ARNOVA annual conference in Toronto – get your submissions ready!

The following announcement was circulated today:
“Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action
February 4, 2011

You may know that one of the benefits of membership in ARNOVA is that you get the first look at the “Call for Participation” in our Annual Conference each year. Attached you will find the Call for the 2011 ARNOVA Conference in Toronto. The Conference will be held from November 17-19, 2011.

Planning is already well underway, and we are excited about what we can do there with the Conference being hosted in one of the great cities of North America. The theme will center on “Diversity in the Voluntary Sector,” building on and connecting to the fact that Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. Please know, however, that papers and panels on a wide range of topics – beyond the theme – will be welcome, as always.

So, please look at this invitation to submit a proposal for ARNOVA 2011. The Call will be distributed more widely at the end of next week, and the system for submitting proposals will open on February 15th. We look forward to another great Conference next November.

Thomas Jeavons

Executive Director

Call for Participation

ARNOVA’s 40th Annual Conference

Diversity in the Voluntary Sector: Who Are the

Participants, Funders, Beneficiaries, and Volunteers?

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

November 17-19, 2011

Challenges and opportunities abound as nations around the world include increasingly diverse populations. Many countries that have long had clear majorities of a single race and/or ethnic background are becoming societies where soon no one group will be able to claim majority status. Societies everywhere now seek creative and constructive ways to integrate persons and communities of many backgrounds and cultures while also trying to preserve and respect the strengths and assets of those persons and cultures. Our meeting site this year, Toronto, exemplifies all this. In recent decades it has come to identify itself as “a city of diversity” and a “cultural mosaic.”

The nonprofit or voluntary sector embraces a societal space where diversity has been critical and visible for a long time. It has been the incubator for organizations formed around ethnic, racial and religious identities. It has been the social space where some groups formed to serve minority communities in need, and assist their integration into a wider society; while other groups formed to preserve their own privileges or interests, and resist integration. It has been the realm where different groups form to promote, challenge or contest different values and visions for society.

Questions of diversity are of central importance for the research and practice of many ARNOVA members. Questions need to be asked about the roles of voluntary organizations in supporting a healthy diversity in society. Questions are asked about these organizations, like: Who participates in the sector? Who funds or finances it? Who serves in it? Who benefits from it? Who has led and will lead it? Are the resources and activities of the sector employed fairly to meet the needs of all? How should these organizations interact with other sectors around these issues?

Exploring questions like these will be one focus for our Conference next November. We hope to frame a conversation on these matters of such importance to our field. One track will be devoted to the Conference theme with the hope of creating shared exploration of the ideas, issues and questions surfaced there.

In addition, ARNOVA’s Annual Research Conference will, as always, be a key opportunity to present and discuss the latest research on the wide range of topics relating to nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntary action and civil society.

The conference committee welcomes proposals addressing a broad variety of topics, in addition to the theme. We invite proposals from all disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) perspectives. We are very interested in international as well as national and local perspectives. Proposals may focus on the entire sector, or on any type of nonprofit or field of activity. We look forward to entertaining a wide variety of proposals, and invite you to submit yours. We particularly welcome younger scholars and members of under-represented groups to make their interests known to the conference organizers so we can include you in our community.

¡ ¡ ¡ Information on Track and the Submission of Proposals Follows¡ ¡ ¡

Proposal Submission Tracks for the 40th Annual ARNOVA Conference

Below are examples of the types of questions that could be considered for each track, but please do not read these suggestions as exclusionary. They are intended only to be illustrative.

§ “The Conference Track” – Diversity and its Implications in the Voluntary Sector. We invite proposals on a wide variety of issues related to this theme. See the previous page.

§ Boards, Governance & Accountability – How are the various ‘governance models’ changing now? What are the strengths and weaknesses of new models? How do nonprofits remain accountable – and to whom – amidst tremendous shifts in funding, expectations and need?

§ Community & Grassroots Organization / Secular & Faith-based – Will social movements gain traction? How are new technologies changing the way “organizing” takes place? Will faith communities increase their involvement in meeting human needs?

§ Effectiveness, Evaluation & Programs – How do we know when nonprofit work is effective? How are evaluation practices and metrics shifting to capture large-scale community change? What kinds of programs are thriving or failing in the “new normal” of this economy?

§ Philanthropy, Foundations, Fundraising & Giving – Are foundations’ roles and practices changing in a new environment? Is individual giving changing in hard times? How are donors and fundraisers shifting their behaviors now?

§ Innovation & Entrepreneurship – Are nonprofits breaking new ground in their approaches to services? Are new (hybrid) organizational forms replacing traditional ones? Do we know if innovation is more effective?

§ Management, Leadership & Strategy – Have hard times changed the approaches to and work of management in voluntary organizations? Are styles of leadership changing? If so, how so, and why? As resources get scarcer are nonprofits finding new ways of working?

§ Public Policy & Law – Presentations can explore the changing roles of and relationships between governments, NGOs and the voluntary sector at all levels – local and state as well as national and international – and a broad spectrum of legal or policy issues for nonprofits.

§ Social Economy – In some countries and communities “social economy” provides a different perspective on meeting community needs? How are social economy organizations contributing to sustainable development? What can be learned from social economy research?

§ Teaching & Education – What is being done to prepare the next generation of nonprofit leaders? Should programs and pedagogy be changing in these times? If so, in what ways?

§ Theory & Methods – Are we seeing new theoretical insights evolve and paradigms shift in these times of broad societal changes? If grassroots civic engagement and networks are becoming more important, can our current organizational models understand these trends?

§ Voluntarism & Volunteering – How is voluntarism changing in the current environment? What new or additional knowledge, skills, and abilities will be needed by volunteers?

Types of Presentations & Submissions:

Proposals can be for individual Papers, Panels (pre-arranged) of 3-4 papers, or Colloquia. Submissions by practitioners and doctoral students engaged in research are also welcome. Panels and Colloquia should (as a rule) involve people from multiple institutions.

The on-line proposal submission system will open February 15, 2011, and close at midnight, March 21. To submit a proposal, you will be able to go to, and click on the tab that says “Submit a Proposal.” More information about types of sessions and presentations, and about submitting proposals can also be found there – under “Guidelines and Instructions for Proposals” – by February 10. Questions can then be directed to the ARNOVA office at (317) 684-2120, or to”

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