DOVIA-LA 2015 Member Highlight

DOVIA-LA 2015 Member Highlight
Q & A with Gwen Hourihan; Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Programs
 Union Station Homeless Services

Gwen photo

Q: Where are you currently working and how long have you been managing volunteers?

A: I am the Coordinator of Volunteer Services and Community Programs at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena.  I celebrated my one year anniversary in March 2015 but started as a temp over a year and a half ago.  Prior to USHS I managed volunteers under my title as event manager for over ten years.  My main responsibilities include helping manage volunteer placement, supervision and communication with approximately 3,000 volunteers, including over 200 regular volunteers and over 60 regular groups in our seven facilities.

Q: How were you introduced to DOVIA-LA and what do you enjoy about the group?

A: I was introduced to DOVIA by my supervisor at Union Station.  I was thrilled that such a resource exists.  DOVIA provided me the opportunity to meet and discuss volunteer administration with other professionals in the field.

Q: What’s a memorable volunteer story?

A: One of the many memorable stories is of a woman who works in our Adult Center emergency shelter helping the Security Team at the front desk.   She let us know that her first day was so emotional she cried because of the many struggling community members she saw that day.  She reached out to us, we discussed her understanding of the position, and she is now volunteering three days a week at that facility!  It was very touching that she was so moved by the people we serve and the care that our staff shows the community members in need.

Q: You are in the process of receiving your CVA, how has it been going?

A: The CCVA is fantastic at communicating information on the CVA process.  I really appreciate their dedication to advancing the position of volunteer administrator and am excited to take the test and complete the practical application process.  I appreciate the opportunity to further my knowledge and education in this area.

Q: Do you have any tips for volunteer managers??

A: We believe in quick responses to all inquiries in our department and I see its value as a sign of respect while putting our best selves forward.  I also hold two aspects of my job as crucial: safety and ethics.  Maintaining a positive attitude/positive department helps our organization’s reputation as one that values people who take time out of their lives to help us.

Q:  Do you have any hobbies that help you maintain work/life balance?
A: My number one hobby is spending time with family and friends.  That time includes walking our dogs, going to the theater and movies, and gardening.  Gardening I usually end up doing alone which is just fine as I also enjoy my “solo down time.”

Don’t Forget to Vote on Tues. Nov. 4

Don’t Forget to Vote on Tues. Nov. 4

We’re lucky to live in a country where we can freely express our opinions and have a say in our laws and leadership. Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! Less people vote in mid-term elections, because they don’t think they’re as important, or they don’t know about the issues, but making your voice heard is a cornerstone of our democracy. Here are some resources if you need more information about what’s on the ballot. One of my favorites is the East Voter Guide: CalNonprofits has lots of resources at Happy voting!

@calnonprofits @EasyVoterGuide

Claremont Lincoln Univeristy

Claremont Lincoln Univeristy

Claremont Lincoln University offers innovative and affordable master’s degrees in Ethical Leadership, Interfaith Action and Social Impact for community leaders like you – online! Generous scholarships are being offered for those who enroll for the October 2014 term. For more information, call 909-667-4485 or write

Inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident!

Inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident!

Season after season, our volunteer coaches tell us that coaching for Girls on the Run is the single most REWARDING volunteer commitment they have ever made. GOTR is a transformational after school program that creatively integrates running into character development lessons that inspire girls to love who they are, withstand the pressures of youth, and activate their limitless potential!  No running experience needed!  Join one of our 50 teams throughout LA County to help facilitate our 12 week program with a powerful group of 3rd-8th grade girls.   The program culminates with a Celebratory 5K Event, but for coaches and girls the finish line is just the beginning!

(Application, One Day Training Event and Background Check Required)

Sign up today:

WordCamp Los Angeles Conference Discount

WordCamp Los Angeles ( is a casual, locally organized conference covering everything related to WordPress. WordCamps happen all around the world, and each camp has a unique flavor based on the local community. The organizers have generously given a discount to DOVIA-LA members. So if your nonprofit has a WordPress website and you’d like to attend, please contact Melanie at to get your discount code.

More info on WordCamp

Our local community is AWESOME and our camp is, too. Stay tuned to this website for announcement on what’s happening, where, and with whom, but here’s a general idea of what you can expect.

We’ll kick things off with Foundation Friday on September 5 – all-day workshops for different levels of users. Seats in our workshops are limited, so be sure to get your ticket early if you’d like to attend.

Saturday, we’ll have a day of sessions, presented by all different talented, smart, and witty speakers. You might see sessions on how to use WordPress more effectively, developing themes and plugins, WordPress security, content creation and marketing, integrating social media with WordPress, and more. We’ll announce our speakers and sessions on this site as soon as they’re finalized.

Then we’ll wrap everything up on Sunday with a Contribution Day where we all pitch in to give back to WordPress. After all, it’s done so much for us! And don’t be fooled for one minute thinking that only developers can contribute! There are so many ways to give back to WordPress and the community that it will make your head spin. So we hope that no matter who you are, and what your experience with WordPress is, that you’ll consider pitching in and helping move things forward.


Anyone who uses or is interested in using WordPress. There’s really something for everyone, no matter what level you are. If you’re just getting started, there will be sessions just for you. If you’re an experienced user, you’ll no doubt pick up some new tips that will help you work more efficiently, write better content, and get more out of WordPress. If you’re a designer or a developer, we’ll have sessions for you, too!

In addition to the sessions, we’ll also have an all-day WordPress Happiness Bar where you can stop by for one-on-one help with your specific WordPress questions and almost unlimited opportunities for meeting other people in the WordPress community.

CalNonprofits Annual Policy Convention August 1st in Los Angeles!

There are lots of great reasons to come to the CalNonprofits annual convention on the State of the Nonprofit Sector in California: build your network, spend a day thinking about “big picture” concepts and implementation, discuss policy priorities and much more.

Here are 7 very special reasons you’ll want to be sure to join us this year.

If you haven’t registered yet, do it today!

What’s the #1 reason you should attend? 

You can be the first to see the results of our groundbreaking study on the economic power of  California’s nonprofit sector, using data that has never before been cultivated. This report will be released for the first time at our  convention August 1st.

DOVIA-LA Member Highlight: San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center

DOVIA-LA Member Highlight: San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center

Charlie Rubin is the Volunteer Coordinator at the San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center, current Vice President of DOVIA-LA, and won the 2013 ‘Excellence in Volunteer Leadership’ Award. Charlie shared:

I have been married for 26 years; we have two children and a grandchild. Prior to working in a nonprofit, I worked in retail management for over 30 years.

I placed my first volunteer back in July 2011. The five months previous I was putting my volunteer program together and I can remember my second day on the job: I was doing a lot research, sitting at my computer, surfing the internet and I stumbled across DOVIA-LA. Read More »

Where Passion Meets Progress – Financial Success Awaits

Where Passion Meets Progress – Financial Success Awaits

Together Scaling New Heights – A Six Seminar Collaborative Journey

Dear Nonprofit Visionary,

Perhaps the greatest struggle nonprofits face is adopting a savvy financial plan. That’s why we’ve designed our third seminar of Where Passion Meets Progress to address “Financial Management, Growing and Planning for the Future.” Read More »

Open Positions at School on Wheels

Open Positions at School on Wheels

School on Wheels is looking for Regional Coordinators in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, as well as AmeriCorps VISTA members. Please visit for more information.

Volunteer Manager Survey

Nevbahar Ertas is a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is inviting volunteer managers/coordinators to participate in my research survey ( The purpose of my study is to explore manager perspectives on public service motivation.
Despite the importance of volunteer management profession and professionals, scholarly research on the topic is rare. This brief online survey typically takes about 15 minutes to complete and as a thank you gift, respondents may choose to get entered in a drawing for one of 5 $100 debit gift cards.
Participation is completely voluntary, confidential, and the results of this study will be used in aggregate format for scholarly purposes only. You may contact me at if you have any questions.