Showing posts from October, 2010

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?


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…


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…