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Inclusive Volunteerism

Participants Needed for Listening Sessions on Helping Other People!

Do you help people in your community? Maybe you help people cook, take care of family, organize celebrations, drive friends to work and more.  Are you a Black, indigenous or person of color? The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) would love to hear from you about your experiences, and we will pay you with a $75 gift card for your time, energy and ideas.

For our November listening sessions we are looking for participants who are 1) BIPOC men, 2) Hmong, Indigenous/Native or Latinx (of any gender identity) and 3) BIPOC young adults between the ages of 18-25.

More Information

Join MAVA for 1.5 hour listening sessions about volunteering and helping others in your community. Listening sessions will take place virtually in October 2020. You will have multiple times and dates to choose from. You can only join one time.

We will not share your name or personal information. Only your words and ideas will be used in a report we will create. You will receive a $75 gift card (Cub, Target or Walmart) after the session by mail or email.


Please join us if:

  • You help others in your community (family, relatives, neighbors, etc.) or volunteer with a group or organization
  • You are willing to share your ideas and experiences
  • You are a Black, indigenous or person of color (see session descriptions below for more details for the voices we are seeking at each session)
  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You live, work or attend school in the city of Minneapolis (you do not need to have an office in Minneapolis, but you can do business there)
  • You have a device, such as a computer, tablet or phone, and internet connection to listen and talk to other people in a 1.5 hour session

If you would like to join, please register for one of our listening sessions below or email Lisa Joyslin at to sign up for a session.

Listening Session Registration
Please register below for only one session. Contact Lisa Joyslin at if you have any issues with registration.
Monday, November 9 from 4-5:30: Cancelled - Please register for a session on Wednesday
Wednesday, November 11 from 4-5:30pm: Session for BIPOC men; participants of any gender identity who are Hmong, Indigenous/Native, or Latinx,; or BIPOC individuals ages 18-25 - REGISTER HERE
Wednesday, November 11 from 6-7:30pm: No longer available - please register for 4pm session

We hosted 5 listening sessions in October and are appreciative of all the valuable information participants were willing to offer. We have chose the above demographics for our November sessions because we felt these voices were missing during our first 5 sessions.

About this Project

MAVA is conducting research on racial equity in volunteerism. We have identified areas of systemic racism in traditional volunteer structures, and would like to 1) identify additional barriers to participation and 2) learn about alternative volunteerism structures that are created by and for Black, indigenous and people of color.


We will use the information we gain to create an initial report and training on building racially equitable systems for volunteerism. Ideas shared by listening session participants will be cited in the report, but will be anonymous. MAVA is happy to provide all listening session attendees with copies of our report so you can see the research to which you are contributing.

MAVA would like to thank the Minneapolis Foundation for funding this initiative.


About MAVA's Inclusive Volunteerism InitDBT photoiative

Many nonprofit and government organizations struggle to engage volunteers who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the communities they serve. In response to this issue, in 2017 MAVA launched our Inclusive Volunteerism Initiative, a program focused on researching, identifying and dismantling the systemic inequities faced by people of color when volunteering on a formal basis with a nonprofit or government organization.

Ongoing activities of this initiative, ways you can get involved, and research products/findings are outlined below. If you have questions please contact Lisa Joyslin, Inclusive Volunteerism Program Manager, at

Thank you to the St. Paul Foundation, The F. R. Bigelow Foundation, and the Minneapolis Foundation for funding this initiative.



Across the globe, organizations are struggling to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. As they do so, the need to be creative and innovate, to connect with employees on a personal level, to work efficiently and productively, and to help maintain the health and safety of colleagues have become much more prescient and critical. Diversity & Inclusion is an effective methodology for attaining all these goals, in addition to being an end in and of itself.

Join Raafi-Karim Alidina of Frost, Inc. and learn how to leverage the principles of inclusion and deploy behavioral economics-based "Inclusion Nudges" to help your organization thrive through the crisis. Register here: Webinar: Responding Inclusively to Coronavirus - 8/12/2020

Research and Resources

Recognizing Racism in Volunteer Engagement
- Published 6/19/2020


Executive Summary - Engaging Volunteers from Diverse and Immigrant Communities
Click here to download the full report (free for MAVA members)

MAVA developed a set of 8 strategies for creating a more inclusive volunteer program at your organization. These strategies serve as a starting point for volunteer engagement leaders who are seeking concrete next steps for better engaging volunteers from communities of color.

Click here to download the document: Racial Equity Resources for Volunteer Engagement Leaders

MAVA assembled a curated list of articles, books, podcasts, consultants and more to support volunteer engagement leaders in their professional development around racial equity.

July 2019 - Do Better Together: Addressing Racial Bias with Volunteers - Notes
September 2019 - Do Better Together: Crafting Inclusive Volunteer Recruitment Messages - Volunteer Recruitment Message - Before and After - MN Literacy Council

About Our Research

MAVA has convened an Inclusive Volunteerism Task Force to explore barriers to volunteer engagement within communities of color and successful strategies for overcoming these barriers. The Task Force is made up of community representatives from culturally-specific organizations, volunteer managers for programs serving the East Metro, and community volunteers. If you're interested in learning more about the Task Force and receiving information about joining, please contact Lisa Joyslin at

MAVA is also conducting ongoing research in the form of interviews and case studies. If your organization is interested in meeting with MAVA to share your experiences with engaging volunteers from racially and ethnically diverse communities, please contact Lisa Joyslin at and she will be in touch to schedule a time to connect.

Training and Consulting

MAVA created a training curriculum around the 8 Strategies for Creating a More Inclusive Volunteer Program. This training has been presented to over 500 individuals in the last two years, and is available on a contract basis either in-person or via webinar.

MAVA is also available for consulting work around inclusive volunteerism. If your organization or government is seeking guidance in recruiting volunteers from diverse communities or creating a more inclusive volunteer program, please reach out and we will be happy to discuss our consulting opportunities and how they may fit with your needs.

For more information please contact Lisa Joyslin, Inclusive Volunteerism Program Manager, at