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Affinity Groups on Research on Volunteering

Welcome to the website of the ISTR-Affinity Group on Research on Volunteering

This affinity group has been established to connect those with an interest in research on volunteering.  The affinity group is open and free for anyone to join who is interested in networking with a community of academics and practitioners advancing the field of research on volunteering.  Though organized under the auspices of ISTR, the conversation about volunteering research need not be limited to academic research, nor does it suppose that meetings and gatherings of this group will be limited to ISTR convenings. The affinity group will communicate via email listserve, and will facilitate the exchange of information relating to research on volunteering in all of its forms; announcements related to conferences, events, calls for papers; opportunities that may be of interest to members of the group, and; requests for guidance and support in our own research.

To join this affinity group, please send a one-line, no subject, e-mail message to:  The one line message should say: subscribe ISTR-L YourFirstname YourLastname.  The system will obtain the e-mail address from the e-mail header.


Sending a message to the entire Listserv is as simple as sending an email message to any person. All that you need to do is address an ordinary email message to and it will be delivered to everyone currently subscribed to the list.


The formation of this affinity group results from an increasing interest in the distinctive features of research on volunteering, an increased awareness that there is a benefit in connecting the diverse research components in the field, and an increased awareness that stronger efforts must be made to build connections among those carrying out this type of research in all regions of the globe. 

A major factor underpinning this interest results from the adoption in September 2015 of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which recognizes the important role of volunteers in the achievement of the goals and the publication in June 2015 of a report by the United Nations Secretary General on Integrating Volunteering in the Next Decade, which calls for increased research and policy action on volunteering.  See UNSG report here:

The group is Chaired by

Jacob Mati, Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji Islands; Research Associate, Society Work and Development Institute (SWOP), The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa;

Jacqueline Butcher de Rivas, Director of the Center for the Investigation and Study of Civil Society, at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Escuela de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales, in Mexico City;

Bev Russell, CEO and founder, Social Surveys Africa, South Africa; and

Megan Haddock, International Research Projects Manager, The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies and Program Coordinator, ISTR


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