Volunteer Engagement Professional (VEP) Micro-Credential

Effective volunteer programs strengthen organizational sustainability and build capacity. Learn foundational knowledge to ensure a robust volunteer program with the five courses designed for both emerging and experienced nonprofit professionals. The online Volunteer Engagement Professional (VEP) program created in partnership by the Academy of Prosocial Learning and the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement provides a comprehensive, contemporary overview of volunteer engagement in several environments, including animal protection. Led by experts working in nonprofit leadership, learners will gain practical skills relevant to today's volunteer programs.


Program of Study:

  1. VEP 001 Planning and Preparing for Volunteers

  2. VEP 002 Volunteer Cultivation Basics (coming soon)

  3. VEP 003 Volunteer Orientation and Training (coming soon)

  4. VEP 004 Volunteer Support and Program Evaluation (coming soon)

  5. VEP 005 Volunteer Retention and Acknowledgment (coming soon)

VEP 001 Planning and Preparing for Volunteers 

The majority of nonprofit organizations rely heavily on volunteers. How can an organization not only stockpile a list of volunteers willing to handle tasks, but strategically engage volunteers in a way that allows them to best utilize their skills and also help the organization to target overall goals and objectives? Using an engagement model to embrace both skill-oriented and mission-driven volunteers will allow your organization to plan for long-term and episodic needs.


Planning and Preparing for Volunteers is the first course in the VEP micro-credential. In this course, discover the specifics of volunteer engagement, how it serves your organization and builds capacity differently than traditional volunteer management, ways to manage risks involved with any volunteer program, and complete a volunteer engagement needs assessment.


Course participants will complete various activities using information from their organization (where one works or volunteers) as well as a volunteer engagement needs assessment. This assessment will help organizations see where they have strengths, areas for growth, and where areas related to training exist.


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