Seeking Volunteer Trainers and Workshop Presenters

Dear Kim,

We are a small parent support group to a nonprofit organization that helps minority college students obtain management level internships with major corporations. Our primary responsibility is to provide support to the nonprofit in the form of recruitment, fundraising (for scholarships) and leadership training.

We have a small budget to take care of a few things but we are looking at trying to obtain some training within our ranks so we can do our jobs better. We would like to host some workshops for our members but our budget cannot handle this. What is the best way to go about finding workshop trainers who will volunteer their services?
—Good Volunteer Seeks Same

Dear Seeks Same,

Most workshop leaders worth anything do a few workshops every year for free. I would identify people you would like to learn from and ask them if they would consider volunteering their time for your group. They won’t all say yes, but a few of them might. Also, I would think about what it is you would like to know and who might know that besides a workshop leader. For example, if you want to know more about recruitment, you could ask someone who works in human resources to conduct a workshop for your group. They may not be the most polished workshop presenter, but they will certainly know the content and may well be flattered that you asked. If you have a Volunteer Center in your community, you can ask them for names of workshop presenters that will work pro bono. I think it is great that your group wants to improve itself and is willing to take the time to do that. Good luck.
—Kim