Nonprofit Insights: How Nonprofit Data and Volunteers Can Save the World

The Nonprofit Insights webinar series brings major thought leaders and experts to you for thought-provoking presentations on a variety of issues related to technology and engaging your community members for social good.

Upcoming Insights Webinar: How Nonprofit Data and Volunteers Can Save the WorldRecord-keeping is not an exciting word, and inspires equally drab reactions from nonprofits who work to fulfill record-keeping and reporting requirements. But there’s a secret many organizations are just beginning to discover: your data is the key to helping you fulfill your mission – and save the world.

How Nonprofit Data and Volunteers Can Save the World

Register for this free event.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
10am – 12pm PT (1-2pm ET)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch and #NPOdata.

Join VolunteerMatch on April 8, 2014, for a free Nonprofit Insights webinar in honor of National Volunteer Week. Erinn Andrews of GuideStar and Lisa Pool of the Technology Affinity Group, who have partnered on the Simplify initiative,, will share how data and record-keeping in the nonprofit sector is becoming so much more than just the IRS Form 990 – and why paying attention to this trend, and engaging volunteers to help you contribute, will help your organization get more funding and support.

Register for this free Nonprofit Insights webinar now.

Upcoming Nonprofit Insights: Building a Future-Friendly Nonprofit Board

The Nonprofit Insights webinar series brings major thought leaders and experts to you for thought-provoking presentations on a variety of issues related to technology and engaging your community members for social good.

Join VolunteerMatch for a free webinar on how to build a future-friendly nonprofit board.Your board plays a critical role in overseeing your organization’s mission, finances and strategic direction. So it’s equally critical that these board members are supportive of the changes in tools and practices necessary to help your organization stay relevant and viable in today’s rapidly changing world.

Building a Future-Friendly Nonprofit Board

Register for this free event.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
11am – 12pm PT (2-3pm ET)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch and #vmlearn.

Join VolunteerMatch for the March 2014 Nonprofit Insights webinar that will focus on how to cultivate, engage and retain great board members that are “future-friendly.” We’ll hear from Jenifer Holland, Director of Consulting at BoardSource, about best practices and strategies for finding and engaging the best board members for your organization. We’ll also be joined by Shayla Price, Executive Director for the National Search Dog Alliance, who will share her first-hand experience working with boards from the nonprofit side, as well as serving as a board member herself.

Wondering how to build a board that will support your organization as it moves forward into the future? This webinar will provide ideas and strategies so you’ll never need to “fight” your board for change again.

Register for this free Nonprofit Insights webinar now.

Upcoming Nonprofit Insights: The Right Way to Engage Online Volunteers

The Nonprofit Insights webinar series brings major thought leaders and experts to you for thought-provoking presentations on a variety of issues related to technology and engaging your community members for social good.

Join VolunteerMatch and Jayne Cravens for a free webinar about the right way for nonprofits to engage online volunteers.With new powerful technology popping up all the time these days, engaging online volunteers is a great opportunity for nonprofit organizations to increase efficiency and impact. But there’s a RIGHT way of doing things when it comes to working with online volunteers – and do you know if your nonprofit is doing it right?

The Right Way to Engage Online Volunteers

Register for this free event.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
10am – 11am PT (1-2pm ET)

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch and #vmlearn.

Join VolunteerMatch and online volunteering expert Jayne Cravens for the February 2014 Nonprofit Insights webinar about how to best involve online volunteers in your organization’s work. How can you create a great online volunteer opportunity? What are the best ways to support online volunteers? How should you be tracking the impact of your online volunteers?

If you recognize the value online volunteers can add to your organization, but aren’t quite sure how to set them and yourself up for success, this webinar is certainly right for you.

Register for this free Nonprofit Insights webinar now.

Walking the Talk of Ethics

Guest post by Katie Campbell, CCVA

Ask Yourself…

  • Do you consider yourself an ethical person? (Of course you do!)
  • Do others in your organization know what you stand for?
  • How can your co-workers and volunteers tell that you are ethical?
  • Do your actions reflect your core values?

Join VolunteerMatch and Katie Campbell from CCVA for a free webinar on the role of ethics in volunteer engagement.

We all have a fairly good idea what “being ethical” means, based on our own experiences, values and beliefs. But in today’s complex world of social and organizational dynamics, our personal ethics is often not enough to tell us how to make the “right” decision at work. At the heart of every ethical dilemma there is a conflict between values – personal, professional, or organizational – which is exactly why it is so tough to choose the correct course of action.

In many organizations, ethics is talked about only at the Board table, or when a p.r. crisis looms, or after someone makes a really big mistake. Sure, we may have a “code of ethics” that was developed years ago. But functioning as an ethical organization requires more than posting a code of ethics on the office wall. The “code” must also live within every employee and every volunteer. There must be consistent modeling from the top, through the actions and words of board members and executive staff. There must be encouragement for staff and volunteers to speak up if they observe unethical behavior among colleagues. There must be opportunities for safe and open discussion of ethical questions and issues.

You may be wondering how the theoretical concept of ethics is relevant to your day-to-day work with volunteers. Well, here are a few examples of real ethical dilemmas encountered by colleagues in our field:

  • You become aware of a vehicle in agency motor pool which is not being maintained well. You have received complaints from volunteers, and have heard the staff make jokes about trying to avoid using that particular vehicle. The staff person in charge of the motor pool is a very good friend of an influential donor to your agency.
  • One of your agency’s Board members has heard rumors that one of your volunteer mentors had a skirmish with the law and had to appear in court. The Board member mentions this to you, and says the volunteer should be dismissed immediately.
  • Your Executive Director asks you to coordinate a planning process which gets
    volunteers more involved in the workings of your organization. However, you strongly suspect that this is nothing more than a token gesture, and doubt that the any of the recommendations suggested by volunteers will be implemented or taken seriously.
  • As part of their assignment doing trail construction in state forest, a group of volunteers must be housed in congregate living. This involves no individual rooms, shared sleeping and bathroom facilities, and limited privacy. A transgender volunteer expresses concern to staff about how others will treat him and his potential exposure to fears, discrimination or prejudice from other workers. He asks to be allowed to stay in a private hotel room nearby.
  • A teenage girl undergoing cancer treatment comes from a single-parent household living on the edge of poverty. The parent’s income barely covers rent and food. The patient’s social worker asks if the volunteer office has any funds that could be used so the girl can purchase a wig or special hat during her treatment. When the social worker learns there is no fund for this purpose, she begs the volunteer administrator to ask all the volunteers if they would like to donate money to help this young patient.

Would these scenarios keep you awake at night? Do you know how you would handle them ethically? Fortunately, there are resources available on how to navigate such tricky situations.

As with other professions, a set of professional ethical values and principles has been established for the field of volunteer administration, along with a simple decision-making process. These will be shared during this upcoming free webinar, along with some practical ideas for how you can increase the conversation about ethics throughout your organization.

In the final analysis, “walking the talk” consistently over time demands that our decision-making skills include:

  • Competence – the ability to recognize an ethical issue when it appears at our door
  • Confidence – the assurance and self-esteem to seek out different points of view rather than making the decision alone
  • Tough-mindedness – the strength to ultimately make a decision and act even though there is no guarantee that it is the absolute “right” decision.

Join Katie Campbell from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration as she discusses the role of ethics in volunteer engagement in our upcoming webinar on Tuesday February 11th.

Learn more and register for this free webinar now!

Related Resources

  • Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration, Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.
  • How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living, by Rushworth M. Kidder (Simon and Schuster, 1995)
  • Obedience to the Unenforceable: Ethics and the Nation’s Voluntary and Philanthropic Community, Independent Sector, 1991.
  • Institute for Global Ethics,
  • Josephson Institute of Ethics,

Katherine H. Campbell, CVA, has worked in the field of nonprofit and volunteer management for over 30 years as practitioner, author, trainer and leader. She now serves as the Executive Director of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA), managing professional credentialing programs for leaders of volunteers.

Webinar Sneak Peek: Social Media, Ethics and Managing Change

Check out these upcoming free webinars on volunteer engagement in the VolunteerMatch Learning Center.Have you checked out the VolunteerMatch Learning Center lately? We’ve got a line-up of valuable and practical webinars about volunteer engagement happening every week – all for free.

You’ll recognize some basic skills trainings and old favorites in there, as well as some exciting new topics with expert guest speakers. Check out some of the highlights below, and then head to the Learning Center to register. Don’t miss this chance to get free professional training!

Social Media and Volunteer Engagement

This webinar will offer an introduction to including social media in your volunteer recruitment and retention plans. You’ll see examples of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as blogs that other nonprofits have successfully used to draw attention to their organizations and volunteer opportunities. You’ll also learn about the social media tools available as part of your VolunteerMatch account that can help you promote your volunteer opportunity on other social networking sites.

The Ethics of Volunteer Engagement with guest speaker Katherine H. Campbell

Sometimes it can be difficult to identify when you’re facing an ethical dilemma in your work with volunteers. Using volunteer management scenarios and a conversational format, this webinar will cover some of the dilemmas you face when you engage and manage volunteers and provide ideas on how to resolve these situations effectively and ethically.

Engaging the Volunteer of the Future

The age of one-size fits all volunteer engagement is coming to an end. This webinar will start with a review of some of the things that we know about what volunteers are looking for in an opportunity. It will then help you use this information to start designing volunteer opportunities and determining who is the “right” volunteer for your program. You’ll also learn how “word of mouth” plays such a large role in attracting volunteers to your organization and how social media makes this even more important.

Leveraging Volunteer Talent for Organizational Change with guest speaker Beth Steinhorn

This webinar will explore how to engage volunteers as leaders of change. Learn where your organization is in its lifecycle and gain an appreciation for the importance of innovation in organizational sustainability. The webinar will also feature strategies for supporting volunteers and holding them accountable for change.

Head to the VolunteerMatch Learning Center now to find more great webinars on volunteer engagement – all for free.