University of Vermont

Building Capacity


The following pieces are interactive learning lessons for specific Building Capacity modules. The information presented in the interactive learning modules are not covered in the video lessons. These learning lessons can be used as stand-alone opportunities to brush up on specific topics and skills or they can be paired with other materials in order to offer a more complete learning module. Stay tuned for more to come!

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills (Spring 2013)


Tuesday, March 12 & 19 and April 2, 9 & 16, 12:30-4:30 pm in Berlin, Brattleboro, Burlington (Campus), Colchester (Extenstion State Office), Rutland, and St. Johnsbury.

Sessions will be held simultaneously in all five locations using a combination of distance technology and on-site instruction. Full details for online and classroom sessions will be sent with confirmation of payment received.


Course Brochure | Register Online by March 1, 2013

The Course Fee is $100.00 per person with Early Bird Registration of $75.00 per person (by 2/15/13). To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program please contact Lisa McCrae at 802-751-8307 x350 by March 1, 2013.

Please make checks payable to UVM Extension:

UVM Extension
374 Emerson Falls Rd., Suite 1
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

About the Course:

Facilitation skills are not routinely learned and practiced. If you have ever been in a role that you wished you had more skills or practice for; then Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills is for you. Here are some comments made about this program:

  • "I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the time went because I really felt vested in the workshops"
  • "Builds confidence that I could be a good facilitator and validates skills I already have."
  • "The activities are very hands on and interactive."
  • "This is a good curriculum for training all kinds of groups."

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills is a five-part training series designed to help you learn how to get work done more effectively and efficiently in group meetings.

This five-part training series will help you learn and practice facilitation skills in an experiential setting. You'll also get a chance to observe facilitation challenges and receive feedback in a safe environment.

Key topics covered in the 20 –hour interactive workshop include:

  • Understanding facilitation – as a group leader or group participant
  • Preferred thinking and learning styles and their impact on group process
  • Managing challenging people and situations
  • Strategies for getting the work done
  • Exploring decision-making options available for group situations

For more information contact Lisa McCrae at, 802-751-8307 x350 or 800-545-8920.

Developing Volunteers
  1. Identify Roles for Volunteer Involvement: Take the time to generate a wish list of accomplishments you would like to achieve if only you had the resources.  This is an effort in goal setting for the organization.  Rank each from one to six based on the order of importance and/or projected time of completion.  Review your list.  Are there any items that could be done by or in collaboration with volunteer staff?  If yes, take it to the next step and develop a Job Description for the identified accomplishment. 

    In preparation for writing a position description, answer these questions for yourself.
    • What are the tasks to be accomplished?
    • What skills and abilities are needed to accomplish the goal?
    • How much volunteer time is needed to accomplish the goal?
    • What is the impact on the organization if the goal is accomplished?
    • What benefits can you identify for the volunteer engaged in the work?
  2. Download MSPowerPoint: "Identify Roles for Volunteer Involvement" (4MB)
    Related document: Writing a Position Description (MSWord)

  3. Why Volunteer?  This brief survey defines three types of motivation for volunteering.  Once you recognize why you volunteer you may gain some insight as to what volunteer roles may be a good match for you and bring you the internal reward to maintain your volunteer position. 
  4. Download MSPowerPoint: "Why Volunteer?" (3MB)
    Related documents (PDF): Motivation Types | Motivational Analysis | Motivational Analysis Key

  5. How Generational Differences Affect Volunteer Recruitment.  This activity focuses on the traits of the generations as described in the popular press.  Baby Boomers offer an unlimited potential for volunteer service as they approach retirement.  Let’s look at what motivates the Boomers, GenXers, and Gen@s and what would get them to volunteer for you. 

Download MSPowerPoint: "Generational Differences: How they affect volunteer recruitment" (11MB)
Related document (PDF): Generational Differences chart

Team Leadership
  1. Monitor or Take Action:  When I see a potential problem with the team, as a Team Leader, should I monitor the Team or take action? As leaders, we can diagnose, analyze, or forecast problems (monitoring) or take immediate action to solve a problem.  We can also focus on the problems within the group (internal) or problems outside the group (external). Should I intervene to meet task or relational needs?

    Two critical leadership functions: task and maintenance (developing a positive climate, solving interpersonal problems, satisfying members’ needs and developing cohesion).  If the team is well maintained and has good relationships, then the members will be able to work together effectively and get their job done. 

    Download MSPowerPoint: "Monitor or Take Action" (6MB)

  2. Let’s Talk Effective Decision Making: Difficult decisions typically involve uncertainty, complexity, high-risk consequences, alternatives and interpersonal issues. Let's look at an effective decision making process with these difficulties in mind.

    Download MSPowerPoint: "Let's Talk Effective Decision Making" (7MB)  

  3. Support the Team through Enhancing the Environmental Context:  What actions might the leader take to enhance the environmental context to support the Team?
    • Networking and forming alliances in environment (gather information, increase influence)
    • Advocating and representing team to environment
    • Negotiating upward to secure necessary resources, support, and recognition for team
    • Buffering team members from environmental distractions
    • Assessing environmental indicators of team’s effectiveness (surveys, evaluations, performance indicators)
    • Sharing relevant environmental information with team

Download MSPowerPoint: "Enhancing Environmental Context" (5MB)



Last modified February 21 2013 08:50 AM

Contact UVM © 2016 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131