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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April 2019 Workshop – Data Speaks: Two Recent Studies About Our Role and Our Work

April 4, 2019
2999 River Road West
Goochland, VA 23063

Presenter: Presented by Katie Campbell, CVA – Skye Consulting

This session will share the results of 2 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 – that’s you! The second (conducted by Verified Volunteers and Volunteer Match) examines volunteer screening trends and how technology will impact our work in the future. Come listen to the data, and leave enlightened and inspired to use it!

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GRAVA March 2019 Workshop – Synapse

March 7, 2019
Maymont Park – Garden Hall
1701 Hampton St
Richmond, VA 23220

Presenter: Panel with Keith Reynolds

Keith Reynolds, Co-Founder of Synapse, will be joining us to share the Synapse story and explain how Synapse creates Connections, Collaboration and Contributions all around the Richmond, Charlottesville and Coastal Virginia communities! Joined by several Synapse members and “Hub Leaders”, Keith will tell his personal story of how he came to be in the position to create and build upon the unique vision of Synapse. After Keith shares the Synapse story, several of the Synapse members and leaders will explain the various ways that the Synapse community has impacted their personal and professional lives. Finally, the Synapse panel will provide information about how GRAVA members can experience and explore the Synapse network of “Hubs” by “Hub Hopping” with them in the near future! If you appreciate a good story, you don’t want to miss this “Hopportunity”!

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February Workshop Recap

The February meeting saw what was likely the LARGEST turnout in GRAVA history with almost 65 people in attendance. The meeting was held in the new Community Foundation space in Scott’s Addition and used every single chair available.
To begin the event Vanessa Diamond, Senior Vice President of Community Innovation at the Community Foundation, walked us through the evolution of HandsOn and development of the new Community Innovation department. In addition to going over what is currently available to volunteer administrators in the area Vanessa discussed the future of the website and tools that will be offered.  See this Community Foundation Learning Flyer
for information on classes including the Volunteer Management Training Series.
After Vanessa’s overview Ellen Costlow, Community Engagement Coordinator – Youth Services with Chesterfield County, facilitated roundtable discussions on volunteer appreciation. Members shared what they have done to recognize volunteers throughout the year and during National Volunteer Week. Ellen also introduced “7 Questions to Answer Before Planning Your NVW Campaign” which participants talked through at their tables.
When the group came back together people offered recognition suggestions as well as ideas and reminders about the importance of appreciating our volunteers year-round.  The group also discussed staff appreciation and engagement as well as the opportunity to anonymously survey volunteers about their experiences and even how they’d like to be appreciated.
To wrap up the meeting members took a group photo like PROS.  We look forward to another amazing turnout at Maymont on March 7th!
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GRAVA February 2019 Roundtable – Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

February 7, 2019
Community Foundation for a greater Richmond
3409 W Moore St
Richmond, VA 23230

Presenter: Roundtable led by Ellen Costlow

National Volunteer Week is April 7-13, 2019!
Volunteers keep our organizations moving forward, not just by sharing their time and talents but by opening their hearts. How can we say thank you in a way that truly resonates and expresses our gratitude? Join us for an interactive roundtable discussion on volunteer recognition! Please bring examples of anything you’ve done to recognize volunteers in the past and come ready to share ideas.

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GRAVA January 2019 Workshop – Collective Impact

January 3, 2019
Westminster Canterbury
1600 Westbrook Ave
Richmond, VA 23227

Presenter: Panel led by Kate Bausman

Many of the challenges we face in society and attempt to address in our roles as community members, community service professionals, and policy makers are deeply intertwined with other factors. For example, our access to education impacts our economic stability, which can impact our access to healthy foods, safe housing, and healthcare.

Collective Impact recognizes the connection between different areas of life and understands that a multi-sectoral approach with shared leadership between community members and service providers is needed to address the larger underlying context that lays the foundation for thriving communities and neighbors. Through utilizing the Collective Impact model, resident voices are utilized in decision making, organizations are better able to collaborate, and resources are more effectively utilized. Join us for a panel discussion on Collective Impact initiatives in the Richmond Area.


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November 2018 Workshop Recap

The presenter for our November “Self-Care” program was Suzanne Vinson of Silver Tree Art. Suzanne is a wife, mother, chaplain/minister, author and artist. She encouraged us to close our eyes and breathe as she read an essay, Breathe In, Breathe Out from My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Remen, M.D. Then a poem from her own book, Broken Wide Whole, was read aloud by several members of our group, as we sat in the light dimmed room.

We then were given several choices of small art projects to work on. A popular one was coloring matchsticks from matchbooks with Suzanne’s designs on them, and think about the ways in which we “light up” the world in our roles as volunteer managers.

Suzanne brought buttons, matchboxes, and cards with her whimsical watercolor designs and sayings for members to take home with them, as well as their own handiwork.

St. Joseph’s Villa hosted our event. Members learned a lot about St. Joseph’s Villa, their campus and mission. Tours were offered after the program by Kathy Perun.

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