Sunday, October 30, 2011
Where are the Fireworks on International Volunteer Managers Day?
Sue Hines writes an interesting piece on International Volunteer Managers Day in her latest blog. The link to Sues Blogsite can be found on the right!
The view that there will be noise all round the world to celebrate the day is one, alas, I cannot share.
The problem, as I see it, with IVMD is that it is being smothered with niceness and tarnished with insignificance.
Years ago I had an issue with a well known speaker on volunteerism who basically stated the day was cringe worthy and had no time for volunteer managers patting themselves on the back. I disagreed vehemently then.
I am not so sure now.
My belief in the day and its purpose has not wavered. I am not too sure that people understand what the day is about. If small pockets of volunteer managers throughout the globe meet for tea and cakes and do nothing more for the sector itself then how is this “education through celebration”
I saw someone writing on the IVMD Facebook page that they were going to get a few Volunteer Managers together to clean up a beach. How is this “education through celebration?”
Where is IVMD being celebrated? Is the Volunteerism world itself sitting up and taking note? Let’s take a quick look at what the sector is saying 6 days before the event.
Volunteering Australia fails to mention the day in its “Latest News”. There is no story about the day on its website. Click on the Managers of Volunteers page and you find no mention of the day.
Search “International Volunteer Managers day” on its site and you get a link to the days website. Nothing more.
Ok – let’s look at the AAVA website. The professional association for Volunteer Managers in Australasia has no news on this day, which is 6 days away, on their website. It’s a bit harder for our sector to make the above comments on the lack of Interest from Volunteering Australia when our own sector is not getting it right. Stones and glasshouses and all that! There is no news about what is happening anywhere on this site for IVMD!
Same can be said of the Association of Volunteer Management website in the UK. No mention of our “big day” on their site either. A search of IVMD on the site yields a few results and articles from 2009 and 2007.
Close to home again there is no mention of IVMD on Volunteering Queensland’s webpage (would be a good story for the Wonderful VOLQLD TV Channel IMHO!)
Nadda on Volunteering New Zealands site – not even on the events calendar. Better news from Volunteering WA and Volunteering Tasmania who are highlighting some events associated with the day. Ok I guess tea and cake is better than nothing!
Rather than go on I encourage you to check your own local association or volunteer centre and check out what they are saying or doing about IVMD this year.
Sue Hines writes that “Most events will happen on Friday November 4. At least we avoid the fireworks this time.”
We actually need Fireworks for IVMD! We need more passion and to get more people to take notice.
•Drop an email to your professional body for volunteer management and ask them how they are marking the day?
•Send a blank Celebration card to your national body on volunteering. In it slip a note and write “Please don’t ignore IVMD again next year – from a Volunteer Manager!
•Send a congrats email to those organisations that do support the day
•Alert your local member of parliament/Senator about the day and encourage them to get together with local VMs
•Write a blog here on the merits or otherwise of IVMD.
For me IVMD should be about raising the profile of our profession thus increasing its value! IVMD should be the vehicle to profile Volunteer Management in a positive light. It should be used to educate organisations and the community about the importance of effective and well resourced Volunteer Management.
It should be the Blue Ribbon day for all professional associations for Volunteer Managers! It should be an important date for Volunteerism!
But is it?
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