Saturday, May 23, 2020
I was new to a job once when someone from the organisation I had not met yet asked me “Who did you sleep with to get this job?’ Some colleagues will think that you have an easy job. After all anyone could coordinate volunteers.
2. The colleague who hates your success and the attention your program gets for it.
They may just be working as hard in their department whether it is marketing or fundraising but not getting the accolades.
2. The suspicious
3. The people that are deeply suspicious because you turn up to work every day in a joyful mood because you love your job.
They are usually miserable in their jobs and expect everyone around them to be too.
4. The Bully
The may be even more empowered thinking that the Volunteer Manager is on one of the bottom rungs of the organisational chart and therefore an easier target.
5. Those that think volunteers are only nice to have but not necessary
I was once told by one of these people that because they believed in this they believed my job filled the same criteria
6. The new CEO
Always looking for short cuts to trim the meat. The Volunteer program can look like an easy target for cost cutting.
7. The firm traditionalist
Will resist any innovation in volunteering. “This is the way we have always done it” Can be a staff member or volunteer.
8. The Volunteer Demander
This is the colleague who rings you up and asks for 50 volunteers to help them with their prohect in the morning. They think there are ready made volunteer stored in the fridges to be taken out at will
9. The misguided volunteer defender
They will fight against your decision to release a volunteer. They believe it would be unfair to fire the volunteer who has stolen from the organisation 3 times. They argue volunteers cant be fired
10. The HR specialist or business partner.
They think they know far more than you when it comes to the field where you have expertise. You to them are the person who “looks after the vollies” only but need their advice on everything from legislation to conflict management and to procedures that are applied to volunteers.
My next blog will be on the best 10 colleagues you may encounter as a Volunteer Manager
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
It’s been some time since I last blogged. Indeed it’s over 7 months since I last posted on my blog site. There have been many reasons for not doing so, one being that I now tend to use other social media platforms on which I opine. My more recent posts concerned activism as volunteering. Pre Corona crises, the biggest crisis was Climate Change. It still is.
The climate change crisis has not gone away. But I never envisioned, like many of you, that this Corona crisis lay ahead of us.
So here we are. In a time like no other in our living memory. Most of us are still staying at home. We are either working, furloughed or no longer in employment.
Everyone has been caught off guard. We are living through a moment of history. Millions of volunteers around the globe have been stood down. And on the other hand, hundreds and thousands are registering their interest in volunteering to help.
The theme for the next International Volunteer Managers Day has just been announced. “What’s Next?”
As a theme for a date meant to promote the profession of Volunteer Management it is a strange one. How do you promote a profession with a tag line such as this? Yes – it reflects how our sector may be thinking (or not). After all what profession is not thinking, amongst other things, on what on earth lies around the corner? The theme has gained approval, judging by what I see on social media comment sections, by those who comment habitually on such platforms (and that number is miniscule – if you are a volunteer leader the stats say you will probably never even read this!). But I am also of the belief that if the theme so stated “crushed bananas will make us stronger” it would nonetheless garnish support, ‘Likes’ and ‘Hearts’ from the echo chamber that is Volunteer Management. No one seems to contest anything anymore in our sector. Did we ever? Sure, the late Susan J Ellis did. Susan is sorely missed. And then there is Jayne Cravens. A lone wolf? (Jayne will appreciate the reference!) The insolent VM is as rare as hens’ teeth! More’s the pity! Same with the volunteering sector as a whole. Too nice you see.
I am hearing from our sector now a familiar mantra – time to change Volunteer Management – time to take our sector seriously – time to have our sector at the table. William Butler Yeats spoke of polite meaningless words. I wonder.
In Australia there is a leadership vacuum in the volunteer management arena. One could argue the same in the volunteering sector space. Maybe instead of the navel gazing we could shift our focus on what this awful crisis will mean for society in two, five and ten years’ time and the role volunteering will play.
What role will volunteering and volunteer management play when the queues for social security stretch for miles? What role will volunteering play when neoliberal policies concentrate on “paying down the debt” at any cost? How will volunteer management survive when organisations are slashing budgets and are short-sighted enough to take the knife to their volunteering programs to save a quick buck? And they will.
Where does volunteering sit when governments enact “Shock Tactics”. Shock tactics, according to Naomi Klein, author of ‘The Shock Doctrine, follow a clear pattern: wait for a crisis, declare a moment of what is sometimes called “extraordinary politics”, suspend some or all democratic norms – and then ram the corporate wish list through as quickly as possible.
In Australia right now nearly half of our pre-coronavirus workforce is on a government payment; with 5 million people on the JobKeeper allowance and 1.5 million on JobSeeker.
Perish the thought of what society will look like when government ceases these payments. Which they will.
This is what’s next. This is the future our sector needs to prepare for. Now.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
- My kids. I am seriously worried about the future world that they may inherit. The science is in. We have been warned. When Governments around the world don’t take action, we, the people, will.
- It’s political. The rise of far right players in the political world is frightening. It must be resisted. We must learn from history
- Volunteer Management. We could all learn so much from how these activist organisations, recruit, motivate and organise their volunteers. They are all so far ahead of traditional Volunteer Management it’s not funny. We have so much to learn. So I am motivated to learn.
- Connections. Activists are so connected and do it so well. I have joined their footprint on Twitter and they know how to use it to their advantage. I have made amazing and inspiring connections. With a few exceptions I think the traditional field of Volunteer Management are still miles behind when it comes to their usage of social media. On a global scale the VM sector is disjointed.
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