Monday, February 14, 2011

Having a Kit Kat

Dear reader of this blog

This blogger wont be blogging for the next couple of weeks. Will be back then with more views and news!

Ciao for now :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

IAVE recognizes the importance of effective volunteer management

I've had some great responses to a recent blog I posted titled "Five emails and Volunteer Management".

Today I recieved this email

“Thanks for your complement on the 21st IAVE World Volunteer Conference
at Singapore.

Indeed, IAVE recognizes the importance of effective volunteer
management and always had a tract for it in our conferences although
the name might not the same as you put it.

As I consider myself as a volunteer manager or administrator, I have
promoted the importance as much as possible. I also embraced the offer
to put a banner on IVMD in the IAVE website.

The 13th IAVE Asia-Pacific regional conference to be held at Changwon
Korea will also have it on the program. I wish many Australian
Volunteer Management Advocators participate in the conference and
renew the importance of it."

Kang-Hyun Lee, Ph.D.
World President of IAVE

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Volunteer Coordinator and Parenthood

I got a little shock last night watching TV. And before you get alarmed no – it was nothing to do with an electrical fault! My little shock was to do with the content of a TV Program I accidently stumbled across. The show is called parenthood. Apparently I was watching season 2 episode 7. But I had never come across this show before. According to wikipedia Parenthood is an American dramedy television series based on the 1989 film of the same title.

My first shock was that one of the main characters in this is a Volunteer Coordinator on the show! I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone from this sector in any TV drama. Ever! So suddenly my half attempt at lazy channel surfing came to a halt as I sat up to see how this volunteer coordinator would be portrayed.

Thanks to the internet and here is a rundown of this chaps appearances in the show and what happened in thsi episode

Camille and Haddie show up for volunteer work, working in a soup kitchen. Camille introduces Haddie to the volunteer coordinator for community services, Alex. She greets him warmly, but he rather brusquely
tells her to bring her papers next time, and he'll sign for her hours.

Yikes – not the best start here Alex!

Haddie takes out the garbage at the soup kitchen. The bag breaks as she is trying to hoist it into the dumpster, and she is completely revolted by what all falls out down. When she's cleaning up, Alex tells her that poverty is not contagious. She fills him in on what happened with the garbage bags. He tells her to try double-bagging next time. She's starting to pick up on his rude attitude towards her.


…..She thanks him, and tells them about Alex, and how he's treating her like some idiot teenybopper with a bleeding heart and even if she is? It's rude. Adam tells her to call him on it, but Kristina tells her to punch him in the groin. Make it count.

Oh dear!

Haddie finally calls Alex on his attitude. They go back and forth a bit about the turnover, and how people just use this place because it looks good on their college apps; but they're never there more than a week, maybe two. She tries to give him grief about him not exactly being selfless either; this is a career path for him as well, yes? He chose to
work there because his family used to get their food there. This place saved his life. She's embarrassed, and goes to fix the mixer. There's still a bit of tension and animosity there, but they seem to have a little better impression of each other.

Well thank goodness for that.

So there you go. An …er…interesting portrayal of a Volunteer Coordinator. I suspect there is an underlying tension here.

Anyway, I think it’s a first. Having a volunteer coordinator character on a major TV show. Let me know if I am incorrect on that. And it’s about time certain TV Hospital Dramas introduced a Volunteer manager. I am available of course. George Clooney won’t know what hit him.

In the meantime I’ll keep my eye on Parenthood.

For Aussie readers Parenthood is on Seven on Tuesday evenings. Check local guide for time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog post on poster poses questions and possibilities

Martin J Cowling has posted an interesting comment on his blog. Just click on the title of this blog. Share your opinion.What does it mean? Interesting to see if Volunteering Australia responds.

The blog also gave me an idea. And its for International Volunteer Managers Day. What if there was a worlwide competition to design a poster that celebrates and promotes effective Volunteer Managaement.

What would that poster look like?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Five emails and Volunteer Management Action

I am going to conduct my own private Volunteer Management advocacy email campaign for the week. Lets see how powerful internet advocacy can be
Tonight I will send 5 emails and keep you updated on how I am going

1.To Pro Bono Australia
Here’s what they do according to their site

What we do...

"We publish news and information, both online and in print, about the community sector. We have a news media service, with our journalists providing extensive coverage focusing on issues which impact the community sector.

We also publish the Australian Directory of Not for Profit Organisations, a Guide to Giving which has assisted charities with fundraising and gathering support for over 20 years. On our website, Not for Profit organisations can advertise for employees or skilled volunteers, as well as find events and specialist community sector suppliers.
We encourage discussion on issues, and keep people informed through our regular email bulletins."

And here’s the email I sent them…

"Greetings. It was pointed out to me today that "Volunteer Management" was not a category in your Jobs section on this site. As Volunteer Management is an important and professional sector in our society I believe it deserves a category here on its own. It would also assist those looking for job opportunities within our sector. I look forward to hearing back from you re this feedback.
Kind regards”

2.To the European Year of the Volunteer Alliance website

What they do: EYV 2011 Alliance Website, the main portal for volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers throughout Europe to share and inform on issues relating to EYV 2011.

This website complements the EYV 2011 webpage on the Europa Portal managed by the European Commission

And here’s the email I sent them…

“Greetings and congratulations on this momentous year for volunteering in Europe.

Some will say “It’s not about Volunteer Management it’s about volunteering”. If so, they miss my point and it is this:

Wherever volunteering is discussed Volunteer management needs to be on the agenda. It exists. Its important and in many organisations it’s the difference between an effective volunteer program and one that is disorganized and unappealing.

I am hopeful that there will be a focus on our profession during this year. Can you advise what that might be? I look forward to your response so that I may share on my blog.”

Good luck with the years events.

Many thanks"

3.To the professional body for Volunteer Managers in Australia – AAVA

Email addressed to the board of AAVA through their website:

"As an AAVA member I would like to express the following concerns and pose the following questions. I am sharing these questions on my blog site and look forward to your response so that I may share with readers.
•I am concerned that AAVA is not responding to the issues of the day in volunteer management
•As a member of AAVA I worry that members will leave as we receive very little correspondence
•What is AAVA doing to promote our sector and assist volunteer managers and coordinators ?
•Why isn’t AAVA participating in online Volunteer management forums, volunteer management journals or providing information on professional development
•Why is AAVA not engaged in the narrative of Volunteer Management?
•Will AAVA respond the latest Hot Topic by Susan J Ellis on Energize?

4.To IBM

Service Jam Whitepaper released this week

On 10-12, 2010 over 15,000 individuals from 119 countries registered to
participate in what was called "Service Jam", which brought together a global mix of perspectives to discuss, debate and discover the possibilities of new solutions to long-standing societal challenges.

Leaders from many sectors united to drive conversations on not only what is
happening today, but also how we might improve service tomorrow. IBM, in
collaboration with key partners, has published a white paper to summarize key findings and highlight creative ideas generated by Service Jam .

On Volunteer Management it stated:

"IBM will create and package solutions that leverage the company’s project management methodologies to help nonprofits prepare to receive volunteers, and corporations to offer them. The solution will be offered by IBMers around the world.

Like the Service Jam itself, each of these efforts will be conducted in the spirit of open collaboration. And each will be designed to deliver on the promise of the Jam; to provide better service to the people who need it."

Heres the communication I sent to IBM via Stanley S. Litow President, IBM International Foundation

“Dear Stanley. I encouraged many volunteer managers globally to participate in this service jam. I am hoping that your findings and solutions on Volunteer management will be a consultative process. Volunteer Management is already an established profession. Can you inform me how you will build relationships with, support and consult the Volunteer Management profession globally before offering solutions by IBMers around the world? My readers on my blog would love to hear from you on that matter. “

5.And my final email of the week goes to Kang-Hyun Lee, President IAVE

“Congratulations on the recent success of the IAVE conference in Singapore. As an advocate for effective volunteer management I am wondering what your thoughts would be on the possibility of having a one day international conference on volunteer management tagged to the IAVE conference in the future. Effective volunteering programs and effective Volunteer Management must be linked. The emerging profession of volunteer management should also be acknowledged globally. I am sharing this query with my blog and would love to hear an opinion that I can share with readers interested in our field."

Well. Let’s see what happens.

Action and words.

Watch this space

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week that was in Volunteer Management

I’m looking at doing a Sunday blog that casts an eye on matters of volunteer management during the week. The week that was, as it were, in volunteer management. Of course this will be a view from my eyes only, what I see or hear during the week. And indeed there may be those quiet weeks where there is no chatter and events.

Words and action

This week I stumbled across another blogger who posed the question” What if Words speak louder than Action?”

“I tend to live with the notion that the pen is mightier than the sword. Why else would military dictatorships control speech? They know that ideas can be infectious and lead people to take action.

In that regard, you could say that talk and actions are actually partners - two sides of the same coin. First people arrive at a consensus and then they take action based upon their communicated objectives.”

Thanks Crashcromwell. Well put.

Positive action

Claire Teal one of the project co-leaders of the Managers of Volunteers project in New Zealand is joining Volunteering New Zealand as a community intern for six months which will help to drive the project forward. The vision of this group is "Managers/Leaders of Volunteers are valued, well-resourced, and have professional development opportunities and career paths".

Their objectives are:
•To have a comprehensive catalogue of existing research
•To increase relevant research
•To have a qualification pathway for Managers of Volunteers
•To have a published database of relevant professional development opportunities
•To encourage professional association membership
•To have regular, positive coverage in relevant media
•To increase the number and range of supporters of their vision
•To have sustainable funding for this Project
The groups plan is that over the next 6 months of the Internship, they will make sure more people all across New Zealand hear about both the Project and the vital role of Managers and Leaders of Volunteers in their communities.


I think this is such a positive development. A query I have though is whether or not some of this work overlaps the key duties of a professional association. Now the Australasian Association of Volunteer Administrators is the “Professional association” for Volunteer managers is Australia and New Zealand. Is the “Managers of Volunteers project in New Zealand” meeting something that is unmet? Furthermore I would only be encouraging professional association membership if such a body were strong and demonstrating such strength through some of the objectives that this group has embraced. I once wrongly thought that high numbers alone would mean stronger associations. Will it be counterproductive encouraging people to join something just to have them to then say “is that it” and leave? And before you jump down my throat because I am not accentuating the positive please note I say such things as cautionary tales. We all desire strong Professional Associations and development and progress.

Hot Topic

Speaking of such matters, Susan J Ellis’ Hot Topic on Energize for the month of January is a timely one. Titled ‘Real Professions have Strong associations” Susan proposes that “one of the major weaknesses of our field is the sorry state of too many of our professional associations, whether national, regional, or local.”

Some interesting replies have already been posted including one from yours truly. “Associations of volunteer management should respond. Effective associations should already be aware that this article is out there. Because effective associations are keeping their eye on the ball in regards to any issues that are being discussed about volunteer management and Volunteering for that matter. Right now there should be emails flying amongst board members of professional associations. “We need to articulate a responses to this Hot topic people” and there is much more. Please check out the Topic for yourself and respond.

Strong association

Out of Susan’s Hot Topic comes some good news. Before this article appeared I was not aware of the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration. Now here in my view is an association that can act as an example to other associations around the globe. Great website, great professional development and fantastic professional looking profile. Google them.

I only found out about them because their President responded to the Energize Hot Topic. Jay Haapala informed us that 800 members responded to their annual survey and that “advocacy for the field of volunteerism” was the most important reason they choose to be a member of MAVA. He went on to say “Deeper questions about what “advocacy” means to them reveal that they’re looking for the field of volunteer management to become more professionalized as well as assistance advocating for their programs within their organizations.”


And speaking of Susan J Ellis I see that she is appearing in New Zealand in May for the national conference on volunteering and the Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management. This week details of the New Zealand Retreat were released.

The annual retreat was held for the first time in Canberra during March 2005 with attendees from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. This was followed by Retreats in Brisbane (2006), Hobart (2007), Gold Coast (2009) and Adelaide (2010). The concept of the Retreat is to:
•Support the emerging profession of volunteer manager
•Encourage and strengthen volunteer managers at an "advanced" stage in their professional development
•Aid volunteer managers to stay in the profession
•Provide an advanced level training opportunity
•Help volunteer managers to consider whom they can foster development of their profession

I’ve attended every Retreat to date and honestly I don’t believe I would be where I was today professionally without it.

According to its brochure for this year “The 2011 Retreat will be run back-to-back with the Volunteering New Zealand national volunteering conference, which has a theme of “Raising the Bar”. At the 2011 Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management, we plan to pick up where the conference finishes - and really explore what raising the bar means for advanced level practitioners.”

Service Jam Whitepaper released this week

On 10-12, 2010 over 15,000 individuals from 119 countries registered to
participate in what was called "Service Jam", which brought together a global mix of perspectives to discuss, debate and discover the possibilities of new solutions to long-standing societal challenges.

Leaders from many sectors united to drive conversations on not only what is
happening today, but also how we might improve service tomorrow. IBM, in
collaboration with key partners, has published a white paper to summarize key findings and highlight creative ideas generated by Service Jam .

You can find the white paper here

I was delighted to see two colleagues who are great advocates of professional development in our sector from Brisbane with their quotes included in the Whitepaper. Well done. I plan to do a larger blog in the near future on my views on the white paper.

My favorite quotes of the week

“I had the right to remain silent... but I didn't have the ability.” - Ron White

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends– Martin Luther King

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tick...tick...tick..tick...tick box in poll.Time running out!

To date 85% of respondents to my poll agree that there definitely should be a one day International Conference on Volunteer Management tagged to the IAVE conference. 15% say maybe and we should discuss it some more within the sector.

But we need to make our voice more influential and we can only do this is larger numbers.

This particular poll opened 5 days ago and 20 people have voted. That represents 5.9% of the total number of individual visitors to this site in that time.

So while visiting this site please have a say by voting in the poll on the right hand column or submitting a comment.

“I had the right to remain silent... but I didn't have the ability.”
Ron White

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