Extra Event - October 23rd - Volunteer Management Hybrid Conference - "The Future is Now"

Updated November event - join us on November 14th to hear from Shannon Leahy on how to use story telling to demonstrate the value and impact volunteers are making in your organization and community!

TAVA Member Spotlight


Name: Christine Martin

Organization: Evergreen

RoleSenior Manager, Volunteer Engagement

Working in the Volunteer Engagement Sector for: 18 years

Been a part of TAVA for: approximately 14 years

Christine is the recipient of the 2018 TAVA Innovation Award!

Nominations for the 2019 Innovation Award close on May 15- don't miss out on this opportunity to recognize a TAVA member who inspires you.


"I also recommend expanding your professional development and learning beyond the usual topics - what about learning more about marketing or adult education or event management? Read broadly. Keep learning and expanding your thinking and you are sure to grow!"

As someone working in Volunteer Engagement, how does TAVA help you?

TAVA has helped me in so many ways - it is where I have built my strongest networks in the sector and always know I can reach out to other leaders for ideas! The workshops have been inspiring and have helped me to develop personally and to create dynamic, engaging experiences in my work. TAVA has provided a great space to explore challenges and issues together, coming up with creative solutions together. Being a part of TAVA provides the community of peers we all need. I always walk away being inspired.


In the past year, what was your most memorable professional project and why?

I am an ideas person who likes thinking out of the box. This year, I have enjoyed exploring innovative ways of thinking about engaging volunteers by researching and writing blogs about volunteer engagement and design thinking, as well as expanding what volunteering means and the changing world of volunteering. I am excited to share thought-provoking ideas with readers.

Would you please explain the professional success you're most proud of and how you implemented it?


I think building Evergreen's volunteer program at Evergreen Brick Works from the ground up has been the most rewarding. From researching and assessing needs to deep collaboration with key staff, I was able to build a foundation that still stands today. I am proud to have set up a framework that is able to adapt and grow with the changing needs of the organization. As I continue to collaborate across the organization, the program improves and expands through continuous introduction updated approaches and resources.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge to working in Volunteer Engagement?

Volunteer engagement is typically under-resourced and under-valued, compared to other parts of an organization. This makes it challenging to achieve the excellence we strive for and to think as strategically and creatively as we could.

What advice would you give to someone looking to take the next step in their Volunteer Engagement career?

Try something new in your work! Talk to others or think on your own about new ways to tackle challenges or new ideas to deepen engagement. Then come up with a simple pilot and try it out. This is a great way to expand your thinking, improve your impact and build your experience. I also recommend expanding your professional development and learning beyond the usual topics - what about learning more about marketing or adult education or event management? Read broadly. Keep learning and expanding your thinking and you are sure to grow!

When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

I love to spend time with my family and the great outdoors. I am also busy working on a Masters of Design, so there isn't too much free time these days!

Published: April 2019
Copyright Toronto Association for Volunteer Administration
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software