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Article

What is Old is New Again: Achieving Effectiveness with Volunteer Programs in Kazakhstan

Brudney J. L., Nezhina T. G.

This study based on Kazakhstan nonprofit organizations (NPOs) is the first to address the important issue of the relationship between volunteer management and volunteer program effectiveness in an international setting. Our inquiry is informed by findings of US scholars that show that the adoption of a recommended set of volunteer management practices is related to the level of effectiveness achieved with volunteer involvement in NPOs. The paper advances a path model to explain volunteer program effectiveness, with volunteer management practices the crucial intermediate variable. Based on data collected in a survey of Almaty (Kazakhstan) NPOs in 2004, the empirical analysis yields considerable support for a path model that focuses on both the adoption of these practices and the attainment of program effectiveness. Given the heterogeneity of NPOs, not every organization can be expected to benefit from the adoption of the recommended practices. Nevertheless, results suggest that they offer one workable means for successfully integrating volunteers.