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Little Bites: Solutions you can snack on - Episode #3 ft. Kasandra James on common questions

Posted By Sammy Feilchenfeld, January 12, 2018

Estimated reading time - 2 minutes. Episode runtime: 12:26 minutes. 


Sammy here—your Training Specialist from Volunteer Toronto. Episode #3 of Little Bites is now live with more Solutions you can Snack On!

At Volunteer Toronto, we know volunteer managers, like you, are busy. If you’re looking to save time, on challenges from small to big, we’ll give you tips during every episode of Little Bites.  Each month I'll welcome a different guest to talk volunteer management, favourite snacks and great ideas we think you should know about. You can check back here monthly for new episodes on our blog!

It’s a new year and we want to help you get started on the right note. Kasandra James, Volunteer Toronto’s Subscriptions Coordinator, joins me in “The Pantry” to answer the questions you’ve sent in and asked us time after time.

Tune in to learn about recruitment techniques, working with multiple offices/teams/chapters and the big question of police checks for newcomer volunteers. We also bring you some quick answers to help you enhance your volunteer management practice in the “Lightning Round.”

Listen now to hear all about it:


While you listen, here are the 3 main questions (and one of the answers for each) from this episode:


Q. “Recruitment can be tough sometimes for small organizations. Though we are doing pretty well with our numbers, I would like to some tips on how to recruit and outreach to new volunteers when your organization is smaller than most.”

A. Try starting internally with your connections and your volunteer's connections to find new volunteers. Word-of-mouth can help a lot!


Q. “My organization has chapters, and in some cases offices, all across the country. How do we encourage good volunteer management throughout my organization?”

A. Set standards for volunteer management across your organization based on the reality of roles everywhere (what works and doesn’t in each region). Communicate these standards and ensure proper training is provided.


Q. “I ask volunteer candidates to get police checks as part of the screening process. What do I do for newcomer volunteers who may not be able to get a police check?”

A. It's important to not forget the reasons why you need to screen volunteers – If a police check is needed as the volunteer could be working with vulnerable populations, you have to ensure this is completed, no matter what.


Do you have a pressing question you want answered on air? E-mail me at or tweet @VolunteerTO with #VTlittlebites.

Thanks for listening, and keep snacking!


As Volunteer Toronto's Training Specialist, Sammy Feilchenfeld develops and delivers 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:  Accessible volunteer programs  Accommodating volunteers  advice  Assessing your volunteer training program  Background Screening for volunteers  barriers to volunteering  best practises in volunteer engagement  Challenges for Grassroots Organizations  find a volunteer  finding a great volunteer  finding volunteers  get people volunteering  grassroots groups  Grassroots Growth  Grassroots Leaders  grassroots organizations  how to be more efficient in your volunteer program  how to find great volunteers  how to get staff buy-in for volunteer engagement  how to get volunteers for your event  How to keep volunteers  how to motivate volunteers  how to recruit volunteers  how to screen a volunteer  how to supervise volunteers  How to thank your volunteer  How to volunteer as a newcomer  innovative thinking for volunteer management  leaders of volunteers  Leadership  Making you volunteer program accessible to everyon  networking  non-profits  not enough volunteers  people management  planning for volunteers  Police Records Checks  Police screening  supervise volunteers  supervising volunteers  volunteer  Volunteer Administrators  volunteer ambassadors  Volunteer Assessment  Volunteer assistant  volunteer coordination  volunteer coordinators  volunteer engagement  Volunteer evaluation  volunteer management  volunteer managers  Volunteer orientation  volunteer program  Volunteer Program Policies  volunteer programs  volunteer recruitment  volunteer retention  volunteer screening  volunteer screening best practices  volunteer supervisors  Volunteer Toronto Find volunteers  volunteer training  volunteer-run groups  volunteer-run organizations  ways to improve your volunteer program 

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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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