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Promoting Job Equity for Volunteer Engagement Professionals


How Volunteer Engagement Professionals Compare with Other Key Staff

In June 2017, Minnesota Association of Volunteers (MAVA) initiated a study as a result of ongoing feedback from volunteer engagement professionals that their positions are comparable to three other key staff positions in terms of skill set and scope of responsibility, yet there is a lack of equity. We sought to obtain a top-level view on how the VEP is perceived by CEOs in comparison to other similar positions within an organization. Our goal was to learn how to address inequities and challenges faced by VEPs.

A survey was sent to thousands of nonprofit and government organizations. The survey was designed to examine how CEOs recruit, support, and resource four key positions in nonprofit and public sector organizations, so that organizational leaders and other stakeholders can improve practices and make informed decisions. The four positions studied were:

Volunteer Engagement Professionals (VEPs)

Development Directors (DDs)
Program Directors (PDs)
Human Resource Professionals (HRPs)

464 CEOs responded to a 22 question survey.

Upon analysis of the surveys, MAVA determined that it was necessary to follow up and interview a diverse group of nonprofit CEOs in order to obtain deeper insight regarding the survey findings. MAVA interviewed 24 CEOs from across North America. Finally, MAVA conducted focus groups with around 50 Minnesota volunteer engagement professionals.

The result of this work is a report called “Promoting Job Equity for Volunteer Engagement Professionals.” The report includes summary data and features some significant findings.

Areas of Focus

  • Comparison of VEPs, HRPs, DDs and PDs Qualifications
  • VEP Inclusion in Leadership Team and Strategic Planning, Salaries and Position Elimination in Tough Budget Times
  • Challenges VEPs Experience and How CEOs Can Contribute to Volunteer Program Effectiveness
  • How Volunteer Engagement Professionals Can Make the Case for Job Equity.

Report Synopsis

Together we can make change. Share the synopsis of MAVA’s job equity report with you colleagues and employer. Click here for the synopsis.

Personal Action Plan

How do you drive change? The report has a template for you to create your own personal action plan.

The Report

Access the report on our Products page. Report is FREE for MAVA members!

“Generally we need more advocacy; VEPs are undervalued. Need to tell the story that volunteers save money. Without volunteers, we would need twice as much funding to run our program. Need to do return on volunteer investment and promote this. Invest more in VEPs in order to gain more return.”