Join Jennifer Bennett, CVA, VolunteerMatch’s Director of Education & Training, for an exciting new program! The Learning Pathways include four educational mini-series that delve into essential tenets of volunteer management. They are designed to foster discussion, spark ideas, and provide attendees with an action plan for evaluating and innovating volunteer strategies.
Note: The parts of each Pathway should be taken in order as the sessions build upon each other. Recordings will be available as the series progresses.
Recruiting volunteers lays the groundwork for everything that comes next. Make sure you’re setting yourself and your volunteers up for success by creating a strong recruitment plan and ensuring that you’re targeting the right volunteers!
Part 1: Before You Start (passed)
What do you need to think about and create before you start recruiting volunteers? This session will cover the pre-work needed to successfully recruit the right volunteers. We’ll start with position descriptions, and volunteer personas and build a targeted recruitment plan to reach the volunteers you want. This is an online workshop designed with time to discuss and share challenges and successes. Attendees are encouraged to come with an open volunteer role in mind, and an existing position description, if available.
Part 2: Recruiting for a Role
March 21st, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
This session will cover the recruitment channel, and the steps needed after a prospective volunteer expresses interest but before they officially become a volunteer. We’ll discuss gathering information, reviewing and evaluating that information, and determining whether a volunteer is the right match for the role. Attendees are encouraged to have on hand any documents currently being used for review.
Part 3: Making the Match
April 23rd, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
In this session we’ll discuss how to move forward after screening. Should you say yes? How do you say no? And, we’ll explore the role of risk management, and how to use training and orientation strategies to ensure that volunteers are well prepared for the work they’ll be asked to do.
Creating a strong relationship with your volunteers is the best way to engage volunteers in work that matters to them, create that connection to your mission, and ensure that your volunteers aren’t just great volunteers, but are advocates for your organization!
Part 1: Creating the Relationship Foundation (Passed)
Building relationships with volunteers – just like with friends or partners – takes work, it doesn’t just happen. In this session we’ll discuss the importance of thinking of volunteers as partners, determining ways to invite them into your organization, and building a strong two-way relationship with volunteers.
Part 2: Growing the Relationship
April 18th, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
In this session we’ll build on the Foundations created in Part 1 and explore opportunities to strengthen relationships with volunteers, including developing feedback channels for better two-way communications. We’ll explore the languages of appreciation and how we can create a multi-faceted approach that includes opportunities for volunteers to step into leadership roles or continue to build skills. Attendees will have the opportunity to evaluate their own management style and where they may benefit from building their own skills.
Part 3: When Things Don’t Go as Planned
May 9th, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
Unclear expectations, miscommunications, and inter-personal conflicts happen. What do we need to know and do when these situations arise when working with volunteers? Attendees will have the opportunity to explore how to create a culture of volunteer engagement and build collaboration on a foundation of policies that help volunteers, paid staff, and clients work together. We’ll also discuss what to do when all of this doesn’t work and we need to have coaching conversations, reassign a volunteer, or ask a volunteer to leave.
The story we tell can make all the difference! What story are you telling to our volunteers about the work they’re doing and your mission? To your organization about the value and impact of volunteers? And, to your supporters and the community about how volunteers make a difference and how they should fund that work or volunteer themselves?
Part 1: For Volunteers
February 29th, 2:00-3:00 ET (Register)
What information are you gathering from your volunteers – about their work, their impact, and their satisfaction? In this session attendees will explore the opportunity to create a compelling story to share with volunteers both as a recruitment message and as a story of recognition and appreciation. Attendees are encouraged to review their current data collection activities and their current story before attending so they’re ready to evaluate and experiment with the story they’re building and how they’re telling it.
Part 2: For Your Organization
March 26th, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
What does your organization think or “know” about the work of volunteers? In this session we’ll look at how we can tell a story of volunteer engagement internally that elevates and celebrates the work of volunteers while also building buy-in and trust in the process. We’ll discuss identifying attitudes and barriers within our organizations, and what information may be persuasive and help change those attitudes. We’ll also discuss how leaders of volunteers may be able to work cross-functionally within their organization and partner with others to ensure that this story informs the work of communication and market, fundraising, and executive leadership.
Part 3: For Supporters and the Community
May 23rd, 2:00-3:00 ET (Register)
When we tell the story of volunteer engagement and impact outside of our organization amazing things happen! We can educate our community about the services and programs we provide, we can reach prospective volunteers, donors, and advocates. And, we can raise the profile of our organization in the community, possibly leading to more funding from foundations and corporations.
As leaders of volunteers it can often feel like we’re running as fast as we can just to stay in the same place. We’re doing all the volunteer engagement, but we don’t have the bandwidth to actually think about leading or creating a strategy. Let’s change this by engaging others – paid staff and volunteers – and re-envision our role as one of strategic architect and advocate for volunteers and the work of leaders of volunteers.
Part 1: Leading Not Doing
March 14th, 2:00-3:30 (Register)
So many leaders of volunteers wear multiple hats, or are departments of one. It can feel like there’s not enough time to just do all the day-to-day work let alone to think strategically and plan for future volunteer engagement. In this session we’ll discuss how to make the transition from the coordination of volunteer work to the leader and planner of the work and impact of volunteers. Attendees are encouraged to review their own position description and think about their responsibilities and decision making authority before attending so they can discuss and brainstorm opportunities to bring others into the day-to-day work and where they can engage champions within their organization.
Part 2: Advocating for Volunteers and the Profession
April 11th, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
Whether you’re brand new to the work or if this is the career you’ve been doing for years we’ll come together to discuss our role as an advocate for the volunteers in our organization, the role ethics plays in working with volunteers, volunteerism in general, and the work of leaders of volunteers. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about professional development opportunities, the CVA credential, and how they can move into the role of thought leader within their organization, their local or regional network, or even nationally or internationally!
Part 3: Understanding the Role of Ethics in Volunteer Engagement
May 7th, 2:00-3:30 ET (Register)
We’ve all been there - that feeling in the pit of your stomach when there just doesn’t seem to be a right answer. In this session we’ll dive into the CCVA Core Values and Principles for Volunteer Administrators and explore whether you’re in an ethical dilemma or just a sticky situation. Guest presenter Faiza Venzant, from CCVA, will join us to walk us through several real-world scenarios to put the tools and practices introduced in Part 2 to use.