Feeling the Winter Blues? Gain a New Perspective with a VolunteerMatch Webinar.

Kermit in snow, hearing about winter webinars.Tired of the snow and winter weather? How about adding a little professional development to your week and taking a fresh approach to volunteer engagement.

We have some interesting new topics and some old favorites cued up for the beginning of 2015:


If you’ve missed some of our most popular webinars in the past, I’ll be discussing the role that social media can play in recruiting and engaging volunteers on February 19th, and share ideas for engaging volunteers in new ways in Where Do I Go From Here? on March 12th.

And, Beth Steinhorn from JFFixler Group will be presenting her very popular topic Leveraging Volunteers for Organizational Change on April 22nd, and introducing the idea of engaging family volunteers in your program in Family Power on March 11th.

You can find the complete list of all of our webinars here. I hope you’ll join me at one of these always free online trainings in 2015!

Fall Webinar Preview: New Heights for Your Volunteer Engagement

Take free trainings from the VolunteerMatch Nonprofit Learning Center.September always brings a new school year and a new television season – in the spirit of both, here’s my Fall Preview of all of the upcoming presentations and workshops on VolunteerMatch’s Learning Center.

Focus on Foundations

This Fall I’m focusing on the foundations and some important key components for your volunteer engagement program. Whether you’re new to volunteer engagement or just looking for a refresher, I’ve got a great fall lineup!

New Faces, Topics and Special Two-Parters

But enough about me – In October I’m happy to welcome back Katie Campbell as she joins me for a conversation around ethics in volunteer engagement. This topic was a huge hit at the beginning of the year, and we’re excited to bring it back. Read the article Katie wrote in January to learn more about what we’ll be discussing on October 15th.

October also welcomes our first new presenter. Please welcome Deanna Cole to the VolunteerMatch Learning Center family. She’s a seasoned volunteer program manager with a lot of experience in online training. Join her on October 29th, as she discusses best practices for turning volunteers into advocates.

Some topics just can’t be covered in an hour, and in November we’re starting something new – Two Part Webinars! You don’t have to attend both parts, but I hope you’ll join me and some awesome guest presenters as we do a deeper dive into some complex topics.

If you’ve attended Measuring Success (also happening on September 18th), you’ve heard me mention Tony Goodrow’s tool for measuring Volunteer ROI (return on investment). I’m so pleased to announce that Tony will be doing a two part series on how to use his tool and how to start measuring the real impact volunteering has on your organization. Part 1 will happen on November 12th, and Part 2 is cued up for December 10th.

Deanna is also going to join me for a two part series on creating virtual volunteer opportunities. We’ll get things started on November 13th with a session on how to create those virtual opps, and finish up on February 3rd with some best practices for training and managing remote volunteers. Remember while the opportunities are virtual, the volunteers are real!

Deanna is going to be doing her own two part series, as well. Mentoring can be a great way to ensure that every volunteer receives the time, training and attention that they need. On November 18th Deanna will discuss how to introduce mentoring into your volunteer program and on January 15th she’ll talk about best practices for building and managing that program.

But wait, there’s even more! You can check out the complete list of our always free online trainings here. I hope you’ll join us for a learning opportunity this fall, and that you’re as excited about these new topics and trainers as I am. Keep an eye out for blog posts from our new trainers about our new topics in the coming weeks.

Sign up for some free trainings on the Learning Center now!

Giving You Free Access to Cutting-Edge On-Demand Trainings Was a Huge Hit

Giving You Free Access to Cutting-Edge On-Demand Trainings Was a Huge HitEarlier this year, we partnered with the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation to provide 500 nonprofit members of VolunteerMatch with free access to the Foundation’s Gift of Learning program, which also includes VolunteerMatch training content. The slots were filled in less than two days!

Not that we’re surprised. As a nonprofit ourselves, we know that when someone offers free training, we all say, “Yes, please!”

What gets us really excited at VolunteerMatch, however, is seeing how wonderfully all of you took advantage of this opportunity. You didn’t just let it languish in your inboxes, to be dealt with when you reach that mythical time of empty to-do lists. Instead, you jumped right on it, registering for close to 4,500 courses so far, completing over 850 of them.

The most popular categories of trainings among VolunteerMatch nonprofits are Development, Management and Volunteer Engagement. Check out some of the other trainings your fellow nonprofit professionals have been accessing from the Gift of Learning platform:

VolunteerMatch nonprofit members took advantage of free trainings from Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation

In the end, though, it’s the value that each of you has found from the program that really matters. Here are some examples of ways in which this on-demand access has helped people:

“The GOL (Gift of Learning) has helped tremendously with my ability to tune up my professional development skills and share what I have learned with others (board members, office staff, etc.).”
-Executive Director of Community Development Organization

“As someone who is in the midst of starting their own nonprofit organization, I’ve been focusing on the project management and effective leadership courses. I’ve found them complete, and filled with relevant information to do my duties and mobilize others to get things done.”
-Camilo Forero, Project Manager, Sembrando Sueños

“We gained not only from the training, but also from the consideration of how to best roll-out this learning opportunity to our personnel. Thank you, not only for the GOL training, but also for helping us to look inward and learn new things about ourselves!”
-Jim Musslewhite, Training Coordinator, STEM Pals

Jealous yet? Don’t worry – VolunteerMatch and the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation both recognize that it shouldn’t end here. So we’ve decided to offer the opportunity again, to 500 more nonprofit organizations!

Stay tuned for the announcement…

Webinar Sneak Peek: 2014 is All About the New You

Get a sneak peek at all new volunteer engagement webinars from VolunteerMatch in 2014 for an all new you.As 2013 winds down, we’re all deep in planning mode for 2014. With budgets and programming top of mind, don’t let your own professional development slip through the cracks. VolunteerMatch is here to make it easy to gain new volunteer engagement knowledge.


In 2014 we’re adding new dates, new topics, and new speakers – all to help the New You become an even better volunteer manager.

New Speakers

Katie Campbell on The Ethics of Volunteer Engagement

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 for how to resolve these situations effectively and ethically. Guest speaker Katie Campbell is joining Jennifer Bennett for this critical conversation.

Beth Steinhorn on Leveraging Volunteer Talent for Organizational Change

Organizations are recognizing that the old ways of doing business don’t work in this changing world. The good news is that today’s volunteers are interested in opportunities to help organizations innovate and pilot new ways of doing business. 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. Featuring guest speaker Beth Steinhorn.

New Topics

Engaging the Volunteer of the Future

At VolunteerMatch we have a unique view into what volunteers are looking for in an opportunity. 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.

Telling the Story of Volunteer Impact

You want to share the impact volunteers have in your organization and in the community, but often the information you track doesn’t help you tell that story. This webinar will help you move past number of volunteers and number of hours and start telling the real story. You’ll learn about information gathering and the key components to good storytelling, how to evaluate your current measurements and how to build support for a more thorough measurement and evaluation program, and how to engage other staff – paid and volunteer – in this work. You’ll also receive a worksheet to help you begin to tell the story of volunteer impact in your organization.

The CVA Credential: A Mark of Excellence

Join this free webinar, hosted only once a year, to learn more about the CCVA and the process for applying for and receiving your CVA. Credentialing in any profession increases credibility and promotes career development. Learn about this unique performance-based credentialing program, the process for becoming Certified in Volunteer Administration and how it can benefit you and your organization. Recommended for those with at least 3 years of experience in any setting.

Check out more free webinar topics in the VolunteerMatch Learning Center.

5 Awesome But Overlooked VolunteerMatch Resources

Don't forget about these 5 great but often overlooked resources that VolunteerMatch provides for nonprofits for volunteer engagement.Sure, VolunteerMatch helps hundreds of thousands of organizations find the volunteers they need for free each day. Sure, we make over a hundred connections between volunteers and nonprofits per hour. But this isn’t all we do.

To make sure your volunteer engagement efforts are successful, long-lasting, and make a big difference in your work, we also provide a bunch of extra tools and resources to help you engage, manage, appreciate and retain your volunteers. Often in the crazy hoopla that is volunteer engagement, these added “bonus” services are overlooked.

Check out these 5 awesome VolunteerMatch resources, and don’t forget they’re here next time you’re looking for some extra help!

Community Leader Premium Service

The added features in this upgraded nonprofit account include custom greetings and questions, document sending, and other time savers. The entire package is only about $9 per month, so if you’re looking to put some extra oomph behind your volunteer engagement, this is a great option.

VolunteerMatch Learning Center

This is your hub for learning all about volunteer engagement. Sign up for dozens of free webinars on all sorts of practical topics, download research and insights reports, watch tutorials on how best to use VolunteerMatch, and much, much more.

Social Sharing Options

Whenever you post a volunteer opportunity on VolunteerMatch, you have the ability to easily share it with your social networks – with one click. We’ve even pre-written the messages for you. So make sure your organization’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn crowds know that there’s a new way for them to get involved – and who knows, you might just connect with someone who’s never even heard of you!

Nonprofit and Volunteer Story Archives

We love hearing about how nonprofits and volunteers are working together to make the world a better place. In fact, we love it so much, we publish special articles spotlighting VolunteerMatch nonprofits and volunteers. Browse through past stories to find inspiration for you and your volunteers, and share your own story with us.

Opportunity Alerts

Yes, technically this is a feature for volunteers, not nonprofits. However, these personalized email alerts delivered directly to you can be a great way to learn how other organizations are recruiting volunteers using VolunteerMatch, and could inspire you to step up your engagement.

Besides, you might find your perfect match to get out of the office and do some volunteering yourself! The email alerts are customized based on the skills and cause areas you specify in your Volunteer Profile. To access, sign in to VolunteerMatch.org and click on “Your Profile” in the “Volunteers” section of the site.

Want to get more tips for engaging great volunteers sent to you each month? Sign up for our Nonprofit Newsletter by filling out the form in the sidebar at right (we won’t use this info for anything except sending you volunteer engagement-related stuff).