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Case Studies of Nonprofit Organizations and Volunteers

Edited By Jennifer Mize Smith and Michael W. Kramer

Given the increasing presence of nonprofit organizations and their impact upon American society, colleges and universities are recognizing the need to offer courses and programs to train current and future employees, volunteers, and supporters of the nonprofit sector.
This volume, featuring empirically-based case studies, provides an opportunity to analyze communication and other organizational issues in nonprofit, volunteer, and philanthropic contexts. Each case is designed to help readers critically think about the particular nonprofit context, the organizational issues presented, the ways in which those issues could be addressed, whose interests are served, and potential consequences for the organization and its various stakeholders.
This collection offers a unique glimpse into everyday issues and challenges related to working in and with nonprofit organizations, making it a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate courses in nonprofit management, nonprofit communication, voluntarism, philanthropic studies, and social entrepreneurship. Each case also addresses a broader conceptual or theoretical framework of organizational studies, making it appropriate in other organizational communication courses as well.


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Section Four: Volunteer Experiences: Motivation, Identity, and Balance


Volunteer Experiences: Motivation, Identity, and Balance s e c t i o n f o u r Really Helping? Understanding Volunteerism in a Tornado Relief Effort* alaina c. zanin University of Oklahoma On May 20, 2013, at 2:56 p.m., Allie sat on the floor in the hallway of her build- ing at the University of Oklahoma. She chatted with her classmates and professor about the readings for their summer leadership seminar amid blaring tornado sirens. Tornado sirens in Oklahoma were relatively common during the months of May and June, desensitizing almost, but today was different. Allie and her classmates began getting weather updates, with newscasters warning residents of Cleveland County to “get underground or get out of the way.” As the updates climatically progressed, they learned that an F5 tornado was touching down just 10 miles north of their university in the city of Moore. Allie saw the worry in her classmates’ faces. She thought hard. Were any of her friends or family traveling north this afternoon? Could they be in the path of the tornado? By 3:35 p.m., the tornado warning was lifted. One of the most devastating in the history of the state, this F5 tornado was on the ground for 39 minutes and left a 17-mile-long path of destruction, which included a heavily populated area in Moore, Okay, just a few miles northwest of the university. Allie returned to her apartment to see if she had any damage from the storm. Her apartment was un-...

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