Showing posts from April, 2010

Change Management (Guest Post)

Change management is a process that has been around for some time however, I have only recently become aware that there are consultants who actually specialize in this process and assist businesses in the management of changes within their organizations.

Change is everywhere. When you consider that during my mother’s life for example, she has lived through a depression and a world war and has seen the development of technology which has brought about the advancement of computers from large mainframe computers, which filled an entire office floor, using punched cards as input, to accessing the internet from a mobile phone that fits into the palm of your hand.

Some people embrace change. There are a lot of computer savvy octogenarians out there who have discovered that they can access a wealth of information and stay in touch with friends all over the world with the advent of this new technology and all from the comfort of their own home. For these people the internet has become a m…


Job title to be banned?

Don J Volau

The Irish Gazette

"Irish parliamentarians will debate a motion on whether to ban the title “Volunteer Manager” for those who manage volunteer programs and are salaried. In a motion sponsored by the Liberty Party it will be argued that the title ‘Volunteer Manager” is misleading unless its “owner” is unpaid and is “truly a volunteer”.

Trevor Fryar, Liberty Party spokesman for the third sector told the Gazette that he felt that he had been hoodwinked for years and that change was needed. “I’ve met several people at conferences and even social gatherings over the years who have informed me that they were Volunteer Managers. I’ve always told them that I thought they were so noble and were a credit to their communities” the senator said.

However, an event four months ago came as a huge shock to the senator and led to his course of action in parliament. “ I was at a function recognising volunteers where this chap introduced himself as a Volunteer Ma…

One month gone and getting loud...

This blog has now been up for just over a month. It’s been great fun and thanks to those of you who pop in for a read and to those who take the time to post. I have had just fewer than 350 unique visitors (meaning individual) and that to me has been a real thrill.

And it so exciting to see people blog in from all over the globe, from Christchurch to Rio de Janeiro, from Limerick to New York and from London to Hobart Of course in terms of blogs I have no idea what that means in terms of popularity? Nevertheless I thank colleagues and friends for spreading the word on this blog.

Because my main aim is to get people into a dialogue on volunteerism and volunteer management in particular. I am a huge fan of Susan J Ellis and I am sure those of you who visit this site know who Susan is (if not - Google!) Susan has said that Dialogue moves our sector forward and she has nailed my viewpoint with that statement!

I hope to make this blog more popular and I think the key to its success will …

What is your definition of a do gooder?

If you volunteer and someone calls you a do gooder how would that make you feel? Is it a compliment? Disparaging?

Let’s take a look at some online definitions

Informal, usually disparaging a well-intentioned person, esp a naive or impractical one
do-goodery n
do-gooding n & adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Or this one
do-good•er (
A naive idealist who supports philanthropic or humanitarian causes or reforms.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

From urban

See bleeding heart liberal. Someone who thinks they are helping society by championing oppressed minority groups, when in fact they are ruining society and crippling free speech.


INFORMAL a person who seeks to correct social ills in an…

Assumed Constraint

I am reading a little book at the moment that a wonderful colleague has lent me. So far I’ve probably read a quarter of Ken Blanchard’s “Self leadership and the one minute manager” and I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it here until I came across, in the book, the concept of “Assumed Constraint”. And when I read about it I wondered to myself if leadership in volunteerism suffers a little or a lot perhaps from assumed constraint.

Firstly let me explain what I believe is leadership in volunteerism. I would hope ( note I say hope not say) that volunteerism leadership would encompass volunteer management, peak bodies for volunteering, professional associations for volunteer management, academia with a special interest in volunteerism, and consultants and trainers in the field of volunteerism. All of which of course can be paid or unpaid. I do not draw a distinction but know I could be attacked by some for not including volunteers (Mmmm…perhaps my own assumed constraint!)

I digress. Anyw…


There is a fascinating debate going on at the moment on the OZVPM listserv community. Passions have been stoked and the way different people communicate has intrigued me. I have of course participated in the debate which centre’s around volunteering in a private setting. I strongly recommend that you have a look at the debate to date. As Dave from the UK posted “I believe that it could well be the most active debate within volunteering that I have seen in a long time”

The OzVPM newsgroup was founded in June 2002 by Andy Fryar, and is today the largest internet based newsgroup dedicated solely to volunteer program management in the Australasian region.

The newsgroup provides visitors with a forum for discussing all aspects of volunteer program management. Ranging from debating the most current and topical issues in volunteerism through to seeking solutions and sharing ideas about the most basic questions regarding our profession, the OzVPM newsgroup offers a mechanism for all sorts o…


Ok.... Maybe I am getting a bit picky and precious here but…. I just checked out the registration form for the NATIONAL conference on volunteering in Australia (online) When you come to the “Position” field it gives you these choices
Senior manager
Coordinator/Project officer
NFP Board member
Research Student

Ok – so if I was going I guess I enter “Senior Manager”? What’s the hang-up about having “Volunteer Manager” listed here I ask you? Or “Manager of Volunteer Service”?”

I did share these thoughts with some colleagues and one of them informed me that they contacted Volunteering Australia about this and they in turn were informed that another company were responsible for this i.e a company they had engaged to manage the registrations.

But still

ya would think they might check these details????

The Threat Within

In my opinion there is an emerging voice within our sector that is using the “pure volunteering” tag as a weapon to push ahead with their own archaic views. This body of people believe that volunteering is a natural instinct embedded in all of us to serve and support others. It is anathema to them to suggest that people may not volunteer for altruistic reasons. The reality of change scares them. They perpetuate the “woe is me” culture in the third sector. They fail to grasp innovation because it may mean change and they are more comfortable being snug in their old cocoons. They do not believe that “Volunteer Management” is a profession. They believe that “pure” volunteering doesn’t require leadership or management.

In calling a spade a spade I believe this group are the biggest threat to the volunteering sector because their ilk pervades the volunteering community, our national conference on volunteering and our peak bodies. They are responsible for not having Volunteer Management on…