Prior to MAVA’s launch in 2001, dozens of small, separate networks of volunteer managers existed throughout Minnesota. Volunteer administrators understood as early as 1990 that there was no common voice for volunteer administration in Minnesota and that the myriad of small networks severely strained financial resources and leadership potential.
In 1997, this void was further recognized when President Clinton convened the Presidents Summit for America's Future and planners could not identify a central stateside professional association for volunteer administration in Minnesota. This spurred leaders in Minnesota's volunteer community to once again renew their vision to consolidate networks into one strong association. They saw that a single alliance would advance the profession of volunteer administration by enhancing visibility and credibility. In 1998 Volunteer Leadership 2000 invited more than 40 small networks to develop the new statewide alliance that would be known as the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration.
Launched on November 14, 2001, MAVA now combines the resources and knowledge of many of these separate groups. With the closing of the Minnesota Office of Citizenship and Volunteer Services during Governor Jesse Ventura's administration in 2002 and severe cuts to social programs in subsequent years, Minnesota's volunteer programs are under increasingly severe strain. The resources and education provided by MAVA are now more vital than ever.
      All the partners in the volunteer community have a role to play a very special role. My travels throughout this country bring me to one conclusion about this new alliance and it is this: Minnesota has an excellent opportunity to again lead the way and to exhibit the power that comes from a volunteer leadership community unified around issues and challenges in the field. one not limited by definitions and roles which do not fit year 2000 and beyond-thinking. Through this kind of collaboration, 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals MUCH MORE than 3. This is energizing ... exciting ... earthshaking ... groundbreaking for the field!!! It is what true leadership, lived out in a contemporary world, requires us to make happen.     
Mike Newman
Past President, Association for Volunteer Administration