<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=3269306&amp;fmt=gif">
3 min read

Creating a DEI-focused Volunteer Experience: Tips for Organizations

Featured Image

By combining the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) with the act of volunteering, we can foster a more inclusive society, break down barriers, and address systemic inequalities. In this blog, we will explore the significant role that DEI plays in volunteering and how it can create a lasting impact in our communities.

DEI and Its Importance:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core principles that support equal opportunity, fair treatment, and respect for all individuals, regardless of their background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or abilities. By embracing DEI, we acknowledge the richness that diverse perspectives bring, challenge biases, and work towards building a more just and inclusive society.

Power of Volunteering:

Volunteering is an act of giving back to society by offering one’s time, skills, and resources to support causes and organizations that align with personal values. It has the potential to transform lives, strengthen communities, and address social concerns. Volunteering empowers individuals to make a positive impact.

The intersection of DEI and Volunteering:

  1. Breaking Down Barriers: DEI-focused volunteering strategies actively seek to break down barriers and provide equal opportunities for underrepresented communities. By engaging with diverse groups and tackling their specific needs, we can foster a sense of inclusivity and an environment of belonging.
  2. Amplifying Marginalized Voices: DEI-oriented volunteering inspires individuals from marginalized communities to share their experiences, challenges, and desires. By amplifying marginalized voices, we can create platforms for discourse, empathy, and understanding, leading to more inclusive practices and policies.
  3. Building Bridges and Collaboration: DEI-driven volunteering encourages collaboration and partnerships between diverse groups. By working together, we can leverage collective strengths, challenge stereotypes, and foster innovative solutions for social issues.
  4. Education and Awareness: Volunteering can serve as a powerful instrument for education, raising mindfulness about systemic inequalities and social justice issues. By actively engaging with diverse communities, volunteers gain firsthand insights into the challenges faced by marginalized groups and become supporters for change.

Recommendations for DEI-focused Volunteering:

  1. Inclusive Recruitment: Ensure that volunteer recruitment processes are user-friendly, transparent, and inclusive, reaching out to diverse communities and offering equal opportunities for participation.
  2. Cultural Competence Training: Offer cultural competence training to volunteers to enhance their understanding of diverse backgrounds, promote empathy, and encourage respectful interactions.
  3. Collaborative Decision-Making: Support diverse perspectives in decision-making processes by allowing individuals from different backgrounds to contribute their insights and experiences.
  4. Continuous Evaluation and Improvement: Regularly assess the impact of DEI-focused volunteering initiatives, actively seeking feedback from participants and stakeholders. Make necessary improvements to enhance inclusivity.


DEI-focused volunteering can create meaningful change by breaking down barriers, amplifying marginalized voices, fostering collaboration, and raising awareness. It allows us to actively address systemic inequalities, challenge biases, and build a more inclusive society. By embracing DEI principles in our volunteering efforts, we can contribute to a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive.

If you would like to learn more about actionable ways to address DEI in your volunteer program, please join MAVA and our conference sponsor, Better Impact, on December 7-8 for a virtual Dismantling Inequities in Volunteerism Conference: Insight to Action.
To learn more about the conference visit: mavanetwork.org/DEIconference

About the Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement (MAVA)

MAVA advances the power of volunteerism to deepen community impact through uplifting community voice, building connections, providing education, and promoting advocacy. MAVA's vision is a world in which everyone has an equitable opportunity to positively impact their community through volunteerism. As a state and global leader in meeting pressing community needs through effective and equitable engagement of volunteers, MAVA has embedded equity into internal structures and works with other organizations to dismantle structural racism in volunteer systems.

Related Articles


    Upcoming Events