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How To Network Your Way To A Better Volunteer Program

Posted By Kasandra James & Sammy Feilchenfeld, February 18, 2016

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

In the non-profit sector, “networking” just sounds like any other buzzword, but this business term is about more than meeting people in your own profession. As managers of volunteers, networking can help you improve your program, and the way you do your work, in great new ways.

So why should volunteer managers network with each other?

  • To learn about challenges faced by others in the same role at different kinds of organizations – and more importantly, how they overcame these challenges.
  • To inquire about successes that others have seen in their own volunteer programs. These best and promising practices can help your program succeed as well!
  • To meet others with varying levels of experience in the role, you can create meaningful partnerships to maximize your efficiency – such as sharing software, recruitment techniques, or even volunteer pools.
  • To avoid “reinventing the wheel” for your volunteer management practice, and especially get a grasp of what kind of technology, support systems, consulting, venue rental opportunities and more are available to you in your role.
  • To receive valuable feedback and insight on your own volunteer program from volunteer managers who do similar work – get an outside opinion of what’s working and what isn’t.
  • To learn about new trends in the sector, how they affect volunteer management and the changes you can anticipate and begin planning for the future.


You might be getting excited about the opportunities networking can provide – but you also need to know how you can meet these other volunteer managers! Here are a few great places to start:

The professional social network can help you stay connected through topical groups, and organizational pages. Check out Volunteer Toronto's Linkedin Page.

Associations of Volunteer Administrators

Toronto & Scarborough both have their very own AVA’s to bring people together and start a dialogue through monthly meetings and beyond. Visit TAVA and SAVA's websites.

Community organizations & communities of practice

Look for the organizations serving your community and connecting non-profits for a local or common cause, such as TRIEC.

Subscriber Circles

Monthly discussion series hosted by Volunteer Toronto for Full Subscriber organizations on a variety of volunteer management trends and topics. See what circle is coming up this month!


VECTor ConferenceVolunteer Toronto - March 9th
TAVA ConferenceTAVA - February 25th
LIVE Conference: PAVRO - May 26th-27th


The VECTor Conference will include a variety of structured networking opportunities that will give attendees the opportunity to connect with colleagues in the non-profit sector and build networks of your own. The Marketplace is a chance to meet with vendors and community partners providing the tech and tools that can support your programs, and give you great new ideas.

Networking doesn’t have to be difficult – seek out your peers and start a conversation today! Your volunteer program will be better for it.


Kasandra James & Samuel FeilchenfeldKasandra James is the first point of contact for non-profits looking for support. She facilitates monthly Subscriber Circles, contributes to Volunteer Toronto's Sector Space newsletter, blogs & social media as well as ensures our program continues to help non-profit's build capacity through volunteer involvement.

Sammy Feilchenfeld develops and delivers Volunteer Toronto's in-person, online and on-demand training in order to support managers and coordinators of volunteers in Toronto’s non-profit and charitable organizations.

Tags:  Community  How To Build A Support Network  Network building  Networking for Volunteer Managers  Volunteer Administrators  Volunteer Management Conferences 

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