This article presents a new conceptualization of volunteerism as a natural resource. The authors propose that volunteer energy can be understood as a human-made, renewable resource that can be grown and recycled, and whose continuation and volume of flow can be influenced by human beings positively as well as negatively. Based on this conceptualization, we describe the major features of volunteer energy and suggest that a new regenerative approach is necessary for the field to fully embrace it. We develop the new approach and contrast it with the traditional instrumental approach to volunteer management.

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Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Brudney, J., & Meijs, L. (2009). It ain't natural: Toward a new (natural) resource Conceptualization for volunteer management. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 38(4), 564–581. doi:10.1177/0899764009333828