Volunteer Engagement Professional (VEP) Program

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  • Register
    • Animal Welfare Professional Member - $500
    • Student Member - $500
    • Industry Partner Member - $500
    • Learning Non-member - $750
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Effective volunteer programs strengthen organizational sustainability and build capacity. Learn foundational knowledge to ensure a robust volunteer program with the five courses designed for both emerging and experienced nonprofit professionals. The online Volunteer Engagement Professional (VEP) program created by the Academy of Prosocial Learning, in partnership with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, provides a comprehensive, contemporary overview of volunteer engagement in several environments, including animal protection. Led by experts working in nonprofit leadership, learners will gain practical skills relevant to today's volunteer programs.


The program will include:

  1. Planning and Preparing for Volunteers (12 Hours)
  2. Volunteer Recruitment Basics (coming Fall 2020)
  3. Volunteer Orientation and Training (coming Fall 2020)
  4. Volunteer Supervision and Program Evaluation (coming in 2021)
  5. Volunteer Retention and Acknowledgment  (coming in 2021)

Members of The Association can save $50 off the registration fee  for each course-- learn more. Registration takes place on the website of the Academy of Prosocial Learning.

  • Planning and Preparing for Volunteers

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    Discover the specifics of volunteer engagement, how it serves your organization and builds capacity differently than traditional volunteer management, ways to manage risks involved with any volunteer program, and complete a volunteer engagement needs assessment.

    This course is offered by our partner 

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    The majority of nonprofit organizations rely heavily on volunteers. How can an organization not only develop a list of volunteers willing to handle tasks, but strategically engage volunteers in a way that allows them to best utilize their skills and also help the organization to target overall goals and objectives? Using an engagement model to embrace both skill-oriented and mission-driven volunteers will allow your organization to plan for long-term and episodic needs.

    Course participants will complete various activities using information from their organization (where one works or volunteers) as well as a volunteer engagement needs assessment. This assessment will help organizations see where they have strengths, areas for growth, and where areas related to training exist. Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

    • Explain volunteer engagement and how it differs from traditional volunteer management
    • Describe the types of volunteers with which an organization may engage
    • Describe the key areas an organization needs to review in order to best create and utilize a volunteer program (i.e., staff support, facilities, staffing plans)
    • Understand risk management in relation to volunteer programs
    • Match volunteer skills to organizational needs
    • Complete a volunteer engagement needs assessment

    This is a self-paced course with no instructor-led forums and you have 90 days from registration to complete all course elements. All readings are provided in the course or the course manual. It should take you approximately twelve hours to go through the material, complete the readings, assignments, and assessment, and take any quizzes. Additional time may be spent exploring optional readings. This course is the first of five in the Volunteer Engagement Professional Program.

    This course has been pre-approved for 12 CE points of continuing education credit toward the Certified Animal Welfare Administrator credential offered by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.

    Members of The Association can save $50 off the registration fee -- learn more. Registration takes place on the website of the Academy of Prosocial Learning.


    This is the first course in a five-course Volunteer Engagement  Professional program (VEP) designed for both emerging and experienced nonprofit professionals, created by the Academy of Prosocial Learning in partnership with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.

    Stephanie IItle-Clark

    Founder and President, Academy of Prosocial Learning

    Dr. Stephanie Itle-Clark is the founder and president of the Academy of Prosocial Learning where she specializes in humane pedagogy, empathy development, and  prosocial education.  Previously, she taught in both private and public education  sectors and was the Director of Learning at The Humane Society of the United States. She is a current board member of the Humane Education Coalition and the United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee.

    Megan Moon

    Founder and President, Humane Education Coalition

    Megan Moon is the founder and president of the Humane Education Coalition.  She specializes in leadership and management development for  professional  organizations, including volunteer management, building a diverse and inclusive board, and formulating and executing comprehensive marketing, branding, and  development strategies that ensure consistency, support  programming, and  engage stakeholders.