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About MAVA

Over 800 members strong, MAVA is the largest professional membership association for leaders of volunteers in the state of Minnesota. Founded as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization in 2001, it is an alliance of individuals and networks dedicated to providing support and resources to those who lead volunteers. MAVA unites administrators of structured volunteer programs as well as those who have an interest in promoting volunteerism across the state. Through its advocacy efforts, MAVA provides a respected, energetic voice for volunteerism across Minnesota.

In today's world, the capacity to engage and mobilize volunteers is essential. MAVA firmly believes that volunteers are a critical resource for improving lives and communities. Knowledgeable, well-trained professionals are essential to building an organization's ability to maximize volunteers' productivity. MAVA strives to enhance communities across Minnesota by supporting those who lead volunteers.

Members of MAVA represent all sectors of society: faith communities, health care, social service, education, government, grassroots organizations and more. MAVA provides a forum and directory for members to network and to learn from each other.

The unique structure of MAVA makes it possible for members around the state to enjoy the benefits of a large and strong professional association, while retaining ties to local networks that support leaders of volunteers. MAVA members who work in certain fields (for example, health care or faith communities) have additional opportunities for learning and networking through well-organized networks within MAVA. Find out more about ways to partner and collaborate with MAVA.
Prior to MAVA’s launch in 2001, dozens of small, separate networks of volunteer managers existed throughout Minnesota. Volunteer administrators understood as early as 1990 that there was no common voice for volunteer administration in Minnesota and that the myriad of small networks severely strained financial resources and leadership potential.
In 1997, this void was further recognized when President Clinton convened the Presidents' Summit for America's Future and planners could not identify a central stateside professional association for volunteer administration in Minnesota. This spurred leaders in Minnesota's volunteer community to once again renew their vision to consolidate networks into one strong association. They saw that a single alliance would advance the profession of volunteer administration by enhancing visibility and credibility. In 1998, Volunteer Leadership 2000 invited more than 40 small networks to develop the new statewide alliance that would be known as the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration.
Launched on November 14, 2001, MAVA now combines the resources and knowledge of many of these separate groups. With the closing of the Minnesota Office of Citizenship and Volunteer Services during Governor Jesse Ventura's administration in 2002 and severe cuts to social programs in subsequent years, Minnesota's volunteer programs are under increasingly severe strain. The resources and education provided by MAVA are now more vital than ever.
"All the partners in the volunteer community have a role to play a very special role. My travels throughout this country bring me to one conclusion about this new alliance and it is this: Minnesota has an excellent opportunity to again lead the way and to exhibit the power that comes from a volunteer leadership community unified around issues and challenges in the field. One not limited by definitions and roles which do not fit year 2000 and beyond-thinking. Through this kind of collaboration, 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals MUCH MORE than 3. This is energizing ... exciting ... earthshaking ... groundbreaking for the field!!! It is what true leadership, lived out in a contemporary world, requires us to make happen. "   

Mike Newman
Past President, Association for Volunteer Administration