Volunteer Center Upcoming Trainings

Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofit and public agencies and enable agencies to deliver on their missions. Yet learning how to recruit, manage and motivate people along with your legal obligations is difficult to pick up on one’s own. Join us at our trainings for nonprofit agencies. We can help you gain the skills and resources you need to build and maintain volunteer support. We offer trainings in both Alameda and Contra Costa County.

Registration and advance payment are required for every session. Please call Heidi Denzler-Halsey at (925) 472-5760 or contact us by email if you have questions.

Some classes are offered by Hanson Bridgett LLP in partnership with the VCEB. Hanson Bridgett LLP is proud to provide trainers in order to enhance the capacity of 600 nonprofits in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.


Focused & Functional Personnel Management Series

You asked for a series that focuses on the most gnarly, groan-inducing human resources issues. Well here it is -four topics identified by seminar attendees as needing their own in-depth workshops.

Session I:  Tethering Tornadoes & Herding Cats  - Disability, Workers’ Comp and Family Rights Leaves   completed

Session II:  Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace – It’s Everybody’s Business

We like to think the bullying and racism we see and hear about on television and the Internet doesn’t happen in our lives or workplaces.  Think again. If you have a workforce, board and volunteers that reflect your community, you have issues. When is it paternalistic to monitor employees’ (or volunteers’) interactions and when is it your duty to intervene?  When is it freedom of speech and when is it just plain mean? When is it ignorance? Let’s talk. And plan.

October 1, 2014                                9-11AM               

Concord Police Department       1350 Galindo Street        Concord

Session III:  Workplace Investigations:  What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You  

When are you required to investigate? Can you demand confidentiality? Can the person making a complaint do it anonymously? What if people refuse to participate? Do you have to share the results of the investigation? With whom? Do you have to decide who’s at fault? Why bother doing one? The laws are changing and your policies and procedures need to as well.  Be prepared to do it right.

November 5, 2014         9-11AM

Concord Police Department      1350 Galindo Street        Concord

Session IV:          Breaking Up Is Hard To Do  

The Nitty Gritty of Terminating Employees & Volunteers

You’ve trained, you’ve coached, you’ve counseled; it’s not working and you need to act.  And no, it’s not cool to break up with your employees by email.  How do you prepare? Who should be there? Where do you sit? What do you say? Do you need to make them leave right away? How do you communicate it to others in the organization?  Knowing how to end relationships well is as important in work life as it is in personal life.  Plus there’s that legal stuff. We’ll walk you through it.

December 3, 2014            9-11AM

Concord Police Department      1350 Galindo Street        ConcorD

Cost*:  $35 per training for Member Agencies                                  $50 per training for Non Member Agencies

To Register:

Click here  for Session 2 – Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Click here  for Session 3 – Workplace Investigations

Click here  for Session 4 – Terminating Employees & Volunteers

Facilitator: Sarah Mott advises and defends employers in all aspects of employment and labor law. For more than 20 years, she has represented California employers in the public, private and non-profit sectors to create effective

working environments. Sarah’s extensive litigation and trial practice includes a wide variety of class action, wage and hour, discrimination and harassment, retaliation and “whistleblower” cases.

Sarah advises employers on a broad range of employment and labor issues, including performance management, diversity, hiring and firing, discrimination and retaliation. She frequently conducts management training sessions tailored to clients’ needs. Sarah’s practice also includes investigation of harassment complaints, contract negotiations and representation of employers in administrative proceedings and arbitrations. Sarah works with private employers in the technology, manufacturing, food, restaurant, retail, healthcare, education, senior housing, publishing and transportation industries. Her clients range from Fortune 500 corporations to local boutique businesses.

Introducing VCEB’s Peer to Peer Roundtable Discussions

Use 1 hour to discuss issues, education, and strategies that impact your nonprofit agency with your peers in the industry.  These small group conversations will be held at our office in Walnut Creek (700 Ygnacio Valley Rd. #140) on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.     Cost* : $15 for Member agencies

Please arrive at 8:45AM to check in and enjoy a light breakfast.  Share your reflections and strategies and gain insight from others who are in the nonprofit sector.

October Topic: Executive Director Roundtable

Overhead – how do you define it? How do you explain operating costs to your funders and your board? Share ideas, tips and conundrums with other nonprofit ED’s

October 8, 2014                      9AM – 10:15AM

To Register: Click here

Facilitated by: Jo A.S. Loss

Jo Loss joined the Volunteer Center in May 2012 as Executive Director.  Jo comes with a rich history of volunteerism, notably with the California State PTA where she served as President in 2009-2011. During more than twenty years of service to California’s children and families, Jo held positions as Vice President of Education, Vice President of Leadership Services and served on many statewide committees and commissions.  She was appointed to the State Superintendent of Schools Preschool to College Council for six years. Jo is a seasoned public speaker and has offered workshops on dozen of topics.  Jo is currently a Trustee on the Board of Education for Castro Valley Unified School District, having served as a locally elected official for nineteen years.

November Topic: Volunteer Management Roundtable

Volunteers are not free!  Share with others your success and challenges surrounding recruitment, interviewing and placement.  What recruiting methods have you considered adding? How do you leverage volunteers, technology, and staff to help with the process? Join us for this month’s conversation!

November 12, 2014                                9AM – 10:15AM

To Register: Click here

Facilitated by:  DeeDee Robillard

Dee Dee Robillard is a Project Coordinator at the Volunteer Center of the East Bay.  She facilitates corporate volunteer matching and is program coordinator for Corporate Caring Volunteer Week, Share the Spirit programs, and Youth Action Days.  In addition she manages the website, social media, and VCEB’s dedicated volunteers

December Topic: Development

The development roundtable will follow the different stages of the fundraising continuum, with each meeting devoted to one stage. These stages include donor identification, donor research, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

December 10, 2014                                9AM – 10:15AM

To Register: Click here

Faciliated by: John Sterns

John has 15 years’ experience in fundraising for foundations, universities and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and overseas. He is familiar with all types of philanthropy, ranging from annual funds and events to institutional gifts, major gifts and planned giving. His background also includes work in marketing and communications.

If you are interested in having these Peer to Peer Roundtable Discussions offered in Alameda County and have a space in which to host us, please contact

Program Design Trainings

How are your programs doing? Keep them effective, innovative and meeting your community’s needs. Learn the basics of program management and design. Whether it be planning a new initiative or breathing fresh life into an existing program knowing how to design an effective program is essential. Four components: assessment, design, implementation and evaluation will be covered in the 2 trainings.

Here’s what folks have to say about the program design training:

‘After going through the training, I have been able to apply so much of what we learned into my day-to-day work. Whether I’m designing flyers, creating new programs for our organization or working with staff, the information I received in Julie’s training has been applicable to all!’

‘The information, suggestions and advice you’ve provided have been invaluable to our program planning and execution! 

Program Design 1 – Assessment & Design completed

Program Design 2 – Implementation & Evaluation


How do you put it together? Training includes building a timeline, kick-off, staff/volunteer training, forms and legal considerations for releases and marketing.


Has your program met your goals? Has it made a difference? Who should you ask? What should you ask?

October 15, 2014                                2:30PM – 4:30PM

Lindsay Wildlife Museum                  1931 First Ave. Walnut Creek

Cost*:     $35 per Session for Member Agencies $50 per Session for Non Member Agencies

To Register:

Click here   for Session 2 – Implementation & Evaluation

Facilitator: Julie Mason has enjoyed twenty-five years in the non-profit world and recreation. Her areas of experience include recreation, economic education, domestic violence, supportive housing for homeless families, volunteer programs, grant management, and community development. She believes a quality program can make all the difference in inspiring individuals and agencies. Julie currently runs the Town of Danville’s Volunteer Program and Biddy Sports, a youth sports program for preschoolers

Leadership Academy

Introducing VCEB’s Leadership Academy!

Leadership is an art that can be learned.

These small, interactive classes are focused on you and enhancing your leadership skills. Take one or take them all.

These 90-minute trainings will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 3:00 – 4:30PM at VCEB’s Walnut Creek office.  We are located at 700 Ygnacio Valley Rd. #140, Walnut Creek.

Cost:  $35/session for Member Agencies and $50/session for Non Member Agencies.

Effective & Efficient Meetings – Are They Possible?     

October 16, 2014

All of us spend a lot of time in meetings.  Learn some practical tools and techniques to make them more productive and maybe shorter!  You will experience real life ways to facilitate the everyday meetings, plus hints to help you handle a challenging one.  There are many ways that you as a facilitator or participant can make them more engaging and worthwhile.  These skills are needed by all staff, volunteers and board members.

Facilitator: Jo A.S. Loss (see bio above under Executive Director Roundtable)

To Register: Click here

Public Speaking

November 20, 2014      

Public speaking doesn’t have to be one of the scariest events in your life! It is an art that can be learned and polished until you actually look forward to opportunities to share the great events happening in your nonprofit. Learn the elements that will build your confidence and strengthen the message for maximum impact on your audience.

Facilitator:  Jo A.S. Loss

To Register : Click here

Resolving Conflict

December 18, 2014

Learn practical tips and techniques for working out issues with volunteers, co-workers and friends.  These points will aid you in creating win/win situations and negotiating positive outcomes for small and big challenges.  Come learn skills that you can use both professionally and personally

Facilitator: Jo A.S. Loss

To Register:    Click here

Academy Trainings to watch for in 2015

How to Advocate (make Sacramento listen to you)

Presentation Techniques

Art & Language of Leadership

Goal Setting Process

How to Facilitate Brainstorming Sessions

Volunteer Team Building

Training the Trainer

Volunteer/Employee Recognition

Understanding Governance

Energizing Your Board

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch – How to Craft Messages with the Most Impact


“Putting the Fa-la-la-la-la in a No-Bonus Holiday Season”

We’ve all been there. You’re putting together your year-end figures and working out next year’s budget and one thing’s perfectly clear — there’s no money for bonuses or pay increases. Again. How do we honor and encourage the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of employees and volunteers when there’s no packages under the tree? Let’s get creative without breaking the bank or the law (yes, there are potential problems with some alternatives).

October 23, 2014   2:30PM – 4:30   Concord Police Department   1350 Galindo Street     Concord    

Cost*:     $35 for Member Agencies           $50 for Non Member Agencies

To Register: Click here

Facilitator:   Sarah Mott (see bio under Focused and Functional Personnel Management Series)

Performance Management: Angry Parent Or Effective Boss? *

Managing Employees’ Performance and Dealing with Disciplinary Issues

No supervisor wants to feel like a scolding teacher, parent, or jail warden.  But it’s important to deal with employees’ performance, behavioral, and attendance issues in a way that minimizes legal risk and maximizes organizational success.  Come learn the basics, as well as effective techniques and strategies that you can put in place right away.

November 12, 2014     3-4:30PM   The English Center     Jack London Square          66 Franklin Street #220         Oakland

Cost: $10

To Register: Click here

* Sponsored by Hanson Bridgett LLP

There is a $10 non-refundable registration fee for this Pro-Bono legal training .  Priority registration given to member agencies.  Registration in accordance with VCEB Policy

*Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Individual registered attendees must cancel their paid registration in writing by noon 3 business days prior to an event to qualify for a refund.  There is a $10 non-refundable registration for all trainings.  Cancellations received without sufficient notice or those who are a no-show are not entitled to a refund.  Registrants who cancel will not receive materials.

VCEB reserves the right to cancel an event due to low enrollment, or other circumstances which would make the event non-viable.  If VCEB cancels an event, all effort will be made to provide sufficient notice and paid registrants will be given a full refund.

If you register for a workshop or seminar during the 48 hours before the start, please call or email VCEB to confirm that the workshop is meeting as planned.

For additional information, please contact

What others are saying about training classes:

I want to thank you for putting on such a great Volunteer Management Training yesterday. It was wonderful to hear about other organizations and their volunteer programs, and to receive so much great advice on how to build and manage a better volunteer program. I am so excited to revamp our volunteer program and create a workplan based on the tips that you provided yesterday. I look forward to attending additional trainings (budget allowing) in the future.

- Alicia Gallo, Outreach Coordinator
Richmond Main Street Initiative