Presenters and Session Details

beth-steinhornOur keynote is Beth Steinhorn of the Fixler Group!

KEYNOTE: Leading Practices: The Path to Connecting Hand, Heart, and Impact
Engagement is, ultimately, a strategy to connect individuals who have time and talent with community needs. How are organizations across the continent successfully making these connections? How are others truly embracing best practices in order to increase impact for their organizations and communities? This session will highlight selected leading practices in volunteer engagement and feature case studies of successful innovation. Case studies will be drawn from different types of organizations, including healthcare, human services, cultural organizations, and others. Be inspired by successful innovations, learn from others’ lessons and advice, and even share some of your own successful innovations. Tools and activities will be included so that you can begin to apply best practices to your own work. Handouts: VAN-NW – Leading Practices – JFFixler Group – 06-24-2016

Workshops for VAN conference 2016

Workshop 1: 10:10 – 11:25 a.m.
1. Sound Screening & Training Practices: Foundation for Impactful Engagement by Patrick Tefft
Healthy organizations effectively tap into volunteer motivation and passion. Sound volunteer policy and practices support volunteers to succeed and thrive, while capitalizing volunteer impacts toward the organization mission. This session will focus on screening, placement, orientation and training. Participants will identify opportunities to tune-up volunteer engagement practices and learn/discuss strategies for making improvements. Come prepared to share your experiences and firm up your organization’s volunteer engagement practices. Handouts: Vol Screening Training Practices (Tefft) and Resource Packet-Vol Screening Training Practices (Tefft)

2. An E-mail Intervention by Karen Thomas
Overwhelmed by email? Join Karen Thomas, Productivity Consultant, as she teaches strategies to manage your email so it doesn’t manage you. In this workshop you’ll learn how to:
• Improve focus and recoup wasted time by minimizing distractions and interruptions
• Reduce email volume
• Strategically process email
• Improve email quality
• Improve task management and work prioritization

Handouts: Email Intervention – Participant Hand Out and Email Intervention – VAN

3. Strategic Planning for Volunteer Engagement by Beth Steinhorn
What happens when you shift from thinking of volunteer engagement as a program of your organization and, instead, consider it a vital strategy to fulfill your mission? When organizations embrace engagement as a strategy, they harness community talent and skills to deliver more programs, lighten staff workload, gain more ambassadors, increase donations, and, ultimately, fulfill mission. This workshop will feature data and trends to support such a shift and highlight case studies of the organizations who have made this shift over the past few years. We’ll also include an overview of the process and elements of a volunteer engagement strategic plan so you can begin a case statement for engagement to build support for a strategic plan for engagement. Handouts:  Case Statement for Volunteer Engagement and VAN NW – Plan the Work Work the Plan – JFFixler Group

4. Reporting the Impact of Volunteer Engagement by Juli Forman
Learn to measure and report the impact of your volunteer program, including distinguishing outputs from outcomes. You will be able to discuss your situation with peers, getting feedback on possible measures and measurement methods, as well as offer insight into other’s situations. By the end of the workshop you will be able to more effectively report on impact, in order to increase support and funding from inside and outside your organization! Handouts: VCW-MeasuringResults2015 jf

Workshop #2 12:25 – 1:40 p.m.

1. What Gets Measured Gets Done by Beth Steinhorn
Demonstrating results goes beyond counting the number of volunteers in your program and the hours of service they provide. This interactive workshop will lead participants through a process designed to demonstrate quantitative and, more importantly, qualitative results that position volunteer engagement as a valuable and effective resource within your organization. Learn how to use accountability tools including work plans and progress reports to measure impact and outcomes. Consider how to make the case for volunteer engagement and learn how storytelling can be used as a tool for spreading the word about the impact and return on investment of volunteer engagement. Handouts: VAN NW – What Gets Measured – JFFixler Group – 06-24-16 and Calculating ROVI

2. Beyond Volunteering: Building partnerships between non-profits and companies for mutual growth by Jonathan Rhodes
When it comes to corporate volunteering the relationship can seem very lopsided with companies donating their skills and resources to non-profits. However, nonprofits also have skills and resources that companies desire. By recognizing we each have something the other needs, we can build deeper, more balanced partnerships and grow together. We’ll explore together strategies we can use to increase corporate volunteering, build longer-term relationships and make these volunteering activities more effective and impactful. Handouts: Beyond Volunteering – Corporate Partnerships and Beyond Volunteering Handout

3. High Impact Recruiting by Rick Lynch
In this workshop, participants learn to create a powerful recruitment message that attracts motivated and competent volunteers. Participants will learn to use marketing techniques to diversify their volunteer force. In the workshop, they will create messages that will increase the proportion of qualified candidates they attract. Handouts: RecruitmentShort2VAN16

4. The Power of Story-Telling by Nikki Russell
As volunteer management professionals, the ability to incorporate compelling stories into our recruitment, recognition and evaluation strategies is key to effective engagement. We know the value volunteers bring to our organizations. But how well are we telling the volunteer story? How well are we conveying the power of volunteer action to our organizations and to the greater community? Join with your peers to explore the “power of story-telling”. We will look beyond numbers and hours to discover and share real stories of volunteer involvement and will walk away with fresh ideas for creating compelling stories of volunteer impact.

Workshop #3 1:50 – 3:05 p.m.

1. Motivation and Recognition: How to keep Volunteers Engaged by Ariel Novick
This presentation will focus on support and retention of volunteers and ultimately how to engage them with all parts of the organization. If we can retain volunteers to spend more time with our organization, then we can develop deeper relationships and learn their interests and motivations for being involved. This will then translate into a core group of volunteers and a targeted outreach strategy for volunteers. Core volunteers allow programs to dive deeper into what is possible to achieve. You will walk away with tools of how to engage their volunteers and ultimately get them to invest in their organization.  Handouts: Motivating and recognition takeaways and Motivating and recognition and Motivating and recognition notes

2. Innovation: What does creating an inclusive environment really look like? By Marxa Marnia & Cassidy Stout
Given a volunteer’s ability to become either fantastic ambassadors for our organizations as a result of positive experiences or incongruent representations of our organizational values due to negative experiences, the strategic consideration of the volunteer experience is paramount. Building social awareness and inclusive capacity can help us increase the quality and diversity of our volunteer pool by demonstrating an appreciation for the base of community that support our work. This workshop will introduce you to concepts and terms you’ll hear often when communities talk about equity and inclusion.

3. Celebrating our Mojo by Nikki Russell
As volunteer management professionals, we know the value we bring to our organizations as volunteer managers, but we often neglect to give credit where credit is due. The success of our volunteer engagement efforts is the result of the professional skills and talents we bring to our work. How well do you know your personal and professional power and strength? Join with your peers to explore your formidable professional skill set. This session will explore “what it takes” to be an effective manager of volunteers. Get to know you professional strengths, as well as weaknesses. Identify areas for continued growth as a professional. Join this session and “get your professional mojo on”.

4. Coaching Volunteers for Performance Improvement by Rick Lynch
Sometimes, volunteers may need a little coaching to do their roles well. Too often, the attempt to help volunteers learn their role happens in a way that seems like criticism to the volunteer, and volunteer discouragement or turnover may result. In this workshop, participants learn and practice skills in improving volunteer performance through the application of coaching techniques. Handouts: CoachingSkillsVPMShort

You can find Beth Steinhorn’s bio HERE.  All our speakers bios can be found at

Here’s the  Schedule for the Day:

VAN Conference Schedule for June 24, 2016 at Cascadia College

8-8:25 am                            Breakfast/registration/Resource Fair

8:25-8:40 am                      Announcements/thanks

8:40-10:00 am                    Keynote

10:10-11:25 am                 Workshop 1

11:25 am-12:25 pm          Lunch/Resource Fair/ structured networking or relax time! (Your choice)

12:25-1:40 pm                    Workshop 2

1:50-3:05 pm                      Workshop 3

3:15-3:50 pm      Conversation Café

3:50-4:00 pm      Wrap-up/door prizes

4:00 – 6:00 pm     Happy Hour at Beardslee’s Public House! Avoid all the traffic!

Thank you to our sponsors: United Way of King County , Volunteer Centers of Washington, United Way of Snohomish County and Better Impact!


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