Conference Session Descriptions


2021 Conference Breakout Session Descriptions

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October 27th Breakout Sessions

Block 1
1:00 – 2:00 PM

1A.  Informal Volunteering: Why 70% of Potential Volunteers are Not Coming to Your Organization
Karmit Bulman – Executive Director, Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA)
Jewelean Jackson - Community Leader, Volunteer, Activist
Christian McCleary – Community Leader, Volunteer, Activist and Literacy MN Staff Person
In every corner of the world, people are responding to the serious problems caused by COVID-19, racial injustices and climate change through what our profession calls "informal volunteering".  At the same time, many organizations have furloughed volunteers and the professionals who lead them. Join this dynamic workshop to learn why 70% of volunteerism is done informally and why our formal approaches to volunteer engagement may unintentionally create barriers for the majority of people who wish to volunteer. We will feature a dynamic panel who will share why informally helping out and pitching in is very much a part of the lives of people from BIPOC communities and how organizations can learn from informal volunteers as we work to dismantle racial inequities in volunteerism.

1B.  Navigating Feedback: The Good, The Bad and the Say Whaaaat????
Nicole R. Smith - Volunteer Engagement/Workforce Development Specialist
This session will clearly define what feedback is and why it is vital to our personal growth and the growth of our programs. It will equip volunteer administrators with tools to navigate feedback - good or bad - and how to give effective feedback to themselves, their volunteers, and their colleagues.

1C.  Measuring and Communicating Volunteer Impact
Beth Steinhorn - President, VQ Volunteer Strategies
Demonstrating results goes beyond counting volunteers in your program and hours of service they provide. This session will explore trends and emerging tools designed to demonstrate quantitative and, more importantly, qualitative results that position volunteer engagement as a valuable and effective resource – especially given the events of the past 18 months. Learn some of the latest metrics to track volunteer impact and gain tools to make the case for volunteer engagement as a vital resource.

Block 2
2:15 - 3:15 PM

2A.  The Social Side of Service
Barb Burgie – Owner, Burgie MediaFusion
This session will help participants understand the impact of a successful social media strategy which can help promote awareness and increase volunteer engagement.  The session will review the top social media sites, best practices for each site, and how to create key indicators of success to share outcomes with both supervisors and the board. 

2B.  Leading Change in the Social Services & Nonprofit Sector: A Framework for Success
Dr. Jennifer Blalock – Chief Energy Officer, InJenuity Solutions
This session will focus on the essential elements of leading change in the social services and non-profit sector. Concepts covered will include defining change leadership, assessing change readiness, determining the difference between change management and change leadership, adopting and adapting a change leadership and management framework for your stakeholders, assessing and evaluating your change leadership process, and creating a change action plan template. Join us!

2C.  Strategic Planning for Volunteer Engagement: Your GPS to Future Success
Beth Steinhorn – President, VQ Volunteer Strategies
Successful organizations view volunteer engagement as a mission-critical strategy rather than as a “program.” The key is a comprehensive Volunteer Engagement Strategic Plan, which ensures a shared vision for engagement plus a roadmap to guide the journey. This session will feature the planning process plus two case studies – one from prior to the pandemic and one since, guiding the recovery. Leave with all you need to develop a volunteer engagement plan – and reap the benefits.


October 28th Breakout Sessions

Block 3
1:00 - 2:00 PM

3A.  How to Leverage Skills-Based Volunteering for COVID-19 Recovery and Capacity Building
Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald – Chief Program Officer, Common Impact
The years following a crisis can be especially hard for nonprofits and community organizations; the effects linger, but elevated support doesn’t. In times like these, we need bold, creative solutions – solutions like virtual skills-based volunteering. Skilled volunteering leverages the talents and expertise of corporate professionals to support nonprofits in making the necessary pivots, program enhancements and infrastructure investments. It is a powerful and effective tool for social sector organizations – particularly smaller or BIPOC-led nonprofits that have historically been overlooked for service and giving opportunities – to build capacity, especially now as they work to recover and rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Join Common Impact’s Chief Program Officer, Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald, as she explains the fundamentals of skills-based volunteering and proposes how SBV resources can be solutions for short- and long-term needs.  Elizabeth will guide attendees through the variety of models and readiness strategies leaving attendees with insights on kicking off pro bono projects and recommendations for where to access skills-based volunteering resources.

3B.  Unpacking White Saviorism in Service  
Alayna Shaw – Corps for a Change Program Manager, Colorado Youth for a Change
Cassie Dubov – Corps for a Change Program Coordinator, Colorado Youth for a Change
This session will give participants an understanding of how white saviorism operates on multiple levels (internally, interpersonally, ideologically, and institutionally) and how this may impact AmeriCorps and volunteer programming. Participants will reflect on the ways in which white saviorism shows up within their programs and organizations and how they can begin to interrupt this system.

3C. Serving at the Happiest Place on Earth
Amanda Hedrick - Director, Pre-Collegiate Programs and Initiatives, Shawnee State University
Have you ever wanted to serve at the “happiest place on Earth” like Disney claims to be? Do you wish that your peers could come to serve with a smile on their face every day and truly enjoy what they do daily? Find out how to use Disney’s “Lessons from a Mouse” and what happened within our school community when we implemented the ten lessons learned. Pump up the fun, support each other, and in doing so, support your community!

Block 4
2:15 - 3:15 PM

4A.  Google Tools, Templates, & Tips You Wish You Knew Yesterday
Evan Osgood – President, STEMs For Youth
This session will showcase a variety of free Google tools and templates that can help you and your volunteers save time and become more productive. Learn how taking five minutes to use these tools can save you 10 times that in the future!

4B.  Difficult Conversations: Discuss What Really Matters
Dr. Ericka Harney, Consultant & Coach, Harney & Associates
Conflict inevitably makes individuals uncomfortable. The ability to handle conflict is certainly an important skill but if you can’t approach the situation with reasonable dialect, each party walks away frustrated with nothing gained. Expectations go unmet, values are violated, and overall underperformance exists because people do not know how to effectively resolve issues without resorting to the use of power. Join us to learn how to avoid these pitfalls to have healthy, productive conversations in times of conflict.

4C.  The Accidental Trainer: Applying Engaging, Immersive Facilitation Techniques to Elevate Your Organization’s Learning Initiatives
Barry Altland -  Writer, Speaker, Thought Leader, Non-profit Executive at Head, Heart, Hands Engagement Collective
Many Leaders of Volunteer Engagement are called upon to guide learning as part of their role . . . and you deserve to be prepared to support others at your best as an “Accidental Trainer.”  Engage with Barry Altland in this interactive session to take your facilitation skills to a new level with tips, theory, technique and thoughts to consider!  Together, we will explore The Learner Engagement Model, the myth and reality of Zoom Fatigue, and so much more!  Arrive prepared to be an active part of your own learning experience!