How often do you think about how essential volunteers are to achieving your nonprofit mission? Do you truly understand volunteerism and how critical it is to the success of your program? Do you understand what your organization’s volunteer engagement staff do? What skills they bring to the table? To better understand these issues, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) embarked upon an important research study in June 2017. We learned that the lack of true understanding about the essential nature of volunteers and those who lead them, undermines the effectiveness of nonprofits. We learned that there are affirmative steps that can be taken to address the issues.