Spring 2021 - 60755 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2021 - 60755 - PA 388L - Advanced Topics in Management

Mobilizing the Community and Engaging Volunteers


This course is designed to teach the elements of planning, administration and management of community engagement and volunteer management, especially as it pertains to the nonprofit sector. Attention will be given to an exploration of “community” and the roles volunteers play in contemporary society as well as to working with community groups, assessing risk and carving assignments to support and facilitate citizen involvement.


Course Description

Planning, facilitating and creating an organizational culture conducive to community engagement and volunteer participation requires managers capable of working collaboratively to build projects that engage the public in meaningful, goal-directed work that addresses organizational mission and meets identified community needs. This course is designed to teach the elements of planning, administration and management with a focus on the unique concerns of community engagement and volunteer involvement in the nonprofit and public sector. We will draw on material from the field of volunteer, nonprofit and public-sector administration, case studies and ongoing research being conducted at the RGK Center. In addition to skills necessary for domestic and international service, we will contextualize the learning within a variety of nonprofit-community engagement scenarios which may include topics such as: collective impact, grassroots advocacy, technology, and innovative applications of community engagement in the social service settings.  

Specifically, the course will provide insight into: 

  • An awareness of basic policy issues facing the field of community engagement and volunteerism.
  • Critically assessing the term “community” and contemporary strategies of “engaging” community.
  • Exposure to strategies of the practice of community engagement, such as stakeholder analysis and community asset mapping.
  • Knowledge of project planning and administration, assessing risk, creating policy documents, and techniques for project assessment.
  • The ability to carve out and create meaningful pieces of work including the development of job descriptions, interviewing, orientation, training, supervision and management of volunteer personnel.
  • How volunteer management skills are transferable to other intra-organizational and inter-organizational nonprofit management scenarios, such as nonprofits working in collective impact initiatives.

Additional Specifications:

  • The course satisfies the Nonprofit Portfolio course requirement with a core RGK Center faculty member.
Class Schedule: 
M 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Instruction Mode: