Ep 177: Building Vibrant Volunteer Communities: Tobi Johnson’s Guide to DEI and Empowerment (with Tobi Johnson)

by Joan Garry

Ready to transform your volunteer community? Join me and the queen of the power of volunteerism, Tobi Johnson, as we explore DEI strategies and share practical advice to help you build a diverse and vibrant volunteer base that drives your mission forward. Don’t miss this game-changing conversation!


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Join me for an engaging and enlightening conversation with the nonprofit sector’s queen of the power of volunteerism, Tobi Johnson. In this episode, we’ll explore how you can diversify your org’s volunteer community and harness its power to drive your mission forward.

I promise you, this is a conversation that will forever change the way you think about volunteer engagement!

Tobi Johnson is an expert advisor and trainer in community engagement who knows more about the power of volunteers than anyone else I know. And trust me, I’ve met a lot of people! If you’ve ever struggled with finding the right supporters and keeping them engaged, Tobi has the answers you’ve been searching for. And she shares them with a kind of enthusiasm that’s absolutely contagious.

In this episode, we discuss the current state of volunteerism, the challenges the sector has faced post-pandemic, and the crucial issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the volunteer landscape. Tobi also shares her data-driven insights, actionable steps, and boundless enthusiasm for the transformative impact of volunteerism on the nonprofit sector. It’s a conversation filled with “aha!” moments and practical advice you can put to work right away.

With over 30 years of hands-on experience, Tobi is the perfect guide to help you revitalize and diversify your volunteer community. So grab your favorite beverage, find a comfy spot to listen, and get ready to take some notes, because this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Join us as we explore the world of volunteerism like never before!

Click play and let’s embark on this journey together to harness the power of volunteerism and build a more diverse and vibrant volunteer community for your nonprofit organization.

Click play to learn:

  • What is the current state of affairs in volunteerism? (3:56)
  • How should nonprofit leaders think about reviving their volunteer communities? (10:26)
  • What are 4 things that every nonprofit needs to include in its volunteer recruitment strategy? (13:40)
  • What is the diversity problem in the sector, and how does it impact volunteer engagement? (22:42)
  • How do we make a dent in these numbers and what are some suggestions to do that? (25:35)
  • How do you foster a sense of agency in diverse volunteers? (33:15)
  • How do you create an effective volunteer screening process that fosters DEI in your volunteer community? (35:30)


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About Tobi Johnson

Tobi Johnson is an internationally sought-after expert, consultant, and expert trainer in volunteer engagement. She is known for her modern thought leadership, highly practical evidence-based strategies, and innovative, “big hat” thinking around engaging, supporting, and acknowledging the work of volunteers.

She is the President of Tobi Johnson & Associates, a consulting firm whose mission is to help nonprofit organizations make connections with remarkable volunteers. In 2015, she founded VolunteerPro, an online training and networking community for leaders of volunteers. She is host of the Volunteer Nation Podcast and co-host of the Time + Talent Podcast with Jennifer Bennett of VolunteerMatch. In addition, she wrote Chapter 1 of Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights for Transforming Volunteer Programs in a Changing World, published by Jossey-Bass.

Tobi has over 30 years boots-on-the-ground experience in nonprofit management, program development and start up, team leadership, training design and delivery and change management across a wide range of cause impact areas from arts and culture, youth development, employment and training, senior services, healthcare advocacy, homelessness, and more.

Contact Tobi Johnson