Date: Session 1: 05/12/2021; Session 2: 05/20/21
Time: Each session begins at 1 pm eastern
Run Time: Each session is 90 minutes including Q & A
Leader: Brad Lebowsky, MBA, Nonprofit Consultant
Credits: Each session has been awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI and 1.5 PDCs
Price: Webinars $395; Webinars + Downloads $449 (Share the downloads with your colleagues or incorporate them into your own volunteer training program)
Audience: Volunteer coordinators, executive directors, program managers,
managers, supervisors, directors, etc.


Recruiting and supervising the organization’s volunteer workforce isn’t easy. First, you need to find the “right people,” and provide them with the orientation and training they’ll need to be successful. Next comes supervision as they join your other volunteers and employees, all working together to deliver your organization’s mission critical services.  And if all this goes according to plan, you have a volunteer who is both engaged and satisfied and plans to continue volunteering for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, there are always bumps in the road. The volunteer turnover rate is over 50 percent annually. For too many nonprofits volunteering is a revolving door and requires constant effort just to keep more qualified new volunteers entering than leaving the organization.

Volunteer Management Best Practices: From Recruiting and Training to Supervising, Engaging and Retaining Qualified & Motivated Volunteers is a two-session series.  Session 1 focuses on best practices for recruiting and training your volunteers. Session 2 deals with supervision and stresses the importance of developing effective engagement and retention strategies. The goal should always be the recruiting, training, supervision, and long-term retention of qualified volunteers who make significant contributions to your organization and find their volunteer experience highly engaging and rewarding.

Volunteering is changing. Examples of this include expanded use of social media to identify and recruit new volunteers, increasing demand for more tech savvy volunteers, more virtual volunteering opportunities, growing legal risks associated with supervising a volunteer workforce, etc. At the same time, the pool of qualified volunteers appears to be shrinking and organizations are competing for the most desirable volunteers. This calls for taking a closer look at how you have traditionally recruited and supervised your volunteers. By making the necessary changes you discover, you should be able to slow your volunteer revolving door and improve the satisfaction of your volunteers and the quality of the services you provide your community. Please join Brad Lebowsky MBA, a well-known nonprofit consultant with decades of experience helping his nonprofit clients to develop and implement successful volunteer recruitment and retentiion programs, as he discusses the new realities of volunteering and offers best practices for helping your organization to recruit and retain its share of the volunteer talent it requires to deliver your services and fulfill your mission.


During Session 1: Volunteer Recruitment & Training; Mr. Lebowsky will discuss best practices for:

  • Identifying the responsibilities of the volunteer coordinator
  • Newer strategies for recruiting qualified volunteers including how to effectively utilize social media and your website for recruiting. Also, updating more traditional approaches for recruiting new volunteers
  • How to compete successfully with other nonprofits for tech savvy and other skill based volunteers
  • Preparing in advance for the questions you can expect from prospective volunteers
  • How to conduct an organization wide volunteer needs assessment. This will allow you to determine what types of volunteer skills you need to recruit
  • Streamlining the application process, but never forgoing background checks
  • Weeding out volunteer applicants who just won’t fit in and might become disruptive
  • Finding the ideal virtual volunteer and clearly defining the tasks which can be accomplished virtually. Security issues and making sure the virtual volunteer has access to the necessary equipment can be challenging
  • Special considerations for recruiting volunteer groups
  • The volunteer coordinator as the chief training officer. The role supervisors and managers should play during volunteer training
  • Developing training session outlines
  • Importance of the volunteer handbook, including what topics to cover during training and what other topics to include for future reference by a volunteer–Your volunteers need to understand the organization’s expectations and their responsibilities. The volunteer handbook is a good place to discuss both.

During Session 2: Volunteer Supervision, Engagement and Retention; Mr. Lebowsky will discuss best practices for: 

  • The importance of the volunteer handbook as an ongoing reference for your volunteers. Making sure your volunteers either have or have access to a copy of the handbook.
  • Relying on proven volunteer metrics to determine appropriate volunteer staffing levels and for measuring volunteer productivity. Putting these metrics together should not be time consuming and should be easy to use.
  • Developing engagement and retention programs for your skill based and other volunteers
  • Providing supervisors and managers with the necessary training to supervise your volunteers. Adequate training should help to reduce your potential legal and reputation risks if problems should develop with a volunteer
  • Not all volunteers will stay‒what you can learn from a departing volunteer
  • Establishing effective volunteer feedback mechanisms‒an important part of a successful engagement and retention program
  • Involving and demonstrating you value the input of your volunteers‒particularly your skill-based volunteers. This is another aspect of successful engagement and retention and goes a long way to demonstrating to your volunteers that you value their experience and knowledge
  • Providing recognition which goes beyond the “volunteer of the month” and volunteer appreciation events. How to make the “pat on the back” meaningful
  • How to avoid turning your volunteers into employees. Avoid giving your volunteers to much responsibility and turning them into de facto supervisors
  • Best practices for increasing volunteer engagement and retention
  • How to integrate different generations of volunteers with different work styles into your organization
  • Identifying remote volunteer opportunities and how to effectively supervise your remote volunteers. Making sure they stay engaged with your nonprofit


Brad Lebowsky earned his MBA with an emphasis on nonprofit management specializing in finance and budgeting. Brad has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience and is a sought-after speaker, author, and nonprofit consultant. His areas of expertise include budgeting, finance, grant writing, strategic planning, board training, retention of donors, employees, volunteers, and professional development. He also has a podcast, The NEA Podcast, which is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Brad can be reached at As a speaker, author, or consultant his overriding goals are to grow people, communities, and resources for nonprofit organizations across the country.