Showing posts from December, 2010

2010 Top Ten Moments

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

“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




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!

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

“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


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…