Monday, September 13, 2010

My 100th Post on Volunteer Management!

I’ve realised that this is post number 100. Thank you for visiting this site and I do hope you have read some of those posts. Thank you to people who are responding too. It is wonderful to see your viewpoint.

So how do I mark my 100th post. I thought about that and thought I would post a list! A top 100 wish list for my 100th post? Challenging but worth it. Many of the sentiments here on this list are expressed throughout my postings. So the list gives you the flavour of what my blog is all about. Here’s to the next 100! :-)

Here is my top 100 wish list for volunteer management sector

1.That the Australian, Courier Mail, Sydney Morning Herald or whatever main newspaper in your state our country does a profile on volunteer management for IVMD 2010
2.That other players in volunteerism recognise the important cog that Volunteer management is in volunteerism
3.That the other players demonstrate the above by highlighting the role of volunteer manager and publically supporting IVMD
4.Pay on parity with other management roles in organisations
5.That organisations utilising volunteers resource Volunteer Management
6.That national associations for volunteer management get more members
7.That the above associations work hard, take leadership seriously and therefore earn followers
8.That volunteer management is coopted into a degree/diploma
9.The growth of a global forum of volunteer managers working together for the betterment of our sector
10.That we share our success stories more and support each other more

11.That we collaborate on leadership with other leaders form other sectors
12.That we escape our echo chambers
13.That we promote volunteering
14.That we act as advocates as well as leaders for volunteers
15.That we educate our societies on volunteering
16.That as pure professionals we encourage volunteering in our communities
17.That we volunteer to act as mentors for those new to the profession
18.That as community leaders we speak up when we see injustice
19.That we work together to lobby government on matters pertaining to volunteering
20.That we realise that only we alone, as the true voice of volunteer management can do the above

21.That International Volunteer Management Day is more widely supported within our own sector
22.That International Volunteers Day is supported
23.That we communicate better with our state and national bodies on volunteering
24.That we collaborate better with our state and national bodies on volunteering
25.That we continue to learn
26.That we remain open minded
27.That we spot the emerging trends in Volunteer Management
28.That we acknowledge those who advance Volunteer Management
29.That we prepare the ground for volunteer managers of the future
30.That by doing so our youth will some day aspire to a career in volunteer management

31.That we remain connected to the spirit of volunteering and not get lost in bureaucracy
32.That we respect those who don’t believe in our cause
33.That we respect those who have not the desire nor ability to embrace change
34.That our sector is consulted by other sectors on leadership
35.That our sector is always consulted by Government for our perspective anytime there is new policy on volunteerism
36.That there is an international conference on Volunteer Management
37.That there is a national conference on Volunteer Management
38.That more Volunteer managers write articles on their experiences and ideas on my blog and on places such as Ozvpm and e - volunteerism
39.That we manage our time better
40.That we learn to stop saying yes top everything and everyone

41.That we never lose sight of the fact that volunteerism sustains us
42.That we realise that we are an important and dynamic profession
43.That we appreciate that there are volunteer managers out there who get no coverage, who seek no attention but are quiet achievers accomplishing remarkable things in our community
44.That a volunteer management role is written into a hospital TV drama! 45.That we keep a sense of humour
46.That we agree to disagree respectfully
47.That we become pioneers for our sector future
48.That we help build a better world – truly
49.That we inspire people
50.That we in turn remain always inspired by the act of volunteering

51.That we form or are involved in Volunteer Management Networks wherever we live
52.That we embrace social networking
53.That we feel secure in our roles
54.That we feel recognised in our roles
55.That we are happy in our roles
56.That we support diversity in volunteering
57.That we never allow a Hot Topic article on Ozvpm or Energize go unanswered
58.That we value the work that individuals have done for our sector over the years
59.That we participate in the newsgroups – Ozvpm, UKvpm, Cybervpm

60.That we value those who have set up these groups and continue to support them
61.That we become more do y and less hui (thanks Claire)
62.That we develop potential leaders and support them
63.That we avert the Tall Poppy Syndrome
64.That we find more advocates for volunteer management and only while and when we need them
65.That a survey on volunteer management in 2015 years time reveals that the sector is well trained, resourced and valued!
66.That more within our sector be willing to take on new ideas and be willing to change
67.That as Volunteer Managers we really educate people of influence about our roles – Our managers, Our Boards, Our CEOs, Our MPs, Senators, Our Peak bodies on Volunteering, Other Management and leadership sectors.
68. To really do this. To stop just talking this.
69.Rather than perpetuate a victimhood state of affairs that we more seriously analyse our current invisibility in a real and mature fashion.
70. To realise that volunteers have a right to be utilised as efficiently as possible.

71.To question if that is possible without professional/highly skilled volunteer managers?
72.To stop needing permission to feel good and proud about what we do (thanks Andy!)
73.That we realise that volunteering is so much more dynamic than the traditional paradigm normally portrayed.
74.That we embrace debate
75.That we dare to take a leadership role encompassing knowledge of best practice in the field.
76.That we believe in the value of looking at ourselves and attaining self-esteem (Thanks Stefan)
77. That we realise that the more we look into good leadership practice the more we discover the abundance of it amongst our field.
78.That we develop a Volunteer Management Champion award ( recognising organisations that recognise the importance of volunteer management)
79.The realisation that our contribution to management anywhere will be the sharing of how we lead.

80.That we stop the debates and arguments on what we should be called/titled
81.That we judge how an organisation sees its volunteers by how it sees its volunteer manager!
82.That we see the high turnover end in the sector
83.That we attend international retreats for Advanced Volunteer management
84.That we explore the possibility that the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers (Thanks Daniel)
85.That we collaborate and write a book on why we are in volunteer management, our backgrounds and how we were drawn to this sector (Thanks Wendy)
86.That we never ever hear again “I look after the Vollies” 
87.To see our sense of powerlessness as illusory and to begin believing that volunteer managers have an incredible amount of power but are hesitating to wield it. (Thanks Liz)
88.That we realise that we have an important role to play in “driving” the volunteerism agenda
89.That we understand that we lead people who have the capacity to change a persons life, to save a persons life or to bring renewed hope to a community

90.That we always find the time for professional development
91.That one understand that the first responsibility one has is to take care of ones self because one will be a better volunteer manager if one does
92. That we embrace the lightness and joy of volunteering
93.That we laugh more
94.That we run workshops at High school career development day
95.That we lecture of volunteer management at universities
96.That the day will come when more leaders in other sectors will want to work in ours!
97.That when encounter challenges people will get used of saying “Now what would a volunteer manager do”?
98. That we have a completely different dialogue in 10 years time

99. That every single day we physically do something about our dreams

100. And last, but not least that we Saunter! :-)


© DJ Cronin 2010
Brisbane Australia


  1. 101. That there is a reality TV show made 'a day in the life of a volunteer manager' :-)
    102. That volunteering becomes the sexy and cool thing to do
    103. That engaging organisations and individuals as volunteers is seen by everyone as the first step toward building a socially inclusive and resilient community
    104. That those who normally 'receive' the acts of other volunteers become actively involved in volunteering themselves and experience the life change that brings
    105. That more volunteer managers learn the art of negotiation, influence and debate
    106. That we see more professional development around marketing and 'selling' our profession and our volunteer programs
    107. That we become bold and fearless!!!
    108. That we celebrate ourselves and our profession just because we can
    109. That we do happy dances more often
    110. That when asked in a survey or online registration form for my profession, there's actually a category for Volunteer Manager
    111. And smug wriggles...we need professional development on the Smug Wriggle:-)

  2. Wow that is an awesome list DJ. After that effort I think you are entitled to saunter!!!

  3. Way to go kalie!! Thank you for adding to my list! I love your additins and especially 101, 102, 106 and 107!!! They are all fantastic though! You are going to have to educate me on smug wriggles ?????

  4. Thanks Wendy! I am sure you could add greatly to that list after reading the posts and writings that you have written recently that make an international impact!

  5. That is an inspirational list DJ. Thank you for your thought behind it.

    The ONE on your list that I think is the most important is…
    5.That organisations utilising volunteers resource Volunteer Management (Those that don’t or don’t do it well waste volunteer’s time and make it more difficult for all others working in the field.)

    The ONE I disagree with the most is …
    20.That we realise that only we alone, as the true voice of volunteer management can do the above (Those that manage volunteers have a real voice but others do as well. Sometimes others get involved for the wrong reasons but sometimes new ideas come from outside our own circles. I am the founding chair of a hospice that is now held as an example of best practices in this environment. When I called on a related organization looking for information on how to go about opening a hospice the response was “How do you think you can open a hospice, you don’t even work in healthcare.)

    The ONE idea I would like to add (totally inspired by Kalie)…
    That we stop measuring the value of volunteer effort by the number of hours they volunteer and that we measure it by the measurable contributions they make toward organizational mission achievement.

    As one way to continue the dialogue, I am going to invite my Twitter followers ( and newsletter subscribers ( to read you list and add their own ONE list.

    Tony Goodrow

  6. Great to hear from you Tony and thank you for your post! Good point on number 20 as well! I think I come from the angle that too often some of us think the soloutions to our challenges can come from others but ourselves! I couldnt agreee with you more about "measures" Thank you so much for assisting in continuing the dialogue in the ways you have suggested.

  7. DJ, I see the growing list becoming iconic, a wonderful baseline from which we measure progress (Kalie's thoughts included). Remember prison humor: as they call out from cell to cell - 45! 107! to appreciative snorts, guffaws, etc. When the newbie tries to contribute to this murky exchange with a random 39!!!, they grumble at his timing -- that one can't tell a joke.

    Just the same, I found myself resonating with certain numbers on the list and agree that we should not leave hot topics unanswered (guilty as charged). One bright light in the US is fellow board member of the American Association of Museum Volunteers, Maria Christus from the Adler Planetarium. She shared with us that she *knew* she wanted to be a professional volunteer manager from the start, based on her experiences in service. And I'll never forget being awed by the power of the woman at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, CA who connected me with the neurology department simply because she'd had a conversation with me and understood my training and interests. Oooh~ I want to make THOSE connections happen too! As for turnover, I've blinked and 15 years have flown by at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. When our new Executive Director greeted the assembled board, staff, and volunteers at the first group social -- he STARTED by welcoming and thanking the volunteers!
    There are great things happening in the field, and many opportunities for growth. Thanks for taking time to put down your thoughts for 100 days. Cheers! Deirdre Araujo

  8. And thank you Deirdre for your great response! Yes - there are so many people out there who inspire us.

    When I came to Australia 15 years ago and decided to some volunteering I was a little apprehensive going for my volunteer interview until I met the volunteer coordinator who I considered "hip" inspirational and who obviously loved her job! 15 years later Anastasia is still in that position still inspiring volunteers and still doing wonderful things!

    There are Volunteer coordinators and managers doing great things in so many places whether they have been in their roles for a year or 30! It moves our sector forward when we hear of others inspirational stories! Thanks for sharing some of yours Deirdre!!! Hope to hear more from you!

  9. Congratulations DJ! For getting to 100 posts, and for making all your wishes. I wish they were all achievable right now. So where d'you reckon is the best place to start?

  10. Thanks Sue.

    Continuing the dialogue is a start which hopefully leads to some action. I continue that here in this blog. With the hope that other volunteer managers and other stakeholders in volunteerism might read it. By chance sparking an idea. Maybe someone can look at the list and say either “well, I am already doing this by…” or “well I think this can be achieved by doing…”

  11. Its good to see some dialogue on our sector issues. Especially of this nature. I think you are hitting a chord!

  12. Thanks for your post ManagerofVolunteers. and for partaking in the Dialogue. I welcome more!

  13. I can't wait to see the list you make when you reach 1000 posts DJ!!!

    Thanks for continuing to inspire us all and challenge us on to new thinking

    Oh and my idea, I know you'll like this...

    112. Guiness should be the universal sponsor of IVMDay and the drink of choice for all VMs world wide :O)

    Keep up the great work

  14. Thank you Andy! I love your 112. Guinness being a sponsor for IVMD!!

    Seriously this may have potential.

    Think of the similarities between Guinness and Volunteer Management!

    •We could adopt and change the Guinness slogan – “Volunteer Management is Good for you!

    •Both are an acquired taste

    •Guinness has to be poured in a certain way. It then has to settle. It takes time but the finished product is worth it. The Volunteer Management sector has been poured and is taking time to settle. It will take time but it will be seen by our communities eventually as a valued and valuable profession.

    •The best Guinness is tasted in Ireland

    •The best volunteer manager…….ok I am stretching my luck here!!!:-)


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