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Inclusive Volunteerism

About MAVA's Inclusive Volunteerism Initiative

Many nonprofit and government organizations struggle to engage volunteers who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the communities they serve. In response to this issue, in 2017 MAVA launched our Inclusive Volunteerism Initiative, a program focused on researching, identifying and dismantling the systemic inequities faced by people of color when volunteering on a formal basis with a nonprofit or government organization.

Ongoing activities of this initiative, ways you can get involved, and research products/findings are outlined below. If you have questions please contact Lisa Joyslin, Inclusive Volunteerism Program Manager, at

Thank you to the St. Paul Foundation for funding this initiative.

8 Strategies for Creating a More Inclusive Volunteer Program

MAVA has developed a set of 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 communities of color.

There are several ways to access this report:
Executive Summary - Engaging Volunteers from Diverse and Immigrant Communities
Click here to download the full report (free for MAVA members)


MAVA has convened an Inclusive Volunteerism Task Force to explore barriers to volunteer engagement within communities of color and successful strategies for overcoming these barriers. The Task Force is made up of community representatives from culturally-specific organizations, volunteer managers for programs serving the East Metro, and community volunteers. If you're interested in learning more about the Task Force and receiving information about joining, please contact Lisa Joyslin at

MAVA is also conducting ongoing research in the form of interviews and case studies. If your organization is interested in meeting with MAVA to share your experiences with engaging volunteers from racially and ethnically diverse communities, please contact Lisa Joyslin at and she will be in touch to schedule a time to connect.

Training and Consulting

MAVA created a training curriculum around the 8 Strategies for Creating a More Inclusive Volunteer Program. The training will be presented at MAVA's 2018 Annual Conference (June 6-8 in St. Paul) and is also available on a contract basis either in-person or via webinar.

MAVA is also available for consulting work around inclusive volunteerism. If your organization or government is seeking guidance in recruiting volunteers from diverse communities or creating a more inclusive volunteer program, please reach out and we will be happy to discuss our consulting opportunities and how they may fit with your needs.