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A Time to be Bold: Engaging Volunteers in a Shifting Environment
Trends in Volunteerism 2018

The Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA) updated its research on the volunteer environment across our state through a survey of the field conducted in Spring 2018.  Key findings demonstrate the evolution of previously identified trends, emergence of new developments, and innovative responses to changing conditions.  Survey respondents also shared over 100 strategies they use to make their volunteer programs as effective as possible; those techniques have been compiled in Advice from the Field.

Click here to get Advice from the Field: 100+ Tips, Tactics and Tools for Keeping Pace with Today's Volunteerism


Click here to read the Trends in Volunteerism 2018 Executive Summary

Click here to access the full Trends in Volunteerism 2018 Report (free to MAVA members)

Status of Minnesota Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment 2014

Click Here to read the 2014 Executive Summary

Click Here to read the full 2014 survey report

Status of Minnesota Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment 2013

Click Here to read the 2013 Executive Summary

Click Here to read the full 2013 survey report

As Minnesota moves to a “new normal” for nonprofits and governmental organizations, the Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA) conducted a follow-up study to our 2009 and 2010 reports on the status of volunteerism and volunteer programs during changing economic times. In early 2013, 320 leaders of volunteers and nonprofit managers across the state responded to a survey. Several themes emerged in the findings:

The #1 trend in volunteer availability is volunteers interest in shorter term volunteering.
Volunteers have real impact in tight financial times. 22% of organizations reported that volunteers helped preserve organizational services.
Reliance on volunteers increased with 49% of organization reporting volunteer hours have increased compared to a year ago.
The surge in people inquiring about volunteering following the recession is tapering off. The portion of potential new volunteers inquiring that were job seekers dropped to 37% from 66% in 2010.
Interest in collaborating with external organizations is high with 46% reporting the volunteer program’s involvement in collaborative activities with outside partners.
Volunteerism practices are being updated for changing volunteer expectations and organizational needs with 65% of organizations involving volunteers in new roles and positions in the organization and 46% involving volunteers in leadership positions.
Respondents shared hundreds of strategies for volunteer programs to respond to the current times. The goal of the survey was to help leaders of volunteers capitalize on their organization’s volunteer resources by seeing how their experiences in the changing times compare to overall trends and to share strategies for responding to changes.

2011 and 2009 Reports on the Status of Minnesota Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment

Click Here to read the 2011 Executive Summary.

Click Here to read the full 2011 survey results.

Click Here for 2009 survey results.

It is not business as usual. To address these unprecedented times, MAVA seeks to provide resources to help leaders of volunteers better understand what is changing and learn strategies to address the changes.
In the News!

MAVA Featured on MPR's Midmorning program on Volunteerism, December 23, 2010. "Volunteer Nation"

Results of Shifting Environment Survey featured on Minnesota Public Radio, December 4, 2009. "Nonprofits See Uptick in Volunteers During Down Economy," click here to listen to the broadcast or read the article!

Featured in the West Central Tribune for "Time to Be Bold" workshop in Willmar.

Featured in Minneapolis Star Tribune on November 9, 2009, "Volunteer to Find Careers"

Survey release featured in Energize Inc. December update as "Hard Facts - No Whining - Solid Ideas"

Pioneer Press quotes initial survey results.

View notes and strategies from MAVA's symposiums and discussion forums on "A Time to Be Bold."

Click here to download the 2009 Minnesota Civic Health Index, a survey aimed to take the pulse of American civic life in a moment of great change.

See Susan Ellis's December Hot Topic: When the Ax Falls: Budget Cutting and Volunteers.

View the national News Brief on "Volunteers and the Economic Downturn" released by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

See the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' report on the Current Conditions of Nonprofits.

View MAVA's resources for job seekers.

Research featured in Ramsey County's 2010 Report on Volunteerism.

Handouts and Presentations from "A Time to Be Bold" Symposium: December 4, 2009

Janene Riedeman, Director of Volunteer Services, St. Cloud Hospital

Partner with Staff to Maximize Volunteer Role in Achieving Mission
Jean Nierenhausen, Director of Volunteer Services, Minnesota Historical Society

"A Time To Be Bold" - How to get control on responding to the shifting environment
Gail Peterson, Senior Director of Volunteer Services, Courage Center

Gaining Management Support
Deb Waggoner, VP of Human Resources, Courage Center

Decision Making Matrix For Evaluating New Opportunities
Polly Roach, Vice President - Strategic Services, Mentoring Partnership of MN

Time to Be Bold Symposium Notes
Thank you to the Otto Bremer Foundation, the St. Paul Foundation and the Initiative Foundation for funding, in part, the efforts to bring these resources to leaders of volunteers in Minnesota.