteerMatch, The National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement, and UJA Federation of New York, with technical assistance provided by Independent Sector.

Initiative Co-Directors

Jeff Glebocki​

Betsy McFarland​