A New Resource for Volunteer Administrators in Western NC

Spectrum volunteers dig holes for the ramp posts May 19 during the build day with Asheville Habitat Home Repair.
Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

Volunteer program managers in Western North Carolina have a new resource for professional development and peer networking, right here at home.

The Land of the Sky Association of Volunteer Administrators (or LOSAVA) has announced its affiliation with the statewide association of volunteer administrators, NCAVA. This local chapter is open to anyone who coordinates volunteers for a local organization, whether they work in a paid, stipend or unpaid capacity.

Western North Carolina is home to over 1,700 non-profit organizations, according to the NC Center for Nonprofits. Jack Henry, Director of People Operations for the YMCA of WNC, emphasized the importance of professional development for volunteers administrators to organizations like the Y. “After my involvement with aspects of volunteer administration for over a decade, I was invited to an NCAVA statewide conference held in Black Mountain a few years ago. I was blown away by the knowledge, networks, and resources I came away with. It helped me grow in my career immensely. I wanted to help spark a local affiliate that could provide those same benefits here in Western North Carolina.”

During his two years serving on the board of NCAVA as the western regional director, Jack has partaken in many of the continuing education and ongoing support opportunities offered through the statewide association, including the NC Certified Volunteer Administrator credentialing program. “NCAVA has been the premier professional development organization for volunteer managers in North Carolina for 45 years. NCAVA provides resources for professional growth, a respected and recognized certification program called CAVNC, as well as a yearly statewide conference that gives credit hours toward certification. The energy behind the explosive interest in LOSAVA demonstrates the fact that an affiliate in WNC has long been a felt need.”

Thirty-two volunteer administrators from across the region attended the first bi-monthly meeting on February 21 in Asheville. Since then, the membership list has grown to nearly eighty volunteer administrators. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about LOSAVA can contact Kristina Israel, Volunteer Coordinator with Four Seasons Compassion for Life, by calling (828) 692-6178. There is currently no fee to join LOSAVA and membership meetings are held every other month.

Jack Henry concludes, “There have been local NCAVA affiliates in our region in the past, which have been very impactful. We hope to renew our region’s access to a network for such a niche vocation, one which is often overlooked in organizations as a profession in its own right. LOSAVA will also provide multiple workshops on volunteer program development, which will all be certified for credit hours towards the CAVNC credential. LOSAVA is here to support volunteer managers, which will benefit our 1,700-plus non-profit organizations and have a measurable, positive impact on the communities we serve.”

The next LOSAVA bi-monthly meeting will be held on April 23 in Hendersonville. For more information, contact Kristina Israel at [email protected].

The mission of the North Carolina Association of Volunteer Administrators is to provide education and leadership towards effective volunteer management in North Carolina. It is North Carolina’s only statewide professional association for all volunteer managers. To find out more, visit www.ncava.net.