Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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


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 read one of the four global trends have emerged from the data of the survey. Here’s the one that drew my attention

“Fundraising is emerging as a widely-recognized profession around the globe. The vast majority of NFPs around the world are expecting to increase their investment in fundraising staff, according to the SONI survey. It is clear that fundraising is no longer someone’s “part-time” responsibility. Techniques and data are becoming more complex, and the rate of change is increasing. What was once mostly art is rapidly becoming science, requiring new tools and techniques, partnerships, and better skilled staff.”

In the week that brings us International Volunteer Managers Day, could we not mirror that point about fundraising? Perhaps not. Could you put your hand on your heart and honestly say that Volunteer Management is emerging as a widely recognized profession around the globe? I personally would say no – that’s not the case but I acknowledge that some hard work is being done in various pockets to achieve this. I certainly don’t think Volunteer Management is a widely recognized profession in Australia. Yet.

When will we see written “The vast majority of NFPs around the world are expecting to increase their investment in Volunteer management staff” Let me know when you see instances of that if you don’t mind?

Can we say now with confidence that it is clear that volunteer management is no longer someone’s “part-time” responsibility? Nope – I don’t think we can claim that either.

Does Volunteer management require new tools and techniques, partnerships and better skilled staff? You betcha! And a recent survey on Volunteer management in the UK said as much. Look at the language used here when the profession of fundraising is used. It is apparent that the profession is valued.

In the week that brings us International Volunteer Managers Day I believe that our sector should be reflecting on these things. This is the real meaning of IVMD for me. An opportunity to reflect on the profession I care about.

IVMD, in my opinion will thrive if it is utilized to challenge us to talk up our profession and take an honest look at where we, within the volunteerism sector, are falling down in relation to volunteer management.

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