Society is evolving and volunteers are, too. The approaches nonprofits used in the past to engage volunteers simply are not working any more. In addition, organizations are called upon to do more with less and, at the same time, respond to the increasingly complex needs in their communities. New tactics are needed to reach today’s supporters, specifically more sophisticated leadership skills.
If we continue with the same strategies, we can expect to continue to struggle with engaging high-quality supporters. Today’s volunteers require today’s tactics. Nonprofits cannot afford to miss the chance to get and keep their best advocates.
Founded on the belief that volunteerism represents the very best of humanity, VolunteerPro helps purpose-driven organizations engage today's volunteers who share a common vision for a better world. We employ evidence-based strategies to attract, inspire and mobilize top volunteer talent.
Tobi Johnson & Associates, the consulting side of the firm's "house," was formed in 2009 when its founder left her position as director of a statewide volunteer network in the Pacific Northwest to her new home at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. In 2015, the firm was incorporated as a limited liability corporation.
For nearly a decade, the firm has worked with local, state, national, and international human services networks and programs, such as Volunteering Australia, CharityHowTo, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Pro Bono Australia, the Kansas Health Foundation, Enroll America, the National Trust (UK), the National SHIP Resource Center, AARP, Random Acts of Flowers, Meals on Wheels Association of America, and others. She speaks and trains in the US and abroad at national and local gatherings of volunteer and nonprofit industry professionals.
The consultancy and its leader are known for successfully challenging the status quo and long-held mindsets about what can be achieved as we engage diverse communities in our missions. They are known for multi-disciplinary, “big hat” thinking combined with practical know how gleaned from years in the field. This work is also informed by contemporary academic research in the field of volunteer engagement and philanthropy.
In 2015, Tobi Johnson & Associates launched VolunteerPro, the digital training arm of the company. This online professional development community is the only of its kind in the word specifically for leaders of volunteers. Through this portal, we offer volunteer management training, coaching, and a community discussion forum to leaders of volunteers at all levels.
Our course curriculum is considered best-in-class, and our membership community of practice and database of over 250 tools and recordings help our customers solve practical challenges, save time, and boost their results.
The firm also produces its annual Volunteer Management Progress Report, a global state-of-the-industry survey offered free of charge to the field. In its third year, 1,070 leaders of volunteers from 13 countries participated in the study. We expect participation and insights gleaned from this research trends to only grow.
In addition, Tobi was invited to write Chapter 1 of the book Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World (Wiley & Sons, 2015). In her groundbreaking chapter – “Big Shifts That Will Change Volunteerism for the Better” – she shares four key trends are affecting volunteer administration and offers tactical ideas for action. They include:
• New Insights from Brain Science
• Demographic and Generational Changes
• Technological Advances
• Workplace Shifts
According to Tobi, this chapter “is intended to inspire deeper thinking about the current and future contexts of volunteer engagement and community involvement. By examining and capitalizing on new trends and recent discoveries across a wide range of disciplines, we can collectively revamp and refresh the field of volunteerism for the better.”