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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

    • October 17, 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Zoom

    Are you a volunteer engagement leader who wants to advance responsible community-building? Join us to increase your awareness and promote action by recognizing the underlying foundations that harm those being served, while also bringing to light the role you play in this work. This training will dive into:

    • An understanding on the historical harm of volunteerism in the nonprofit sector through white saviorism
    • Racial equity in volunteerism and how to create spaces of dignity
    • The concepts of community-centric volunteerism and the ways in which the sector has deviated from that goal and practice 
    • A new path forward to continue the work
    Breauna Dorelus is the Founder and Chief Cause Consultant at Connecting the Cause, a consultancy dedicated to centering Black joy and liberation in volunteerism and dismantling harmful volunteer practices implemented by nonprofits and volunteers towards Black and brown communities. Breauna started her career as an AmeriCorps member and spent 10+ years in various volunteer management roles in humanitarian aid efforts, refugee resettlement and ministry. Breauna believes in community inclusion in all aspects of the volunteer process, and has dedicated her work to ensuring that service is centered around co-dreaming and not harmful charity. She believes that best practices may not be the best for all and that we must look at service through the lens of community-centered support in order to create a more just future.

    We look forward to seeing you at this NOVAA event, however, if you need to cancel, please refer to our Cancellation Policy and contact with any questions.

    • November 07, 2023
    • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Nordic House Conference Room 8800 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR 97223

    It’s that “giving” time of year when the calls to Volunteer Administrators ask for a task a whole family can  help with, one time, preferably around the holidays, but not ON the holiday….and can they bring their 4 year old and a toddler?”  We all get those calls, and for some organizations it’s easy to line up tasks that are short term, easy for the whole family to do, and that actually benefit the community you serve.  For other organizations it isn’t as easy to come up with a meaningful task, a place to do it, and staff to oversee the activity. 

    In this Learning Community, long time volunteer program administrator Marcia Hale, CVA of the Hillsboro Public Library will lead a discussion on project ideas and best practices for family volunteers and then open it up to the group to share what works for you, your ideas, and how you manage this seasonal windfall of potential volunteers. 

    Learning Communities are free for NOVAA Members and just $10 for other guests. 

    • November 08, 2023
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Golden Valley Brewery 1520 NW Bethany Blvd Beaverton, OR 97006

    NOVAA members can join other NOVAA members who are volunteer management professionals for a networking opportunity! Let’s come together to share ideas and resources that may help each other, our organizations and the volunteer management profession.

    Topics we've discussed at past meetups have included developing community partnerships, volunteer management software, and volunteer appreciation/ recruitment.

    *Must be a NOVAA member to register. 

    Hosted by NOVAA Board members, learn more about us here.  Look for the NOVAA sign in the bar area!

    • December 14, 2023
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom

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

    Topics we've discussed at past meetups have included developing community partnerships, volunteer management software, and volunteer appreciation/ recruitment.

    *Only NOVAA members can register

    Hosted by NOVAA's Membership Committee!

    • January 18, 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Zoom

    Volunteers generously donate their time and skills, enriching our teams, expanding services and helping our organizations achieve their missions. Yet, as with any team environment, sometimes misunderstandings, interpersonal conflicts or performance issues arise that can hinder our efforts. Dealing with difficult volunteer situations is not an easy or pleasant task and is one that is often uncomfortable for those leading volunteers. This highly-engaging session will stretch your thinking, empower you to lean into difficult conversations, and give you practical tools for successfully resolving those sticky volunteer situations.

    Betsy McFarland is a strategist and problem-solver who has forged a unique professional niche focused on developing leaders, staff and volunteers committed to tackling challenging societal issues. Betsy is particularly passionate about maximizing the impact of volunteers by helping leaders align volunteer engagement efforts with their mission. 

    With decades of nonprofit experience, Betsy was previously a vice president at The Humane Society of the United States where she led the organization’s legislative, policy and programmatic work with animal shelters and rescues nationwide. She spearheaded the launch of The Humane Society National Volunteer Center—the first broad-scale coordinated volunteer-focused effort in the organization's history, which now engages thousands of volunteers worldwide.

    Betsy is a Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA) and author of Volunteer Management for Animal Care Organizations. 

    We look forward to seeing you at this NOVAA event, however, if you need to cancel, please refer to our Cancellation Policy and contact with any questions.

    • February 15, 2024
    • 8:00 AM
    • February 16, 2024
    • 12:00 PM
    • Offered remotely via Zoom
    • 40

    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! 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:
    Day 1: Thursday, February 15, 8:00 am - 12:00pm

    • Volunteer Program Development
    • Recruitment
    • Understanding Volunteer Motivations
    • Placement, Orientation, and Training
    Day 2: Friday, February 16, 8:00 am - 12:00pm
    • Risk Management
    • Supervision
    • Volunteer Recognition
    • Breakout Group 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.

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