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Five Weekly Sessions via Zoom

Mondays  -  4/12,  4/19,  4/26,  5/03,  5/10
12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. (PT)

Event Description

Creating a Strong Volunteer Program for Small, Rural Nonprofits 

Jess Hampton, Learning Programs Manager, Nonprofit Association of Oregon

Are you a small, rural nonprofit that utilizes volunteers but doesn’t have a robust system for recruitment and retention? Are you struggling to adapt your volunteer program to meet the challenges of the virtual world we’re living in?

Join a group of your peers for this five-session interactive series that will help you create a strong volunteer program that provides a framework for organizational success and benchmarks for volunteer engagement and satisfaction. The cohort leader will guide participants through best practices for volunteer programs as well as provide additional resource material, templates for success and outside coaching. Participants will be encouraged to share evolving ideas and experience and can expect to further their peer networks with nonprofit leaders from around the state. 

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  1. Develop or enhance a volunteer management program with clear job descriptions, on-boarding processes and development in leading and keeping volunteers.
  2. Assess ways to better understand volunteer skills and interests and “plug them in” to roles in which they’ll succeed and thrive.
  3. Develop strategies for celebrating and retaining valuable volunteers by creating evaluation processes for your volunteer program.


Session 1

April 12            

Kick-off and Introductory Session: 
This session will provide a framework for the program and be an opportunity for nonprofit peers to get to know one another, share challenges they're each facing, and provide for valuable networking.

Session 2

April 19            

Volunteers are Priceless - Understanding Volunteer Motivation: If we don’t understand why volunteers are motivated to join our efforts, we can’t build an effective volunteer program. In this session, you’ll gain an understanding of why people volunteer and why we shouldn’t consider their service free. 

Session 3

April 26

Devloping the Tools for Your Volunteer Program: In this session, we'll examine the tools needed for an effective volunteer program. We’ll look at the different components, such as job descriptions, volunteer orientation practices, evaluation and rewarding volunteer service. You’ll be provided with templates discussed in this session.

Session 4

May 3

Recruiting Volunteers: Now that you’ve strengthened your internal protocols for the program, we’ll look at how to recruit volunteers and match them with opportunities that are fulfilling for both them and meet organizational needs. We’ll think outside the box to address virtual volunteer opportunities and challenges.

Session 5

May 10

How to Navigate Issues and Retaining and Celebrating Volunteers. Issues can arise with even the most well-meaning volunteers. We’ll explore strategies for overcoming difficulties and promoting a culture that is responsive to addressing concerns. We’ll also look at different ways to make sure you’re celebrating service in order to retain volunteers.

Additional Guidelines

  • This learning series is intended to support Oregon-based 501(c)(3) all-volunteer to small staffed nonprofits in rural communities statewide.
  • Each session will provide nonprofit leaders with vetted information, ideas, and peer support as they navigate a flood of critical decisions they must make in 2021 and beyond. 
  • Limit is 15 individuals per cohort with no more than two representatives from one organization.
  • Participants make a commitment to attend all sessions.


This nonprofit learning cohort is made possible with support from The Ford Family Foundation.

About the Cohort Leader

Jess Hampton, Learning Programs Manager, NAO
Jess Hampton is currently the Nonprofit Learning Programs Manager at NAO and a lifelong Oregonian. Jess has worked in the nonprofit sector in different capacities for over 20 years; as a nonprofit volunteer, cooperative finance manager, program and curriculum developer, leadership trainer and facilitator, program evaluator, board member of various nonprofits, nonprofit consultant and project manager. She earned her graduate degree in Nonprofit Management from University of Oregon and strives to provide practical resources and tools that benefit the nonprofit organizations that are so crucial to the heart of our state. In her personal time, Jess enjoys adventuring around Oregon with her family, playing board games and trying to teach their dog, Barbara Anne, new tricks!



$75 for NAO Members
$150 for Yet To Be Members

The NAO member discount will be applied after you select "Register Now" below. You must be logged in to your member account to receive the discount. 

You will receive a registration confirmation e-mail. A link to access each weekly virtual cohort session will be sent to registered participants by the Cohort Leader prior to each session.

Please send questions and comments ahead of the session to Presenter Jess Hampton:

If you have questions or trouble registering,  contact



April 12th, 2021 12:00 PM through May 10th, 2021 1:15 PM
Online Event
Price $ 150.00
Event Particulars
City Online learning
NAO Event? Yes
Topic Volunteer Management
Event Region Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, North Coast, Northern Willamette Valley, South Coast, Southern Oregon, Southern Willamette Valley
Programmatic Approach Capacity Builiding