GRAVA Holiday Social

GRAVA members, you’re invited to the GRAVA social on Thursday, December 5th from 4:30-5:30pm at Social52.

To RSVP, head over to our invitation!

Cheers to all the good work GRAVA members did in 2019!

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Download the GRAVA Schedule

Download a free printable of the GRAVA Meetings 2019-2020.

Join us for conversations and workshops on advocating for volunteers within your organization, strategic planning, data, managing interns, and so much more!

GRAVA events are free for members and $5 for folks who aren’t members. Every event is an opportunity to win a prize, gain a skill, eat a tasty breakfast, and network with fellow volunteer management professionals.

To become a GRAVA member—or renew your membership—head over here.

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November’s GRAVA Workshop: Self Care

Self Care 

with Project Yoga Richmond

Thursday, November 7th
Visual Arts Center of Richmond*
1812 W Main St
Richmond, VA 23220

GRAVA appreciates you! This month we honor Richmond’s volunteer professionals with a self care workshop (and a gift for everyone in attendance!) at Vis Arts. Project Yoga Richmond is going to lead us in chair yoga practice—no need to wear your stretchy pants, though, chair yoga is office-clothing friendly—and we are going to celebrate all of the amazing ways you make Richmond a better place for everyone.

As always, breakfast will be served.

This workshop is free for GRAVA members and $5 for non-members. An impactful act of self care is joining GRAVA! We offer workshops year-round and a summer conference; learning with fellow volunteer professionals is a great way to invigorate yourself, grow your community network, and keep learning new skills.

*Vis Arts has a parking lot behind and beside the building. There’s also street parking.

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GRAVA Meeting: October 2019

Emotional Intelligence

Presented by Susan Wilkes

How are you smart?  Come learn why “emotional intelligence” may be more important, especially in volunteer management, than traditional “IQ.”  In this interactive session, we’ll learn about the key components of emotional intelligence, watch some fun video clips of EQ in action, and explore where we might get a boost in EQ!

October 3rd
LaPrade Library
9000 Hull Street Rd
North Chesterfield, VA 23236


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June 2019 Workshop – Create a More Inclusive Volunteer Program

June 6, 2019
Community Foundation for a greater Richmond
3409 W Moore St
Richmond, VA 23230

Presenter: Presented by Stephanie Glenn


Do volunteers at your organization represent the racial and ethnic diversity of the community you serve? The answer, for most governments and nonprofit organizations, is “no.”  But this can change.  Join GRAVA on June 6th  to learn 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 diverse and immigrant communities.

Stephanie Glenn is formally the program  manager for HandsOn Greater Richmond which is a service of the Community Foundation.  Currently in a new role as Senior Program Officer for Educational Success.  Stephanie has 16 years’ experience in nonprofit with specialization of volunteer management.  She’s a volunteer’s volunteers as she serves on several boards and volunteers herself as a mentor to youth. Stephanie has dedicated her career to making a change in communities where individuals and families need systematic change.

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May 2019 Meeting – Peer2Peer Mentoring

How to Give and Receive Productive Professional Peer Support

May 2, 2019
YWCA Richmond
6 N 5th St
Richmond, VA 23219

*Parking is available on the street and in the parking garage across the street. Parking is not free.*

Presenter: Presented by Alison Jones-Nassar and Katie Campbell

GRAVA members – you asked and we heard! Overwhelming numbers of volunteer engagement professionals operate departments of one and are in need of professional advice concerning daily challenges as well as guidance on particular issues, ideas for new initiatives, and suggestions on how to navigate sensitive situations that are unique to our profession. As members of GRAVA, we are surrounded at every workshop by peers with experience and expertise in the problems we wish to solve. But how can we efficiently connect with our peers in small group or one-on-one arrangements? And how can we ensure that we connect in ways that are positive, productive, and professional? Join Alison Jones-Nassar, GRAVA’s professional development chair, and independent consultant Katie Campbell, who has facilitated hundreds of peer consulting sessions locally and nationally, on Thursday May 2 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. for an informative session that promises to provide you with the peer support models and mechanisms you need to engage in short- and longer-term consultations, get you the answers you need, and unleash the peer consultant within!

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April Meeting Takeaways

Data Speaks Workshop

When Katie Campbell is presenting at a GRAVA meeting, you know you’re going to learn a ton and leave ready to take on the world.

Katie shared the results of two recent national research projects with implications for the field of volunteer engagement. The first (conducted by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration) focused on job equity for volunteer engagement professionals and the second (conducted by Verified Volunteers and Volunteer Match) examines volunteer screening trends and how technology will impact our work in the future. You can view the slides here.

Here are some of the members’ takeaways:

  • To test people skills, put recruit with a small group and include some “difficult” people.
  • “Energy and enthusiasm are the tonic that get things done.”
  • VEP’s are highly regarded, but treated differently.
  • Number of skills CEOs think Volunteer Managers need over how they are the first to be let go in a crunch. Volunteer Managers were rated highest in 4 out of 6 skills. “Advocate for your position by framing your impact.”
  • Hiring managers expect a lot from Volunteer Managers without the fiscal compensation.
  • “I love getting access to great websites I wouldn’t find on my own.”
  • “I learned about the “Adverse Action” process.”
  • “Ah-ha! The HR position and the Volunteer Administrator position are closely aligned; there is so much overlap.”
  • It’s great that the intuitive inclination toward structured screening is supported by data and trends! This helps to support the perception of our field as a profession!
  • (4 people commented) The #1 method to retain volunteers through recognition is by giving training and special projects.
  • Volunteer Managers are highly valued, but still the first to be cut at budget time. We are still not advocating well enough for our profession.
  • The acknowledgement from CEOs that there is in fact, a “disconnect”.
  • Use slack ( for volunteers – great data is out there to focus work around! (NOTE: there are other apps like Basecamp that coordinate tasks, texts, communication in one spot)
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