Posts

Showing posts from 2010

2010 Top Ten Moments

Image
The top ten moments for Volunteer management in 2010


Its that time of the year where people review the year gone by. On a personal note I hope that it was a good year for you. If not, I hope that 2011 brings much more to you.

In regards to the sector of volunteer management here’s my list of the top ten highlights. It’s a personal list of course. To me these were the moments where our profession was nudged forward a little. And they are mostly based on my blogging.

The top ten moments for Volunteer management in 2010


10. Volunteering England holds National Conference for Volunteer Management. Other nations still lag behind.

9. Volunteering Tasmania grant scholarships allowing people to attend the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer management in Adelaide.

8. DJ Cronin launches this blog in March. An independent voice for Volunteer management. And still a sleeping tiger. Watch this space.

7. Debate on OZVPM listserv community on definitions of volunteering. In April there we…

Thank you for being part of my blog in 2010

Image
“Deep down inside we know that the best gifts don't come from catalogs
or shopping malls. They don't come in brightly-colored packages
or fancy envelopes and they're not sitting under a tree somewhere...
The best gifts come from the heart. They come when we look at each other
REALLY look at each other and say 'You mean a lot to me' or 'I'm so glad you're a part of my life' A gift like that will never go out of style or be forgotten or be returned for a different size. A gift like that can change the world." - Ron Atchison

World Exclusive: VOLUNTEERISM GAZETTE SHOCK DISCOVERY

Image
VOLUNTEERISM GAZETTE

DECEMBER 2010


Don J Volau reports from Alturia where a secret underground of volunteering is taking place.


I had never even heard of the island of Alturia until I received the anonymous email last month. Disbelief and suspicion were the only ways to describe my feelings to that email. A hoax surely I thought to myself. A follow on letter with a return ticket to this island got my rapid attention though. If this is a hoax then the last laugh will be for me I thought as I needed a few days away with sun, sea and Saxophone! So I packed my saxophone and boarded Alturia Air and headed for this mysterious island.

Talk about a rough trip. The food was rough. The service was rough. Even the landing was rough. As soon as I landed I sent a report to MJ Cowlings Travel Blog.

I was met by a placard carrying man aged in his sixties. Unfortunately he had gotten my name wrong and I looked nervously at Security as I approached the man with the placard that said “ Bong J”.

My hop…

Thank you speech to Volunteers 2 - Guest Post

One of my favorite quotes is “To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.”

You may never know the profound effect that you may have made on a person’s life. A kind word, a gentle touch or a listening ear can mean so much to someone who is sick, in pain or lonely. You generously give your gift of time to make contact, provide support and encouragement and perhaps provide humor to make someone’s day a bit more bearable because you have taken the time to care and to listen.

You give of yourself and bring with you your life experiences, skills, abilities, compassion, intellect and humor and ask for nothing in return yet you receive friendship, appreciation and satisfaction. You volunteer for many different reasons but for whatever reason you volunteer , you provide support, skills, talents and abilities to give someone hope and strength and the courage to face another day. You do not ask for accolades. You give your time generously without any expect…

Volunteer Management: Be careful what you wish for!

Image
Have been watching the Energize Hot Topic with interest this month. Link to the site is on the right hand side of this page. I always encourage readers of this blog to have a look at the Hot Topics both on Energize and the OzVPM sites. For Volunteer Management to move forward we need to engage with these hot topics. By engaging, I mean more than just reading. When I was President of AAVA some years back I used to constantly encourage the board to respond to Hot Topics. I believed then as I believe now that Professional Associations for Volunteer managers should be taking every opportunity to respond to issues of the day.

Anyway, back to the Energize Hot topic. In this months topic Susan J Ellis explores some of the issues of vocabulary and labelling, pointing out that how someone defines the core word of our field often has strong impact on some critical, practical matters.

It was in fact a couple of responses to this Hot Topic that got me in turn responding. I simply had to respond…

Leadership in Volunteer Management

Image
“One of the signs of a great leader is the ability to describe, in detail, the unique talents of each of their people – what drives each one, how each one thinks, how each one builds relationships. I deliberately look for something to like about each of my people. Not spending most of the time talking about peoples few areas of non-talent and how to eradicate them. No matter how well intended, relationships preoccupied with weaknesses never end well” – Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.


The above quote really resonated with me in terms of looking at leadership styles that sit well in Volunteer Management. I am sure that we all have our own unique type of styles but I question if some sit better with managing volunteers.

Let’s break the above quote down and analyze how we might apply the theory.

How do you describe, in detail, the unique talents of each of your people what drives each one, how each one thinks, how each one builds relationships?

Do we currently do this and if so how? If…

International Volunteer Day December 2010

Volunteering:

Building community

Social capitol

Connecting people

Involving people

Sue Hine in her blog today (address on links) states “Volunteering is an expression of active citizenship, giving, and value to community wellbeing” and then goes on to state:

“Note it is a description, not a definition.”

I kept coming back to that one line today. “Note it is a description, not a definition.”

Why did it resonate so much? Perhaps we can only attempt to describe volunteering. Perhaps it is a fallacy to attempt to define it. Perhaps we cannot define something as ever changing and fluid as volunteering.

Happy International Volunteer Day to volunteers all around our globe!

Professional and effective Volunteer Management will not threaten jobs !

"In your mind you have capacities you know

To telepath messages through the vast unknown

Please close your eyes and concentrate

With every thought you think

Upon the recitation we’re about to sing

(*) calling occupants of interplanetary craft

Calling occupants of interplanetary most extraordinary craft

Repeat (*)

You’ve been observing our earth

And we’d like to make a contact with you

We are your friends" Copyright The Carpenters


Jayne Cravens has a fantastic article on her blog at the moment. Please check it out for yourselves and you’ll find her blog address here. This is what Jayne is saying on Facebook:

“The firefighters union in the USA (IAFF) is against volunteer firefighters. I've blogged today about this incredibly misguided stance, and hope that state and local volunteer management associations all over the USA will also take a public stand on this issue. I encourage others to blog about it, to say something in your Facebook about it, to tweet about it, to put …

Amazing professionalism and resilience from Volunteering England!

I have never met Justin Davis Smith.

Justin is the CEO at Volunteering England. I think that the only engagement I have had with him was a brief exchange at the online Service Jam recently. But I’ve been a fan of Volunteering England for awhile now. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rob Jackson who works at VE and we have both been on the same faculty one year for the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management – a great guy with a great passion for volunteerism. Passionate people. Leaders. And its really a test of character when one is faced with such a challenge as cuts and loss of funding and staff losses.

Justin Davis Smith wrote recently to VEs membership and one paragraph stood out for me:

“I should like to sign off with two heartfelt thanks. First, to my staff team at Volunteering England who have borne the difficult news this week with amazing professionalism and resilience. They are an amazing group of people who have been responsible for some fantastic work over t…

PART TWO: THE ACCIDENTAL VOLUNTEER MANAGER

THE INTERVIEW

Previously in the Accidental Volunteer Manager: Mr. Bucket an incompetent assistant HR manager is transferred into the vacant Volunteer Management position at Hope Hospital. Working with a part time volunteer coordinator named Jan Mr. Bucket faces his first volunteer interview on his first day!


(Knock on door)

Mr. Bucket: Enter!

(a young guy enters the room aged in his early twenties.)

Alex: Good morning!

Mr Bucket: Yes. Am..you sure you are in the right place?

Alex: I think so - you the volunteer boss yeah?

Bucket: actually manager of volunteers.

Alex: Sweet - I’m in the right place then

Bucket: Good lord!

Alex: eh?

Bucket: Nothing..please take a seat

Alex: Thanks mate

Bucket: I didn’t catch your name?

Alex: Its Alex..Alex Cartwright

Bucket: Well Alex can you tell me why you are here today?

Alex: Well I was looking to volunteer at your hospital

Bucket: I see…and what do you do Alex?

Alex: Well I’m between jobs at the moment

Bucket: Unemployed then?

Alex: Yeah..But…

A letter from two young volunteers to inspire Volunteer Management !

Today I was moved. In a way I haven’t been moved for awhile. I manage a volunteer program at a wonderful hospital in Australia.

I have a passion for my occupation for many reasons. Quite simply I love it ! yes – a simple statement but so simple in its truth. I know most of you feel the same. When you are asked what you love most about your job how do you respond?

For me it always comes back to the people. The people I work with. Whether that be the wonderful staff who coordinate daily activity or the volunteers who truly inspire me.

But let’s be honest. One can become a little complacent at times. Let’s be real here. The job can be challenging at times. Managing and coordinating volunteers encompasses much. As a leader you need to be switched on 100% of the time. A job as important and vital as yours demands much. You must work hard to ensure your program runs smoothly. Sometimes we get so busy and lost in that busyness that we forget the “why”. Why am I doing this in the first place?…

Reaction to the Accidental Volunteer Manager

I’ve been blown away by the reaction to this little piece today. The site hasn’t had so many visitors in one day since I started this humble blog in March this year. Thanks everyone for their comments and ticks here but I’ve also received a number of emails off this site asking when the next installment will be produced?

Well, I originally wrote this piece as a way of expressing things through a humorous medium. Obviously in a very very short time it is striking a chord. Why is that? I think that could be a topic for a blog on its own. Maybe we all need a bit of a laugh. Maybe we all need to lighten up a little. Maybe we identify with what is going on here. A laugh maybe but in some ways sadly true! Or not sadly but frustratingly true!

Perhaps I won’t psychoanalyze it too much!

I am hoping that excerpts from the “Accidental Volunteer Manager” will be published twice a week. That is a hope not a promise as one will need the humour gene to be active. But I will try.

How long will it …

World Premier Exclusive! "The Accidental Volunteer Manager" A Play by DJ Cronin

The Accidental Volunteer Manager
© DJ Cronin 2010
Brisbane Australia


Setting: Hope Hospital
Scene 1:

Hospital Board meeting


Chair: Right then, that appears to be all that we have to discuss unless there is any other business

Director 1: Oh yes – I forgot to mention – we’ve lost our Volunteer Manager

Chair: We had a volunteer manager?

Director 2: We have volunteers here?

Director1 : Indeed we do - 200 to be precise and their manager just had a heart attack.

Chair: How terrible – so we need a new volunteer manager then?

Director 1 : Indeed we do

Chair: Mmmm. Are they paid?

Director 1: indeed they are

Director 2: Why are they called volunteer manager then? Imagine me being called Volunteer director of nursing? Haw haw haw.

Chair: Right..so we recruit internally or externally?

Director 3: well actually this could be an opportunity for us at HR. I recruited someone to the position of HR assistant manager a few months ago

Director 2: not the unfortunate named Mr. Bucket?

Director: Yes: the…

AAVA Award Winner announced - Well Done Heather Moore!

Relieved to see that AAVA, the professional body for volunteer managers in Australasia have at last, posted some info on who won the AAVA 2010 Volunteer Manager Award of Excellence.

This is what their website says


Heather Moore.

Heather is the General Manager of Volunteering Waikato in New Zealand and she is recognized for the following attributes:
• Ability to take the organisation from where it was to a different/better place through exceptional management of volunteers
• Contribution to expanding the profile and recognition of volunteering within and beyond her organisation
• Influence with funders and partner organisations
• Effectiveness in increasing the organisations capacity to support local communities
• Invests in engaging with groups that might otherwise be taken for granted or marginalised e.g. youth, new migrations, people in rural and remote towns
• Lives and breathes volunteering
• Strong creative managemen…

Poll result

Survey Results

In a recent poll on this blog 40% of respondents stated that they did not believe that their peak body for volunteering in their country supported Volunteer Management!
33% believed that their peak body did while 26% didn’t even know that they had a peak body for volunteering in their country!

Accept your lot in Volunteer Management and don't take it out on Volunteers!

http://cchronicle.com/2010/11/its-not-you-its-me-avoiding-volunteer-break-up/



Came across an article in the Conductive Chronicle. Never heard of that before but I get alerts whenever Volunteer management is mentioned. The article is all about preparing for Volunteers and placing them into appropriate positions which is all well and good but it was this particular paragraph that got my Irish up.

“As a volunteer manager, we have certain obligations. As much as we may be overworked, underpaid and possibly even under-appreciated (never!), we certainly don’t want to make any of that our volunteers’ problem. Here’s how to make sure your volunteers and your organization are reaching a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

There is so much wrong with that on so many levels. It smacks of defeatism. It’s a little pretentious and it devalues ethical behaviour in Volunteer management. I am unclear on what the authors experience of Volunteer management is but Ive yet to encounter a colleague grumblin…

Why Volunteer Management must be inspiring!

"Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe."
– Winston Churchill

Our capacity as Volunteer Managers to inspire is enormous. Like other facets of volunteer management that we ourselves seem to not recognise, inspiring people is one of the strongest traits I believe in effective and progressive Volunteer Management.

To look at this in real simplistic terms we first look at our programs and teams.

Sometimes the simplest yet amazing fact passes us by. We are people who manage and lead and coordinate people who are in our team for various reasons and motivations. They are not paid. Therefore to retain these people there must be a number of factors:

• The cause
• The motivation
• The leader

Three equally valid reasons for volunteer retention in my view. I know some can exist without the other. People volunteer for organisations and couldn’t give a ho…

Did we get a mention????

From the Volunteering Australia website:

“There was a special forum in Bonn Germany on 8/9 November as part of the consultation process for the development of the UNV State of World’s Volunteerism Report.

This first State of the World‘s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) produced by the United Nations will present an alternative vision to the one widely prevailing today, regarding what volunteerism is and why it is important. Using a broad brush, it will address first what is meant by volunteerism, why people volunteer their time, what are the ways people choose to volunteer, and the impact of this volunteer engagement.

The Report will then take up a number of key global issues that intersect with volunteerism, selected because of their critical nature and/or because of ongoing polarized discourse around them. The final section of the Report will be forward looking with conclusions and recommendations that should assist policy makers, practitioners, researchers and all other concerned stakeh…

A final comment on International Volunteer Managers Day 2010 via an open letter to many.

Dear IVMD committee

Thank you for your tireless work year in and year out in your efforts to have the profession of Volunteer Management recognised and understood. All of you, volunteers, deserve the respect and praise that is rightly yours. Don’t give up on your cause because there are many people behind you. While I may be vocal in my support please understand that some may not have the confidence or indeed time to express their support.

Dear people who are ideologically opposed to the day and have publically engaged in the debate while still demonstrating their support for Volunteer Management

Thank you for your support of Volunteer Management. Thank you for engaging in healthy debate and I look forward to more discussion with you in 2011!

Dear Media

Once again you were totally absent! However I acknowledge that the Volunteer Management sector and the Volunteerism sector are to blame for this. We need to work harder collectively to spread the message

Dear Facebook

Credit must go to…

Volunteer Management: The Final Frontier

I remember reading an article sometime ago, or maybe an opinion piece from Susan J Ellis about mentions of “volunteering” in popular media for example movies and TV shows. Susan had spotted a few examples and had asked people to submit their own. You will have to find this somewhere on Energize I expect as I am only recalling by memory and am in a lazy blogging mood so you’ll have to find it!! :-)

I am not sure what brought it to mind tonight. But I thought I’d have a little bit of fun and find places where Volunteer Managers could get a mention.

The most obvious place to start is Star Trek. If memory serves me right there is no money and thus no one is paid for anything. Ah….but there’s a question – if you do work and are not paid for it…are you a volunteer? Only if you “volunteer” to do that work right? Let’s have that Star Trek Debate another day. Because I could go on just like Dimitry Chernikov does in his blog http://dmitrychernikov.com/blog/star-trek/

“In one episode of Star T…

What my National peak body for volunteering had to say to Volunteer Managers on IVMD 2010

...











____-----------------------------
















................................................................

Thank you IVM Day (with apologies to Abba)

Today is special, in fact it’s a little bit more
You could celebrate, you've probably done it before
For you have a talent, a wonderful thing
The value to communities you bring
Of this day we are proud
All I want is to sing it out loud

So I say
Thank you IVM Day, the tune your singing
Thanks for all the joy your bringing
Where were we without it, I ask in all honesty
What would we be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you IVM Day
For giving this to me

Think recognition and IVM Day walks the walk
It uses “our sectors important” kind of talk
And I’m often thankful that it came to be
For our jobs real importance is plain to see
I’m glad the day began
And, whenever it was, I'm a fan

So I say
Thank you IVM Day, the tune your singing
Thanks for all the joy your bringing
Where were we without it, I ask in all honesty
What would we be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you IVM Day
For giving this to me

We’ve been so lucky, …

Reflection on Blog in the lead up to International Volunteer Managers Day

In March of this year I set up this blog. In the week that brings us International Volunteer Managers Day I want to reflect on the blog itself.

I truly wanted to have a forum where I could have a say about the profession that I love. I hoped that some people might come here and have a read of my views and perhaps engage in some dialogue about Volunteer management.

Being new to blogging I had no idea what to expect. I am a volunteer manager at the coalface and enjoy working every day with a great team of volunteers. I also happen to be privileged to work with and have as colleagues some great volunteer coordinators and managers who share my vision for the sector.

At some point yesterday the 3,000th unique visitor visited this site.

Perhaps this is small considering what other blog sites attract in a day not to mind 7 months.

But for a humble blogger like myself I am astounded. Truly.

Thank you for visiting this blog. At the end of the day I want to get more people engaged with the …

What International Volunteer Managers Day can help us achieve!

Here’s one that crept under my radar

According to Pro Bono News on October 27th

“more than 2300 Not for Profit professionals in 10 countries,. including Australia and New Zealand, have shared their management strategies, as global software provider, Blackbaud releases its 2010 Global State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey. The State of the Nonprofit Industry (SONI) Survey is a global report covering general operations, fundraising, technology and Internet usage, and accountability and stewardship. Responses were received from 2,383 individuals in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”

You can read about it yourself by posting this link

http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2010/10/retaining-staff-and-donors-key-aussie-nfps

The article titled “Retaining Staff and Donors Key for Aussie NFPs” is an interesting read in itself but from a volunteer management point of view it got me thinking after I rea…

The Drama of it all! :-)

I haven’t been blogging for awhile because I have been immersed in a wonderful theatrical performance. We are just over half way through the shows for this musical comedy. I’m working with a wonderful cast of volunteers for this community theatre and it is fun but demanding.
Of couse I continue with my day job of managing a great volunteering service and of course when I get a chance I am always keeping an eye on what is going on in volunteering world as you can see from my Roving Eye Blogs just posted! Hope all of you are keeping well. Now back to rehearsing my lines for tonights performance!and as my charachter says in the play

" Always rememeber: if you keep calm and keep your head while those all around you are losing theirs...then you obviously don't understand the situation!"

Thank you speeches for Volunteers

I was a little surprised to see that my thank you speech to volunteers is the second most read post here on this site that mainly is concerned with advocating for the Volunteer Management sector. And I’ve discovered that a lot of people found this site by googling “thank you speech for volunteers”
Wouldn’t it be interested to know who is looking for such speeches

CEOs of organisations?

Politicans?

Volunteer Managers?

It’s also lead me to discover that there is a market out there for speeches and some websites charge for speeches including one I found selling thank you volunteer speeches! Wow!

So this leads me to thinking that maybe I should put some more thank you speeches on this blog. If CEOs and politicians are accessing them then we can have a hidden motive. We can speak better of volunteerism. We can talk of the true dynamic value of volunteerism. We can move them away from speeches such as this:

“As your member of parliament, Senator, minister etc I am so happy to be here today …

Volunteer Management Polls - your ideas?

With only a handful of days to go to International Volunteer Managers Day can I encourage you to response to the two polls on my blog? I am getting some very interesting feedback so far but would love to see more visits responding. If every unique visitor was responding we would have much more input and data.

Answers so far have been very interesting. In particular I note in the question “What are your thoughts on International Volunteer Managers Day?” that 22% of the answers given don’t get the day or have never heard of it.

Very interesting answer too on the question seeking agreement or disagreement on the statement “”My peak body on Volunteering in my country supports Volunteer management”

28% are not aware they have any peak body on volunteering. It would be interesting to poll on these people further. Like where are they from?

Alos in regards to polls for Volunteer management. I would like to throw this open to you? Let me know what kind of poll would be interesting for Volunt…

Thank you Senator Ursula Stephens from Volunteer Management

During the week Senator Ursula Stephens moved a notice of motion in the Australian senate which stated

"Senator Stephens: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) five million Australians volunteer in their communities every year,

(ii) effectively realising the full potential of volunteers requires skilled,
knowledgeable and professional volunteer managers who are responsible for their
recruitment, training, administration and support,

(iii) volunteer managers provided leadership, direction, inspiration and
motivation that allows people to effectively serve their communities,

(iv) well managed volunteer programs demonstrate that organisations value the
involvement of the community and strive to make the most efficient use of
resources, and

(v) 5 November marks World Volunteer Managers Day, recognising and promoting
greater awareness of the role of volunteer managers in mobilising and supporting
the world's volunteers; and

(b) thanks Australia&#…

Australian National Conference on Volunteering

Didn’t go this year. Various reasons. Thought it was costly and again felt that it was lacking a focus on volunteer management. Still I kept updated with some great updates from Pro Bono Australia who did a good job of covering the event. They should be invited to cover the next Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management.

Some points I found interesting

Bernard salt told the conference that as baby boomers approach retirement age, they will not cease activities and will turn to volunteering. He said Not for Profit and other volunteer-involving organisations will need to package and market to this generation and their expectations.

Nothing new there for Volunteer management. We’ve been saying that for years!

How about Elaine Bradley from Ireland and what she said? CEO of Volunteering Ireland Elaine Bradley said that volunteer peak bodies need to move away from ideas of ownership of volunteering and move towards a decentralisation of volunteering infrastructure.

Wow – wonde…

Service Marmalade: World Exclusive

From Volunteerism Gazette

Our reporter Don J Volau reports on an unusual initiative taking place in November.

“What we are looking for is an online get together globally for those who know that volunteering is nice and very sweet. We believe that if volunteering had a taste it would be marmalade. Sweetly, sticky, traditional, unchanging pure volunteerism confined to a beautiful old fashion strong jar” So said the convener of Service Marmalade, Al Touristic, at the initiatives media launch today in New York New York.

Service Marmalade is being set up to represent those within service who are concerned that traditional volunteering is losing its way. Said spokeswoman Annette Curtin “Pure volunteering was always about service given by people who made long term commitment to organisations. People who were engrossed in the muck and mire of struggling society. We have no time for so called “emerging trends” in volunteering and believe such trends are fabricated and even if they do exist …

Did you Jam?

I was service jamming for the past few days. Check my earlier posts or the link on the right hand side of the page if you don’t know what I am talking about. It was interesting. I saw some colleagues there and people who are followers of this blog. I wrote a few words. About guess what? Yes my pet topic: How the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle can be found using the Pythagorean theorem.

No. seriously I mused of course on Volunteer Management. It was good to see some volunteer coordinators and managers there with some great posts! However I don’t believe I can reproduce what I wrote there here on this blog. You can review everything that was discussed at the service jam on the site if you were a participant only. I do hope that they release the material to the general public. According to the website “IBM, in collaboration with key partners, will publish a white paper to summarize key findings and highlight creative ideas generated by Service Jam to share with participan…

IVMD and Volunteer management...WHO CARES?

With International Volunteer Managers Day quickly approaching I am endeavoring to work at taking the pulse of Volunteer Managers!

On my blog currently I have two pertinent questions:

Does your “peak body” on volunteering in your country support Volunteer Management? And what are your thoughts on International Volunteer Managers Day?

Important questions that take only a few clicks of your mouse.

Add your voice because your voice will matter in shaping our future direction!

Rambling reminiscing on a rainy afternoon

Rambling reminiscing on a rainy afternoon


Sometimes I am genuinely intrigued about what motivates us. About why we do what we do. I cant say that growing up I dreamt of working in volunteer management. One reason is of course that I had never heard of Volunteer Management.

Words. Words intrigue me too. In Volunteerism we have a lot of debates about words.

How many people out there are volunteers and don’t know it? Are Volunteer managers and don’t know it. Or managers of volunteers :-)

I remember years ago a person correcting me when I described them as a volunteer. “Oh no my dear, I am a member of the Auxiliary – I am not a volunteer’! In the last Australian census there was a question asking if people volunteered.

How many people would have said no to that and yet were board members with community organisations or involved with their kids sports by running the shop or washing the kits or driving the bus etc.

I volunteered for years in Ireland but never considered myself “a volunte…

Please Don't Be Silent On Volunteer Management

In just under a month International Volunteer Managers Day will be celebrated on November 5th.

I have a poll on the day on my blog and I encourage everyone to have a say. I know how many visitors I have to my blog site and I know that it is a very small minority of them who vote on polls or write comments.

But IVMD is important for my sector I believe.

I say this as a Volunteer Manager.

It is not a day about self congratulation (though that is ok too)
It is a day that can be utilized as a vehicle for promoting our sector
It is a day that can be utilized for getting media attention (not that this has happened yet but I remain ever optimistic!)

And to me, as a Volunteer Manager, it acknowledges a profession that I am serious about. It speaks of a profession that is important in today’s society. It defies the old adage of “I’m just a volunteer manager” and thus strengthens the value in volunteering too.

Lastly but not leastly! There are some individuals who are volunteering their time to…

Wikiwherearewe?

As most of you are aware Wikipedia is a free web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 16 million articles (over 3.4 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world
According to its own entry on Wikipedia – “Although the policies of Wikipedia strongly espouse verifiability and a neutral point of view, critics of Wikipedia accuse it of systemic bias and inconsistencies (including undue weight given to popular culture)”

I can’t help but like Wikipedia. I do question content sometimes but on the whole I believe a large proportion of it to be an honest and genuine contribution.

So given that this site is written collaboratively by volunteers around the world it intrigues me that there is not one article or entry on Volunteer Management.

My piece here in relation to Wikipedia goes to the invisibility of our sector outside the echo chambers I talk about. Well may we talk about prog…