Betsy McFarland is a strategist and problem-solver who has forged a unique professional niche focused on empowering staff and volunteers committed to tackling challenging societal issues. Most recently, she led the growth and transformation of one of the largest program departments at The Humane Society of the United States as vice president of companion animals, winning accolades for developing a series of pioneering programs.
Passionate about engaging the community, Betsy has extensive experience in engaging and growing volunteers within organizations large and small. She began her career developing the first-ever volunteer program for a local animal shelter and went on to spearheaded the launch of The Humane Society National Volunteer Center, the first broad-scale coordinated volunteer effort in the history of the organization, which now engages more than 2,000 volunteers.
Betsy currently serves as an associate director of Energize, Inc.'s online volunteer management training program, Everyone Ready®, where she consults with organizational members on how to engage their networks with the training resources offered. She is the author of Volunteer Management for Animal Care Organizations and has published research on staff-volunteer relationships. She worked with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to develop a research-supported Volunteer Program Assessment model that serves nonprofit volunteer program across the U.S. and Canada.
A collaborator and bridge-builder with a proven track record of navigating diverse viewpoints, often in emotionally-charged situations, Betsy is skilled at gathering input and synthesizing it to identify common ground and implement innovative solutions. Betsy possesses a broad communications background, including media outreach, book publishing, and website development.
Betsy holds a degree in psychology from George Mason University, an Executive Certificate in Facilitation through Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, and is currently pursuing an Executive Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership. She is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) through the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA). Betsy has participated in the formation of several new nonprofit associations and serves on multiple nonprofit boards of directors.
Contact Energize, Inc. about having Betsy work with your organization.