Skip to main content
HomeRace Equity in Volunteerism

Race Equity in Volunteerism

About MAVA's Work on Inclusion and Racial Equity in Volunteerism

DBT photo

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 BIPOC individuals 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 Michael Nguyen, at

Thank you to the St. Paul Foundation, The F. R. Bigelow Foundation, and the Minneapolis Foundation for funding this initiative. 
Scroll down to find information on DEI trainings and consulting, and resources created from our research on racial equity in volunteerism.

Training and Consulting

MAVA provides training workshops and consulting services to nonprofits working to advance racial equity in volunteerism. If your organization could use assistance with assessing your volunteer program from a DEI lens, training staff and volunteers on racial equity, or building equitable volunteer engagement systems, please contact us to learn more about how MAVA can help.

We have multiple workshops available, including:
 - 8 Strategies for Creating a More Inclusive Volunteer Program
 - Crafting Inclusive Language Volunteer Recruitment Messages
 - No "One Right Way": Imagining New Systems for Volunteer Engagement
 - Antiracism 101 (this workshop can be customized for staff or volunteers)
 - Additional customized workshops according to your organization's needs

Learn more about MAVA's customized trainings and consultations or contact Michael Nguyen, at for more information, including pricing and scheduling.

Race Equity in Volunteerism Assessment Program

The Race Equity in Volunteerism Assessment Program (R.E.V.A) offers a customized approach for organizations and groups who wish to examine and take action to address race equity in volunteerism. It can involve any or all of the following: a comprehensive written assessment tool which includes a report containing a score, recommendations and suggested action steps; a conversation-based assessment process; coaching; training; and action planning assistance. Click here: REVA Description for more information.

Research and Resources

NEW!: Co-Creating Racial Equity in Volunteer Engagement Report

Read this report to learn more about systemic racial inequities in volunteer engagement and imagine new systems of volunteerism. This report was created with input from 40 BIPOC individuals who participated in listening sessions about race equity in volunteerism.

Co-Creating Racial Equity EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2021

Infographic - Co-Creating Racial Equity
Click here to download the full report

Recognizing Racism in Volunteer Engagement - Published 6/19/2020
Volunteerism Best Practices: Not Best for Everyone - Published 10/28/2020


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.

Executive Summary - Engaging Volunteers from Diverse and Immigrant Communities
Infographic: 8 Strategies for Engaging Volunteers from Diverse and Immigrant Communities
Click here to download the full report

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

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