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MSA Workshops

As the Massachusetts commission on service and volunteerism, MSA convenes volunteer managers from the public, private and nonprofit sectors through periodic conferences and training events. MSA offers high-quality, affordable workshops on topics relating to both volunteer and nonprofit management. Workshops generally take place in the fall (October - December) and spring (March - May). Topics and locations vary. Most workshops are open to the general public. Some sessions are limited to MSA grantees.


2017 Spring Training Opportunities:


Social Emotional Learning in Service Learning & Other Project Based Learning


  • Date:  Tuesday, May 2, 2017
  • Time:  9:00am – 12:00noon
  • Location:  The Nonprofit Center (Community Room), 89 South Street, Boston MA
  • Cost:  $10.00
  • Registration Deadline:  May 1st



About the Workshop:  This session will introduce participants to the concepts of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and help participants think about what SEL is and how/why it is important to teach these skills to students when expecting them to collaborate during a project or group setting, when in the classroom, during out of school time, or other types of youth development or program settings. This session will be facilitated by Tracy Harkins, Harkins Consulting. 



  • Understand what SEL is and why it is important to intentionally teach these skills
  • Explore what SEL looks like in service learning and other project-based learning
  • Begin to think about what SEL skills your program should focus on



Tracy Harkins, of Harkins Consulting LLC

Tracy works nationally guiding educational change. Tracy provides service-learning professional development and resources to engage and motivate student learners. Prior to starting her own consulting firm, she was the Executive Director of KIDS Consortium, a non-profit that developed an award-winning service-learning educational model. Tracy co-authored three books: KIDS as Planners Guidebook, Working With KIDS: A Service-Learning Guide for Community Partners, and Integrating Scientific Practices and Service-Learning: Engaging Students in STEM. When Tracy is not traveling for work, she enjoys spending time at her home on Duck Puddle Pond in Maine, with her husband, Scott and basenji, Ginger.

Introduction to Grants Research and Writing

In partnership with Associated Grant Makers and United Way of Pioneer Valley


  • Date:  Wednesday, May 3, 2017
  • Time:  1:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Location:  Springfield City Library (Central Library Community Room), 220 State St, Springfield, MA
  • Registration Deadline:  May 1st
  • Details: RSVP required, first come first serve basis



About the Workshop:   With over 30,000 nonprofits in Massachusetts, the landscape of competition for funding is high. Funders are bombarded with grant proposals and letters of intent that are underprepared and sent from organizations that do not match their charitable priorities. How do you get a leg up? The first step is doing your homework. In this introductory workshop, we will lay out the steps for success in making sure your organization is ‘grant-ready’ and set up to prepare a successful grant proposal. The first half of the workshop will cover the key aspects of grants research required to develop a strong base of appropriate potential funders. The second half of the workshop will cover the basics of what to expect from and what to prepare for in a successful grant proposal. The workshop is designed for new and early career nonprofit fundraisers or those looking to brush up their foundation grant development skills.



Georganna Woods, Research Associate and Meet-the-Donors Coordinator

Georganna Woods has been with Associated Grant Makers (AGM) since 2005. She divides here workweek between AGM as well as Earthworm Recycling – a nonprofit recycling organization, and also works part-time at the Dedham Community Theater. Georganna has a Masters of Library and Information Sciences degree from Simmons College. At AGM, she conducts research for nonprofit grantseekers as well as AGM’s grantmaking members. In addition, she coordinates AGM’s Meet-the-Donors series.


Lisa Perry-Wood, Principal, Clarity Consulting Partners​

Lisa Perry-Wood is a principal in Clarity Consulting Partners, with over 20 years of grantwriting and fundraising experience. She specializes in non-profit and executive transitions, in addition to offering grants consulting and training services for local schools and nonprofits. Her client list has included small and large non-profits, government agencies, public and charter schools, providing grants and fundraising work in education, the arts, science, human services, social justice and other areas. Lisa lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and was the founding president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Grants Professionals Association in 2005. She is also a certified yoga teacher and Ayurveda consultant, as well as the parent of three adult children and legal caregiver for three school-age children, with her partner of 10 years.

Volunteer Management Training

In partnership with United Way of North Central Massachusetts


  • Date:  Friday, May 5, 2017
  • Time:  9:00am – 12:00noon
  • Location:  United Way of North Central Massachusetts, Conference Room, 649 John Fitch Hwy, Fitchburg MA
  • Cost:  $0.00
  • Registration Deadline:  May 1st



About the Workshop:  Join the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) in a review of best practices for managing volunteers. Learn what motivates people in your community to volunteer, and how to keep them engaged. During this comprehensive three hour workshop, you will learn how to prepare yourself, your agency, and the volunteer for a successful partnership. Through the expertise of the trainers and group conversations you will be given tips and tools on how to best recruit, match, supervise, and evaluate volunteers in roles that best fit their skills and your needs!



Lisl Hacker, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Massachusetts Service Alliance

Shana Lothrop, Program Officer for Volunteer Initiatives, Massachusetts Service Alliance

MSA Conference

MSA holds a bi-annual statewide conference on service and volunteering in the spring. This year's conference will be held on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. Information about the conference can be found on the conference page here.


For more information on MSA's statewide conference, please contact Colin McLaughlin, Administrative Coordinator, at 617-542-2544 ext. 221 or cmclaughlin@mass-service.org.

Other Training Resources

Below is a partial list of other organizations in Massachusetts that offer training or technical assistance to strengthen volunteer and service programs. MSA updates the list periodically to keep this information current. If you would like to be added to this list or have questions, please contact Colin McLaughlin, Administrative Coordinator, at 617-542-2544 ext. 221 or cmclaughlin@mass-service.org.