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Abstract

Formal volunteering takes place in an overwhelming variety of membership associations (MAs) worldwide, as well as in volunteer service programs (VSPs). MAs focus on every topical area, idea, belief, issue, and problem in contemporary nations having non-totalitarian political regimes. In writing/compiling this Handbook, the editors are acting on their belief that MAs are the central, vital, and driving force of the global Voluntary Nonprofit Sector (VNPS) – its “soul” and the roots of its values, passions, and ethics (Eberly and Streeter 2002; Rothschild and Milofsky 2006; Smith 2017b). While the review chapters written for this volume are intended to be objective, scientific treatises, we Editors are motivated significantly by our values and passions for MAs and their volunteers, acting in their leisure time, and what they do for the world. Not all of MA impacts are beneficial for people and societies in general (see Handbook Chapters 52 and 54), but most impacts are beneficial in the longer term in our view (see Handbook Chapters 52 and 53; Smith 2017b).

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Smith
    • 1
  • Robert A. Stebbins
    • 2
  1. 1.USA
  2. 2.USA

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