The Assessing Diversity and Equity in Volunteer Inclusion Study

The Assessing Diversity and Equity in Volunteer Inclusion Study (ADEVI) is a multi-faceted investigation of the diversity of volunteer administrators and the equity journey of organizations they work in. The study’s guiding principle is that organizations that are attuned to inclusiveness will be able to engage a more diverse cross-section of their communities. The study is a partnership between Arizona State University led by Principal Investigator Mark Hager and in partnership with the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration. The project is funded by AmeriCorps, a federal agency in the United States.

The research team is comprised of the following individuals:
Mark Hager, Principal Investigator, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University
Suzette Major, Graduate Student, Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Arizona State University
Teresa Oswald, Graduate Student, Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Arizona State University
Kelly Rutt, Ph.D Candidate, Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University
Faiza Venzant, Executive Director, Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration

The ADEVI study consists of two major activities which are a survey and focus groups.

Spring 2023 brought the ADEVI survey. All individuals with an active Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA) were invited to share information on their personal identities and the orientation of their organizations toward equity work. Three out of every five CVAs participated in the survey, providing a strong basis for an accurate snapshot of the state of the profession.

Click on the image below for an infographic on the personal identities of CVAs.

This summer (May, June, July), the ADEVI Study turns to focus groups. About one-third of CVAs who completed the survey voiced interest in talking with colleagues in structured, online sessions about their attitudes and experiences regarding equity and inclusion. We held 21 focus groups with 105 CVAs participating.  Five CVAs also volunteered as moderators. The research team observed 10 themes and we will share our observations from July to September:

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - The Role of Self-Awareness in Equity Work by Faiza Venzant
To Track or Not to Track - That is the Diversity Question by Kelly Rutt
Inequitable: Do We All Have the Same Opportunity to Volunteer? by Suzette Major
Building Volunteer Diversity: Intentions ≠ Actions by Teresa Oswald
Other Rows to Hoe: Resource and Mission Limitations on Recruiting Diverse Volunteers by Mark Hager
Do Not Pass Go: Strategic Plans That Don't Move Us Forward by Faiza Venzant
Do We Do Volunteering Differently? Community Engagement Varies By Culture by Kelly Rutt
The Different Lenses of Diversity in Volunteerism by Suzette Major
Broadening the Diversity of Volunteers - out with the Old, in with the New? by Teresa Oswald
Toward Volunteer Diversity: The Need for Training by Mark Hager

ADEVI Methodological Notes

Methodological Report for ADEVI Survey (2023) by Teresa Oswald

Methodological Report for ADEVI Focus Groups (2023) by Kelly Rutt