2024 Massachusetts Conference on Volunteerism: Leading with Authenticity

Photo from the 2020 Massachusetts Conference on Volunteerism.

The Massachusetts Conference on Volunteerism is a biannual conference, run by the Massachusetts Service Alliance, that attracts professionals from across the Commonwealth including volunteer coordinators, program managers and directors from nonprofit, corporate and government agencies, community, or student engagement professionals, as well as national/state service members. All come to develop their personal and professional skills, learn new ideas, network with peers and build the capacity of their organizations.

This year, the conference will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester on May 7th, 2024. Registration will open in mid-March — subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop.

Conference FAQ

Youth Development Volunteer Initiative FAQ

Whether leading organizations or volunteers, being one’s authentic self is the key to leadership success. For authentic leaders, building character and culture is a function of aligning their beliefs and behaviors with the principles of the organization. Organizations that foster authentic behavior are more likely to have engaged, enthusiastic, motivated employees and volunteers and psychologically safe cultures.

This conference's theme is "Leading with Authenticity" — and while anyone can be leaders, regardless of role, we also have a nonprofit leadership track specially curated for nonprofit executives and senior leaders.

Registration will open in mid-March — subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye on this webpage to stay in the loop!

"Leading with Authenticity: Navigating the New Norms of Nonprofit Leadership"

This transformative workshop track is specially curated for nonprofit executives and senior leaders. It embarks on an introspective and strategic journey, focusing on the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in the post-COVID era.

The track begins with a deep dive into "Harnessing Intentionality and Vulnerability," guiding leaders in recognizing there is no rule book or perfect way to lead diverse teams of individual people. However, when they employ intention and vulnerability strategies, they ensure they lead with resilience and empathy. The journey continues with "Guaranteeing Belonging," a session designed to foster a workplace culture where individuals can be at work authentically without experiencing subtitle acts of exclusion and where every voice is heard and valued. This segment is pivotal in understanding and implementing practices that nurture a sense of inclusion and belonging among all staff members. The final segment, "Managing Mission-Driven Work in a Post-COVID World," addresses the nuances of leading a nonprofit or social sector agency in the last few years. This can include changes including remote or hybrid workers, a mission that better centers racial justice, and expectations of mission alignment with social progress in outcomes. The session will offer discussion, reflection, practical tools, and innovative approaches for effective communication, team cohesion, and inclusive leadership for mission-driven work.

This executive track is not just about leading organizations — it's about redefining leadership with authenticity, inclusivity, and mindfulness at its core.

Led by Dr. Thenera Bailey, the President/CEO of The SISGI Group. Dr. Bailey is an accomplished trainer, consultant, nonprofit leader, grantmaker, and technical assistance provider to nonprofits/NGOs, programs, government agencies, corporations, and school systems throughout the country.

Take a look at our open RFP for individuals and teams to lead conference workshops! Proposals are due by Thursday, February 29th, 2024. Send any questions about the RFP to Lisl Hacker, MSA’s Director of Training and Technical Assistance, at lhacker@mass-service.org.

Thank you for considering sponsoring the 2024 Massachusetts Conference on Volunteerism! Take a look at our sponsorship chart. Benefits include:

  • Promotional materials and giveaways in registration packets/bags
  • Logo on all conference promotional materials including email blasts sent to over 5,000 MA nonprofit professionals
  • Logo and link to your organization’s website on this conference webpage
  • Conference registrations
  • Special recognition during luncheon and in program book
  • Exhibit tabling

Support of this conference enables hundreds of volunteerism professionals gain the skills and connections they need to bring their volunteer programs to the next level, benefiting countless causes and communities across Massachusetts.

Our Sponsors

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Take a look at our sponsorship chart!

Our Keynote Speaker

A portrait image of Christal M. Cherry.

Christal M. Cherry, The Board Pro, worked 23 years as a nonprofit fundraiser serving higher education institutions, seminaries, and human service organizations. Now as a board consultant for nonprofits, she equips and empowers boards to support their missions and change the world. Her services as Principal and CEO of The Board Pro include recruitment, governance, fundraising, conflict resolution and diversity, equity, inclusion, access and belonging. 

Christal earned an MA in Counseling from Hampton University, a BA in Liberal Arts from Hofstra University and professional development certifications in nonprofit leadership, social media fundraising, and nonprofit management. She recently earned certification as a Quadrant 3 Leadership Coach and as a Nonprofit Board Consultant with Board Source. She is the founder and Chair of the Board of Directors for Fabulous Female Fundraisers, and she authored her first children’s book, Mac and Cheez, Being Different is Okay in 2021. Christal lives in Atlanta with her son Mac and her dog, Charlie.

Contact us about the 2024 Conference