Sarah Jane Rehnborg

Sarah Jane Rehnborg Headshot

Principal Investigator for Index of Volunteer Engagement

Sarah Jane Rehnborg joined the RGK Center at its inception. An expert in volunteerism, Dr. Rehnborg is a published author and serves as a consultant and trainer to organizations including the Points of Light Foundation, AARP, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the OneStar Foundation, state governments and local groups.

Dr. Rehnborg directs applied research and community outreach for the RGK Center.  She led the cross-disclipinary University team that developed the Service Enterprise Diagnostic, a valid and reliable survey tool to assess programs engaging volunteers and national service participants for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Her work with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas resulted in a Performance Based Assessment System for the state’s 65 Children’s Advocacy Centers. She has studied volunteer engagement in state agencies and analyzed Texas data collection practices in the field. Her work with United Jewish Communities (UJC) examined the effects of intensive service learning experiences on the development of Jewish identity. With funding from the Volunteer Impact Fund, Rehnborg examined the perceptions of executive directors about volunteer engagement and developed the Strategic Volunteer Engagement Guide for Nonprofit and Public Sector Leaders.

In addition to establishing a program of volunteerism and community education at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in the 1970s, Dr. Rehnborg established the Institute for Volunteerism at the Community College of Allegheny County and served as Associate Administrator of Human Resources at John J. Kane Hospital, a 1,200 bed extended care facility. She has served as president of the international Association for Volunteer Administration.  Her high school curriculum in service-learning was adopted by the State of Maryland and was the lead component of the United Way of Pittsburgh's Volunteer Youth Training and Leadership, which received the national Second Century Award from the United Way of America and was cited as the 100th Point of Light. Prior to joining the RGK Center, Rehnborg worked as a Program Director for Community Engagement at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas.

Rehnborg is a member of the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies Bridging Discipline Committee, and serves as Academic Advisor to the University of Texas Service Scholars Program.  She received her undergraduate degree from Denison University and her Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Rehnborg, S.J. “The Professor Is In: Classroom Techniques That Capture Critical Issues in Volunteer Management, Part 1,” e-Volunteerism, 13:2, January 2013.

Rehnborg, S.J. “The Professor Is In: Using Classroom Techniques in Your Volunteering Presentations, Part 2,” e-Volunteerism, 13:3, April 2013.

Rehnborg, S.J. “The Vocabulary, Rationale and Critiques of Professional Credentialing,” e-Volunteerism, 12:1, October 2011

Rehnborg, S. J. and Moore, M. (2011) “Strategic Volunteer Engagement” in The Volunteer Management Handbook, (2nd Edition) Editor Tracey Connors, Wiley Nonprofit Series. In press.

Rehnborg, S.J., Poole, D. L. and Roemer, M.K. (2011) “Leading Volunteers in Nonprofit Organizations” in Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: A Reference Handbook, Kathryn Agard (Ed), Sage Publications.

Seel, K. and Rehnborg, S.J. (2010). “A History of the Profession of Volunteer Administration” in Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice, Keith Seel, Ed. LexisNexis, Canada. pp. 507-538.

  • Go Volunteer ProBono: Skilled
  • Hill Country Ride for AIDS: the Challenges of Replication
  • Austin Partners in Education
  • Knowbility
  • Austin Smiles: Recruiting a New Generation of Physicians
  • The University of Texas at Austin: Is Student Service Part of a University's Service Mandate?
  • United Way Capital Area: Competing Volunteer Leadership Groups
  • Seton Hospital: the Relevance of Auxiliaries in Healthcare

Rehnborg, S.J., Sinatra, C. & Bies, A. (2010) “What Do We Really Know about Nonprofits’ Capacity to Manage Volunteers” The International Journal of Volunteer Administration. 27:1, 14-26.

Rehnborg, S.J., and Douglas, R.V. (2009) I Live Here I Give Here Central Texas Campaign for Philanthropy, Phase II Evaluation Report.

Rehnborg, S.J. with Bailey, W.L, Moore, M. & Sinatra, C. (2009) Strategic Volunteer Engagement: A Guide for Nonprofit and Public Sector Leaders. OneStar Foundation: Austin, TX.

Rehnborg, S.J.; Carpluk, B.; French, V.; Lin, S.; Repp, D.; Seals, C.; Sherestha, R.; Zahid, R. (2009) An Outcome Measurement System for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. (June, 2009) LBJ School Policy Research Project Report.

Rehnborg, S.J. Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas: Outcome Measurement System Administrative Guide. (May 2009) LBJ School Policy Research Project.

Rehnborg, S. J., Lee, J., Veron, R, & Zaligson, J. (2008). Jewish Peoplehood and Identity Immersion Service Programs: Demographic and Outcome Analysis Report to United Jewish Communities. RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service.

Rehnborg, S.J. (2008), PTA Volunteer Recruitment, Our Children Magazine. (The flagship publication of the national PTA)

Musick, Marc A., Rehnborg, S. J. and Worthen, M. G. F.   “The Social Antecedents of Collegiate Volunteering.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Rehnborg, S.J. and T. McVey. 2008. Volunteers in State Government (book Chapter)

Rehnborg, S. J., M. K. Roemer and P. Frumkin, Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG Survivorship Summit: Final Evaluation Report. RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. Oct. 26, 2007

Rehnborg, S..J., W.L. Bailey, and M. Moore. "Volunteers: An HR Asset?" (Under review).

Rehnborg, S.J., D. Poole, M. Roemer, L. Mangrum, K. Casey, and D. Duvall. "Designing and Testing the Volunteer Assessment Tool (VPAT)." Nonprofit Management and Leadership (Under review)

Rehnborg, S.J., M. Roemer, and T. McVey. 2007. "Volunteers in US State Government Agencies: Using Texas as a Model." Vrijwillige Inzet Onderzocht (Voluntary Effort Researched-Holland) 3(2):27-40.

Rehnborg, S.J. (2006). A US perspective on volunteerism. In J Butcher y Maria Guadalupe Serna (Ed.), El tercer sector en Mexico: Perspectivas de investigacion (pp. 372-388). Mexico City, Mexico: Centro Mexican para la Filantropia.

Rehnborg, S. J., Barker, C. & Pocock, M. (2006). How much is an hour of volunteer time worth? Various methods to monetize the contributions of a volunteer's time. E-Volunteerism, The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community. VI:2 (January-March 2006).

Rehnborg, S. J. (2005). Government volunteerism in the new millennium. In J. L. Brudney (Ed.), Emerging areas of volunteering (pp. 93-112). Indianapolis, IN: Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.

Rehnborg, S.J., Poole, D., Casey, K., & Duvall, D. (2004). Tools for improving programs: A national quality assessment project for national and community service programs. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Rehnborg, S. J., & Musick M. (2004) In the heart of Texas: Student volunteerism at the University of Texas at Austin, Journal of Volunteer Administration, 22:2, pp 26-34.

Rehnborg, S. J. & Pocock, M. (2004) Pioneering project helps researchers get volunteering right. E-Volunteerism, The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community. IV:4, July-October 2004.

Rehnborg, S. J. & DeSpain, M. (2003). Investing in volunteerism: Recommendations emerging from the study of the impact of volunteers in Texas state agencies. Journal of Volunteer Administration, 21:2, pp 33-38.

Rehnborg, S. J., Fallon, C. K., & Hinerfeld, B. (2002) Investing in volunteerism: An analysis of service initiatives in selected state agencies. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs under contract with the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.

Rehnborg, S. J. (2002). Coping with change: An experiential exercise. E-Volunteerism, The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community. II:3, April-June 2002.

Contact Information

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LBJ School of Public Affairs
2315 Red River Street
Austin, Texas 78712-1536