Volunteer Management Handbook, Chapter 2 – Volunteer Demographics


Chapter 2 explores the concept of volunteer demographics from three perspectives: Volunteer demographics in the United States are described for 2010 (as well as selected demographic trends since 1974); volunteer demographics are approached from the perspective of human development across the life span, with accompanying critical implications for volunteerism and volunteer management based on specific periods of human development; and volunteer demographics are discussed based on the contemporary theory of generational cohorts, again with accompanying critical implications for volunteerism and volunteer management based on specific generational cohorts.

The authors provide a framework combining both theory and practice that underscores the importance of understanding and considering demographics as the matrix within which ‘‘the larger stage on which the theater of volunteerism is enacted.’’ Further, the authors correlate important demographic considerations with proven management practices to, using their own analogy, establish a beautiful quilt that creates synergy through combining individual blocks.


Harriett C. Edwards, EdDDr. Harriett Edwards
Dr. Harriett Edwards is an assistant professor and Extension Specialist, Continuing Volunteer Education, in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences at North Carolina State University, where she teaches graduate courses in volunteer development and management, provides leadership for volunteer engagement in a statewide system that annually engages more than 25,000 youth and adult volunteers, and serves as the state’s 4-H military liaison.

She is actively involved as a board member of the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE), the NCSU Academy of Outstanding Faculty in Extension and Engagement, the International Journal of Volunteer Administration (IJOVA), and the North Carolina Association of Volunteer Administration (NCAVA). With more than 15 years of volunteer administration experience, Dr. Edwards has presented at numerous international, national, regional and state conferences and events.

R. Dale Safrit, EdDR. Dale Safrit, Ed.D.
R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D. is a professor, Director of Graduate programs, and Extension specialist in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences at North Carolina State University where he coordinates the Master’s program in Family Life and Youth Development, provides leadership to staff development for 4-H Extension field faculty, and teaches graduate courses in youth development leadership. His applied research focuses upon continuing professional development for nonprofit staff, mainly working with community youth development programs. He currently serves as the editor of The International Journal of Volunteer Administration, and is co-author of the book, Developing Programs in Adult Education: A Conceptual Programming Model (2002, Waveland Press, Inc.) as well as author or co-author of more than 85 peer reviewed articles in scholarly and professional journals. Dale has presented invited sessions at 12 International Conferences on Volunteerism, as well as in 41 of the 50 United States, four Canadian provinces, and 14 other countries.

Dr. Kimberly AllenKimberly Allen, PhD
Dr. Kim Allen is an assistant professor and Extension specialist at North Carolina State University where she teaches six courses in child, youth and family development and holds leadership on several state-wide youth and family extension programs. Dr. Allen has over 12 years experience working with youth and their families as an early childhood educator, marriage and family therapist, parent educator, administrator and faculty member. During her tenure, Dr. Allen has lead numerous research projects that focused on curriculum and program development for underserved audiences and has presented invited lectures on the topics of adolescent sexuality, parenting for school success and relationship education at national conferences across the county. Dr. Allen serves on the executive board of the Southeast Council on Family Relations and provides leadership to the Healthy Relationship and Marriage Education project. Dr. Allen’s Extension work at NCSU focuses on child and youth development, adolescent health, parenting, and relationship education.