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VANtage: April 2021

Galen Roth | Published on 4/8/2021


Greetings Members,

I have been a VAN member off and on for almost 10 years, due to my career taking different paths for the past decade. I always seem to gravitate back to working with volunteers and have been thankful for my VAN membership along the way.

My favorite benefit is the networking within our membership. Most of us are on teams of 1 in our current jobs, which does not lead to collaboration and idea sharing. I love being able to discuss current challenges and find solutions with colleagues at VAN. I always leave our meetings with new ideas on how to approach my job as a volunteer administrator, all because of our great members!

Do you have a friend or colleague who would benefit from a VAN membership? Did you know your first VAN meeting is free? Invite a friend to our next VAN virtual meeting and you will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card! Simply email to inform us of who you invited, and we will enter you in the drawing if they attend!
Since you’re already a member of VAN, you’re well aware of all the benefits, but here’s a refresher!
VAN Membership benefits include:
-Networking with members that include a variety of organizations: social service agencies, education, museums, libraries, parks, non-profits, government agencies
-Monthly Virtual/In-person PD’s
-Access to members-only website pages that include job opportunities, professional development, and volunteer administrator resources
-Volunteer Administrator Celebration with awards each fall

Betty Blockinger

VAN Membership Chair


VAN Professional Development Meeting
Topic: The Leader's Role in Sustaining Volunteer Passion with Barry Altland
Time: Thursday, April 15th, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) over Zoom
Description: Unprecedented challenges have befallen all manner of Volunteer-Supported Organizations.  You, the Leader of Volunteer Engagement, have been called upon to pivot in a number of ways to ensure that engagement remains intact and poised for the next phase of your organization’s evolution in the community.  There is no better time than now to rethink our traditional ways of serving those who serve alongside our organizations.  We have been afforded this moment to consider, new, enlightened and more effective ways of serving the passions of Volunteers so their heart may be sustained through, and far beyond, these challenging times.       
Barry Altland is a writer, speaker, non-profit executive, thought leader and published author of the book, “Engaging the Head, Heart and Hands of a Volunteer,” a simple guide for feeding the passion of those who serve.  Barry blends rich experience in the for-profit space with numerous experiences as a volunteer and leader of volunteers to bring a unique perspective on Volunteer Engagement.

Join Zoom Meeting on Thursday, April 15th at 9:00am
See your VANtage newsletter for Zoom information.


VAN Professional Development Meeting
Faiza Venzant, CVA will be presenting at our June PD meeting. Below is a blurb about the presentation as well as a bio of Faiza. She says the presentation is 90 minutes long. This will go over our usual time for meetings.
Am I Making the Right Decision?  The Role of Ethics in Volunteer Engagement
We all face sticky situations involving volunteers where “the right thing to do” is not obvious. This session will provide participants with an overview of ethical core values and principles which apply to volunteer engagement.  We’ll also review a decision-making process for navigating real-life ethical dilemmas on the job, as well as tips on how to incorporate ethics into the fabric of your organization. Content is based on the "Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration" material developed by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA).

Faiza Venzant CVA is the Executive Director of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration and General Manager, Volunteer Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. With 20 years of leadership experience in volunteer engagement, she continues this work with a goal of improving equity and access to volunteerism and increasing diversity amongst professional leaders of volunteers.  In 2018, Faiza published her first children’s book entitled, My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up!  As a mother of two young boys, she has not actually eaten any of her children up.

We're getting closer to seeing each other again! Pencil in that the September meeting will be an outdoor, in-person gathering. (As long as health guidelines permit, of course!) Keep reading every month for the details to come.


Our website is now listing job postings in central Ohio! Is your organization looking for Volunteer Administration? We can help spread the word! Log in to the VAN website and click on 'Job Bank' under the 'Member Resources' tab.


The Cleveland DOVIA, Forum for Volunteer Administrators (FVA) is offering us a discount for their Volgistics training workshop. VAN Members can contact us for information!


TEVA (Technology Evolution in Volunteer Administration) is conducting a study. The focus of the study is how volunteer administrators approach the use of technology in their day-to-day work. This includes both computer applications and social media, two tools that volunteer managers did not have a generation ago.  These tools can be very useful to our work, but they can also be scary or frustrating to learn and use. The survey will take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete, and the time can count as a professional development unit (PDUs) toward renewal of your CVA. 

The answers you provide will be kept confidential, and you will not be identified as a participant in the study.  We will combine your answers with survey responses from hundreds of other organizations to produce group statistics only. 

Click to Take the Survey