NOVAA is a nonprofit association for volunteer management professionals, founded in 1982.

Volunteer-led, NOVAA offers a variety of programming designed to support the professional development of leaders of volunteers with all levels of expertise. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the field for many years, NOVAA has something to offer everyone become a member today!

We remain committed to providing support and resources for leaders in volunteer management. Our 2022 programming will include both virtual and in person options. 

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

We're here to support you.

We’ve lived with a global pandemic for over two years. It has changed the way we live, work, and socialize. With vaccination rates increasing, we are starting to see glimmers of hope, and the resumption of some of our volunteer programs. And though many in our community are still struggling with the decision whether to vaccinate, we will continue to do our jobs with compassion and respect for all. 

Despite the uncertainty and ambiguity around us, we still take our work very seriously. NOVAA members hold themselves to high standards of ethics and accountability. We recognize that change is inevitable, and growth is always possible. We have learned much from the changes wrought by COVID-19, and the social upheaval that came with it. We accept the responsibility we bear to help create a more equitable and just world.

Behind the scenes at NOVAA, our dedicated board, made up of volunteer leaders ourselves, works hard to ensure that everything NOVAA does and shares is relevant and timely to support this community, especially through this year of so much change. We have been having continuous internal conversations exploring what NOVAA can do to be the most equitable, inclusive, accessible and representative organization possible.

NOVAA has spent the last 18 months reviewing our bylaws, evaluating our budget to identify areas in which we can offer financial support options, and working to hire a consultant to audit our practices (including the bylaws, and beyond) and help us create a sustainable equity action plan. Through these efforts, we also identified the need to include a DEI Chair position to the board that will ensure we are prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in our work, and cultivate a committee to support expanding representation within the volunteer management community.  

We encourage you to review our new DEI webpage, read the NOVAA DEI Statement, contact the DEI Committee, and find ways to get involved.

It’s an ongoing process and we do not have “results” yet but we wanted to share what we are doing to work toward our goals of acknowledging the impacts of -- and actively working to uproot the systems of racism and white supremacy that permeates close to every facet of our society.

Let’s continue to support each other. We are here for you - please reach out to us if you have  any questions, concerns, suggestions or feedback

Upcoming events

    • December 14, 2022
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) in Portland, OR
    • 7

    Engaging volunteers requires many valuable skills which can be applied in various leadership situations.  However, it's often challenging to explain this to someone who has not experienced it.  In this workshop, we'll discuss the skills gained through lessons in volunteer engagement, how to apply those skills in other spaces in which you can be a leader, and advocate for your program in an equitable and collaborative way. 

    Jennifer R. Bennett joined VolunteerMatch to formalize and manage the organization’s volunteer engagement program. With her breadth of experience, she is well qualified to help VolunteerMatch’s community of nonprofits better recruit and engage volunteers. 

    She shares her knowledge with volunteer managers through the webinars found on the Learning Center, in newsletters and blog entries, and at conferences around the country.  She also co-hosts the Time + Talent Podcast with Tobi Johnson from VolunteerPro.  She contributed The New Volunteer Manager’s Toolkit chapter to the guide Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights that are Changing the World published by VolunteerMatch in 2015. And, she is the current Co-Editor and contributing author for the 4th Edition of Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice.

    She’s a strong believer in the importance of engaging volunteers in meaningful work and was certified in Volunteer Administration in 2009. She served on the Board of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration from 2012-2018, and was the Chair from 2015-2018.  She currently volunteers with the Justice & Diversity Center and Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco and with the Social Justice Sewing Academy.  She holds a B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, VA.

    • December 19, 2022
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Virtual - Zoom link will be provided

    Join other volunteer management professionals for a virtual lunch hour! Let’s come together to share ideas and resources that may help each other, our organizations and the volunteer profession.

    Hosted by NOVAA Board members, learn more about us here. 

    • January 11, 2023
    • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
    • Virtual - Zoom link will be provided

    Join other volunteer management professionals for a virtual lunch hour! Let’s come together to share ideas and resources that may help each other, our organizations and the volunteer profession.

    Hosted by NOVAA Board members, learn more about us here. 

    • January 18, 2023
    • 8:15 AM
    • January 19, 2023
    • 12:00 PM
    • Offered remotely via Zoom
    • 37

    Are you new to the field? Did 'volunteer manager' just get added to your job description? Looking to learn 'best practices' to support your organizations volunteer program?

    This training is for you! 
    Day 1: Wednesday, January 18, 8:15 am - 12:00pm

    • Volunteer Program Development
    • Recruitment
    • Understanding Volunteer Motivations
    • Placement, Orientation, and Training
    Day 2: Thursday, January 19, 8:15 am - 12:00pm
    • Risk Management
    • Supervision
    • Volunteer Recognition
    • Breakout Group topics

    Our Volunteer Management 101 Training will help you maintain a thriving volunteer base that gets more work done, builds community support and increases your organization's effectiveness. Specifically designed to assist anyone new to volunteer management, this typical one-day training has been modified for our remote reality and will take place via Zoom in two 3.75 hour morning sessions, offering a mix of content presentation, activities, and small group discussions in breakout rooms. The training will cover the following topics:

    Registration for this event will sign you up for both sessions. Zoom links to join this training remotely will be sent out the week before the event to those who have registered, along with a workbook to be used throughout the training. 

    Trainers: Jenn Forristal and Emily Coleman

    In her nearly two decades as a volunteer administrator, Jenn Forristal, CVA has managed programs for over 15,000 volunteers serving in diverse fields including social services, animal welfare, public media, national service, political campaigns, and professional associations. Currently, she is the Volunteer Resources Manager at OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting).

    Jenn earned her Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) credential in 2016 and is committed to her own professional development and continued learning, averaging over 50 hours of training annually in topics related to volunteer program management. Additionally, she has training in equity in volunteer program and workplace implementation, and advanced training in equity facilitation.  She served on the NOVAA board of directors for five years, three of which she served as president. Currently, she chairs a committee and serves as a mentor with AL!VE.

    Emily Coleman, CVA, has been working in volunteer and nonprofit administration since 2004 and is very committed to the work of connecting individuals and groups with meaningful, rewarding opportunities to serve and build community.  She is currently the volunteer program supervisor for Transition Projects, an organization supporting the needs of people experiencing homelessness while helping them find and maintain permanent housing. She has also run volunteer programs for youth development organizations, and in healthcare. These varied settings have given Emily insight into how volunteer recruitment, screening and risk management, training and retention need to be adapted to organizational needs.

    An avid volunteer herself, Emily supports several local organizations with her time, experience that further increases her understanding of different styles of volunteer management. She has also served on the NOVAA Board of Directors for four years, as both the fiscal chair and later as the programming chair.

    • January 24, 2023
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Portland Veterinary Medicine Association (PVMA) 10725 SW Barbur Blvd, Ste 120 Portland, OR 97219

    During this Learning Community Nicole Babnick will present on the labor law differences between volunteers, interns, and employees. Participants will also be able to ask questions, share achievements and challenges on this topic. 

    Nicole Babnick is an attorney with over 10 years of labor and employment law experience currently using her skills in the HR and compliance field. With the technical expertise of an attorney and the practical experience gained from working in the private sector and government, she has the unique ability to ensure legal compliance while meeting business needs. She also enjoys speaking gat ACFE events on topics such as emotional intelligence and empathy in workplace investigations. 

    • February 16, 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Volunteers are often motivated to connect and strengthen their community.  However, how do we create ways to connect which are both authentic and inclusive?  In this workshop, we'll discuss why it is essential to cultivate community and ways to connect with members in creative and collaborative ways. 

    Darnesha Weary is an entrepreneur and motivational manager.  Not only has she started BlackCoffeeNW business, she has created events for local businesses to connect and create spaces for community members to utilize.  From the past work of racial equity and activism along with her family, she envisioned a space in the world of Coffee that could integrate excellent service, not just through amazing coffee, but an amazing shop where customers can experience the true brilliance that is black culture.  Whether it's the internship/development programs they provide for our community's youth, the collaborative events with fellow black business owners or the expansion of their brand in opening multiple locations, she continues to support learning and connections which strengthen her surrounding community.

    • April 19, 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • TBD in Portland Metro Area
    • 30

    Engage to Change is a team which provides anti-racism training for people and organizations.  They believe that addressing individual, organizational and systemic effects of racism must always be done in relationship and community.  Accountability, intersectional understanding, and action are key core components of how we structure our work. 

    RAKEEM WASHINGTON (he/him/his) Co-Founder and Facilitator
    Rakeem Washington is a Portland native and believes in the power and importance of connecting with community. Prior to the beginning of his professional career, he spent hours as a volunteer, mentor, and coach for families and various community based organizations. Rakeem continued his passion for working with children and families after graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2008 when he began work as a staff attorney for the Juvenile Rights Project, a public defense law firm representing children and parents in child welfare, school discipline, and juvenile delinquency cases. After witnessing, first hand, the racial disparities that exist in the intersection of the foster care, educational, and criminal justice systems, Rakeem shifted focus to more targeted equity work. He has continued that work in various forms while working with Portland Public Schools, the Oregon Judicial Department, and the Portland Observer Newspaper. Rakeem also has taught in Portland State University’s University Studies Department teaching a class called Race, Class, Gender and Social Justice. His students work year-long to create action projects that work against poverty, houselessness, mass incarceration, economic immobility, educational deficiencies, diminishing mental health services and all of the comorbid permutations disparately facing BIPOC folks. Throughout his professional career, Rakeem has advocated for those with marginalized identities, and continues to do so through his work at Engage to Change. He learned early that true anti-racism/anti-oppression work requires building coalitions by creating authentic relationships. He teaches students, college faculty, fellow attorneys, business leaders and government employees in well-versed and established equity principles. He has led conversations and trainings at the Governor’s Summit on Minority Over-Representation in the Juvenile Justice System, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and the National Conference of Association of Community College Trustees.

    KASIA RUTLEDGE (she/her/hers) Co-Founder and Facilitator
    Kasia Rutledge is an anti-racism and anti-oppression trainer as well as a capital defense attorney. For over 18 years, she has developed workshops and trained organizations, individuals, academic institutions, currently and formerly incarcerated people, and not-for-profits in equity, anti-racism, and holistic justice-based programming. As an attorney, Kasia has been privileged to represent poor people accused of major felonies. Kasia is also an adjunct professor at Portland State teaching a course on race, oppression, and activism. There she works with Black, Brown, Indigenous, API, Immigrant, houseless, and justice-affected youth on dismantling concepts of banking education, and on understanding the intersectionality of oppressions, helping them gain agency and joy in pursuit of their educational and career goals. Understanding that anti-racism work must center self-care, Kasia loves to make complicated meals and camp. Kasia has spent her career working in all kinds of fields related to equity, access, and difficult conversations. Whether as an anti-racism trainer, a public defender who helps folks navigate complicated and impossible life-altering situations, as a counselor at Planned Parenthood, who sat with folks making difficult decisions about potentially ending a pregnancy or as Executive Director of a not-for-profit housing organization in rural Kansas which struggled to adapt to the racist dynamics in a farming community, Kasia has spent her life understanding intersectional needs and celebrating the resilience of folks on the margins. Specifically, as a trainer, Kasia works to de-center whiteness, find where racism lives in each of our bodies, and compassionately hold white folks accountable to the work while centering the voices of folks on the margins. As a white, Queer, cis-woman, Kasia uses humility and her own stories of causing harm to people of color to make the work of undoing racism accessible for other white folks.

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