OAVR Newsletter - February 2020

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

In This Issue:

Membership Meeting
Get to Know Your Board: Adam Janes
CVA Study Group
Connect with us on LinkedIn
Mark Your Calendars
What's New: Webinars and Workshops
E-Volunteerism Articles
Past Newsletters
Come join us at our 2020 membership meeting - the agenda includes presentations on Better Impact and how to create a successful volunteer description for online use, a discussion about difficult situations with volunteers and of course networking!

When: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 11:00am – 1:00pm 

Where: Vanier Community Service Center, 270 Marier Avenue

RSVP to today!

Adam Janes - OAVR Membership & Engagement 

I am coming up on my 4 year anniversary as a full-time manager of Volunteers. I have been with Christie Lake Kids for almost 5 years and volunteered with CLK the year before that (proof that volunteering is good for your career). I also volunteer with Volunteer Ottawa as a Workshop Facilitator and Community Speaker. 

When I am not engaging people in giving their time to amazing causes I am usually being Daddy to my three kids and hanging out with them, board games, road trips and fun!
I love to learn about people and new perspectives, writing and connecting with others. 

Check out one of my blogs below to learn more about me and my most recent project.


Volunteer Management - What I didn’t know

(Preaching to the Choir Edition)

I have been fortunate to join the board at OAVR last year and at about the same time I became the volunteer engagement consultant to an innovation platform called In 2020 we will be exploring great topics like building a volunteer program, special guests and different perspectives on the Catalyst for Change: Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector and youth champions of altruism, both in podcast and blog formats!  

There are lots of cliches and wisdom around knowing: 'You don't know until you try', 'the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know', 'know-thyself', 'you don't know what you got till it's gone… they paved paradise…' ok, you know I got you on that one. 
I like to say, in cliche like fashion, that cliches are cliches because they are mostly true.

Within the widely unknown world of Volunteer Management, all these knowing cliches could be true. I have been working in the not for profit sector for well over a decade, but it was only in the past three years as a volunteer engagement professional that I truly understood all that goes into it (and what professionals in the field are doing to do it well). I didn’t know there was a whole Volunteer Engagement world going on! 

Let me take you back to 2007... Yes, we can say back to 2007 now, it was 13 years ago. I was running two youth programs for youth aged 10-12 and 13-17. I started small, like five people small. But as I built up the program, we began having a couple of dozen youth regularly out to join us. It was becoming a lot for myself and my wife (my only volunteer at the time, five-time volunteer of the month champ btw) to handle. So we did what all growing community groups did: we started looking around for volunteers. Little did I know where this first search would take me.

You yourself may have recruited a volunteer or two (Or a thousand), or gotten a few moms and dads together for… a bake sale… Asking two or three people for help is a lot like running a mom and pop shop. There is a lot to do, but most engagement can happen ad-hoc, and there is little need for screening, training, recognition, onboarding, recruitment, evaluation, retention programs and strategies. When you only need a couple of people, a help wanted sign, and a short conversation might do the trick.

Once your program reaches 25, 50, 100 or even 1000 people, it intensifies in complexity at each level. I have heard it compared to business HR management, but without having money as a motivator (we will get back to that in another blog) but there is even more to it than that comparison. If you have been the lead in managing and motivating people you know there are lots of things to consider. You know walking the line between quality work and human consideration is a place of challenge and of opportunity.

“Walking the line between quality work and human consideration is a place of challenge and of opportunity.”

The volunteer relationship can be complex. Even early on, I realized, wow, how can I say thanks to these great people for helping with the program I was leading? How can I equip them? How can I keep them engaged for longer? How can we make an even bigger impact? How can I keep getting them to do quality work without financial compensation?

Now while polishing the finishing touches on a full-scale volunteer program, I certainly did not know what all goes into building one until I began building it. I think like many this is unexplored territory and an area that I am excited to give time to sharing about but also reflecting on what makes it work. Over the coming weeks, I hope to share with you, the good reader, the blueprints, action steps and missed-steps of building up an Innovative Volunteer Program.

That's all for now, check out the latest podcast to bring you beyond the bake sale at

- Adam Janes

Are you preparing to complete the CVA exam? Interested in joining a Study Group?

If so, please contact to confirm your interest. From there, we’ll contact everyone to discuss dates and time.

PAVRO -> May 14-15 2020 in Toronto

VMPC National Conference -> June 8-10 2020 in Saskatoon.
Join us on LinkedIn and stay connected - we are posting new content all the time, including events, webinars, articles, surveys and much more!

Click here to join.

Want to go down memory lane?
You can check out past OAVR newsletters

Check us out at!
Send your questions, comments, or newsletter submissions to:

What's New

Webinar February 25

Want to learn how to effectively delegate volunteer engagement and management work to volunteers?

In this webinar by VolunteerMatch you will discuss evaluating your program for volunteer engagement, determining how best to deploy volunteers, creating a communication plan, screening and training volunteers to be an important part of your volunteer recruiting, retention and recognition plans.

To learn more and register for this webinar on Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in your Volunteer Engagement Program, click here.
Webinar March 10

When was the last time you reviewed your Volunteer Handbook? 

Learn how to create a living document that can help both paid and volunteer staff be better informed and know what is expected of them. This webinar will evaluate the current Handbook you have and help you create a stronger framework for your volunteer engagement program.

To learn more and register for this webinar by VolunteerMatch on Playing by the Rules: Creating an Effective Volunteer Handbook, click here.
Webinar March 11

Are you looking for new ways to share the impact volunteers have in your organization?

This webinar will help you move past number of volunteers and number of hours and start telling the real story. You'll learn about information gathering and the key components to good storytelling, how to evaluate your current measurements and how to build support for a more thorough measurement and evaluation program. 

To learn more and register for this webinar on Telling the Story of Volunteer Impact, click here.
Mini Course

It is time to create deeper connections with your volunteers and tackle the science of trust for better more effective supervision.

In this mini course you will receive

  • Expert on-demand video instruction (42-minutes)
  • The Miracle Mindset (worksheet)
  • Five Common Myths & Mindsets About Volunteers (cheat sheet)
To learn more and register for this free mini course - The Art & Science of Volunteer Accountability, click here. 

e-Volunteerism Free Articles of the Month

The late Susan J. Ellis, Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink use this Points of View to present a provocative and much-debated topic: What really makes someone a skilled and effective volunteer engagement professional who can train colleagues to work well with volunteers? Check out this article to find out more!

“People just don’t commit like they used to!” is a common complaint of leaders of volunteer engagement who find themselves confronting the new trend of shorter-term volunteers. This article offers tips and strategies to help with recruiting volunteers seeking shorter commitments to fit their busier lifestyles. 
Interested in reading more? Subscribe to e-Volunteerism to get access to current volunteer management articles in each quarterly issue, and 18 years of archives!
OAVR's Mandate:
To promote professionalism in volunteer resource management
To support our members in the pursuit of their goals
To provide a forum to share information and resources
To network with peers

OAVR's Goals:
Exchange ideas and resources
Share information and concerns
Offering support and encouragement to members
Liaising with organizations involved with volunteers 
Promoting professionalism among our members
Assisting our members with their professional development
PDU Reminder:
Don't forget that Professional Development Units can be applied to written submissions to this newsletter!

If you're working towards or maintaining your CVA or a similar certification, part of the application process requires a minimum number of PDUs.

So get writing and share your expertise with your fellow volunteer managers by submitting your articles to!

Writing related to volunteer resources management (blogs, articles, research reports, website content, etc.)

500 words = 2 PDUs

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