Skip to main content

Engage Library

Training Designs

The purpose of Training Designs is to pool the knowledge and experiences of trainers around the world and to create a unique, user-friendly, expanding training resource to enhance the training activities of those working with volunteers and paid staff. The quarterly articles provide training examples, exercises, tools, resources, and tips on various aspects of content and processes in training staff and/or volunteers. Each issue offers an in-depth exploration of one technique or topic applicable to a wide range of organizations.

The training materials are intended as a starting point to stimulate further sharing among readers. Please share your insights, experiences, and knowledge of previously published or unpublished training examples on the topics addressed.

Susan J. Ellis may be best remembered for her prolific writing and famous "Hot Topics," her personal musings on important issues in the volunteer engagement field. But for many people, their fondest memories and biggest 'aha' moments came from Ellis’ work as a trainer. This…
July 2020
As Leaders of Volunteers, communication is an integral part of our job. It anchors most of the work we do, whether it be within our organization to volunteers and  colleagues, or externally focusing on recruitment and engagement. It can sometimes feel like our work is full of…
April 2020
Leaders of volunteers around the world now face the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, far and wide. At e-Volunteerism, we wanted to try and address this sobering issue and offer some help. From our robust Archives, we bring you the following stories and pearls of wisdom on how…
January 2020
Working with and through volunteer teams presents as many opportunities as it does challenges. In this Training Design, Nancy Shelford of the Canadian Cancer Society presents a Skills Mapping Workshop designed specifically to successfully empower volunteer groups to identify…
October 2019
We’re all looking to improve our recruitment skills and to take advantage of new technologies and tools. This Training Designs presents a step-by-step guide on how to use the search function within LinkedIn to do targeted searches. In these three steps, you and your…
July 2019
Recruitment is an integral part of the success of volunteer engagement departments in almost every organization. But when this task is being coordinated by one person sitting in an office space, it can sometimes feel like an impossible job. In a perfect world, that person…
April 2019
A core goal of all leaders of volunteers is to ensure that volunteers have a great experience. If you are directly managing the volunteers yourself, that goal can be structured and achievable. But in larger organisations, where the responsibility for managing and supporting…
January 2019
Humor is personal, but so is learning. And humor can be a welcomed training tool when it comes to training. In this Training Designs, Erin R. Spink interviews Tane Danger from the Theater of Public Policy (known as T2P2), an innovative group that seeks to enhance learning…
October 2018
The majority of e-Volunteerism readers are leaders of volunteers and many of us play a significant role in training volunteers. But should that be the case? In this Training Designs, editor Erin R. Spink asks some tough questions about the role that leaders of volunteers play…
July 2018
It's the holy grail of all trainers – more interaction! But how do you increase interaction if you continue to use your typical orientation and trainings methods? In this Training Designs, author Sammy Feilchenfeld introduces "Poll Everywhere" – a free plug-in tool for…
April 2018
As volunteer managers struggle with a lack of time, the hours spent on volunteer training typically shrinks. The up-front investment in a volunteer decreases dramatically, depriving volunteers of a crucial connection with the organization’s mission. In this Training Designs,…
January 2018
Volunteer recruitment messaging is long overdue for an overhaul. But what wording works best? This Training Designs article will walk you through the technique of “testing” messages to determine which are most effective with different audiences. You’ll learn how to design and…
October 2017
We know that teenagers can make wonderful volunteers. With their ideas, energy, and willingness to contribute to their communities, they are a rich and sometimes untapped volunteer force for many organizations. But how should adults approach working with teens? What unique…
July 2017
Teenagers—with their ideas, energy, and willingness to contribute to their communities—are a rich and sometimes untapped volunteer force for many organizations. Not only are teens the volunteers of our future, they have gifts to offer today.  What must we consider when…
April 2017
We're all trying to up our training game and learn best practices from those with demonstrated experience and excellence as trainers. Who better to learn from than e-Volunteerism’s very own Betty Stallings? The journal’s first editor of the Training Designs section, Stallings…
January 2017
Have you ever wanted to learn some tips that enhance how you relate to an audience when presenting? Or have you ever wanted some methods or tricks to put together a training session that helps people retain more afterwards? In this Training Designs article, Erin R. Spink…
October 2016
Having access to professional e-learning and course-creation software — such as Adobe Captivate©, Camtasia®, and Snagit® — can be a great asset to anyone's training program. But have you ever considered using such software for multiple purposes? Did you know, for instance,…
July 2016
What do cats have to do with training? As a trainer, it is often easier to facilitate sessions when the group has similar experiences and similar levels of expertise or starting points. Yet there is a richness of knowledge and experience that diversity can yield. Cats are not…
April 2016
We all know that volunteer engagement is rapidly changing. So it is critical that volunteer administrators continue to grow, learn new things, share ideas, and identify trends when it comes to professional development and staying relevant. You may be surprised, but one way to…
January 2016
Reflection is essential for learning. In order to “make meaning” of an experience, the learner must have an opportunity to reflect on or process the experience. To help ensure that program participants transfer learning and training experiences into real-world applications, we…
October 2015