Sunday, April 28, 2013

IAVE - Lets Speak up so that they might speak to us!

An opportunity for Volunteer Management to speak to IAVE

The 23rd IAVE World Volunteer Conference will be held in the Gold Coast, Australia, on September 17-20, 2014

What is the IAVE?

The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) was founded in 1970 by a group of volunteers from around the world who saw in volunteering a means of making connections across countries and cultures. It has grown into a global network of volunteers, volunteer organisations, national representatives and volunteer centre’s, with members in over 70 countries, and in all world regions. The majority of IAVE members are in developing countries. IAVE is registered as a charity in the USA, in California, with By-Laws which set out the governing principles and procedures. IAVE has special consultative status with the UN ECOSOC Committee, and associate status with the UN Department of Public Information. It is a member of the UN Confederation of NGO’s, and has a strong working relationship with UN Volunteers, underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding.


IAVE exists to promote, strengthen and celebrate the development of volunteering worldwide. It is the only international organisation for which this is the primary aim.

Governance and Structure

IAVE is governed by an international Board, consisting of the President elected by the Board; and Vice-President elected by the whole membership; Regional Representatives elected by and from the members in each region; and a number of members appointed to bring particular skills or expertise. For reasons of cost, the Board meets once a year for two days. It appoints an Executive Committee to deal with finance and other on-going business, which meets by telephone conference six times a year. The Board also appoints other committees and working groups as necessary, including a Nominating Committee for the conduct of elections.


IAVE is still run almost entirely by volunteers. The President is also the CEO, and there is a network of volunteer national representatives in some 50 of the countries where IAVE has members, who promote IAVE in their country and act as a contact point with members. There is no permanent secretariat.

IAVE's staffed offices include a small President’s office with part-time admin support. The membership is administered through an office in the US. The information service and website are located in Taiwan, staffed by a part-time executive director and a small team of volunteers. In 2006 IAVE launched a Global Corporate Volunteer Council, and engaged a part-time consultant to administer it. We therefore currently have two part-time staff, and have contracts for part-time work with two self-employed consultants.

IAVE’s work programme

IAVE is best known for its biennial World Volunteer Conferences and affiliated Youth Volunteer Conferences. The world conferences have run in an unbroken sequence since 1970. These are major events in the world of volunteering, attracting a global audience, distinguished speakers and skilled and experienced workshop presenters. IAVE members in individual countries bid to run the conference, with the result that the conference moves around the world.

In 2001, the UN International Year of the Volunteer, the IAVE World Volunteer Conference, held in Amsterdam in January 2001, was officially recognised as the opening event of the year. The Universal Declaration on Volunteering was adopted at the Conference. IAVE members all round the world played an important part in the Year’s events in their country, and one of the closing events of the Year was an IAVE International Youth Conference held in Japan. These groundbreaking events were echoed during IYV+10 in 2011, with the IAVE World Conference in Singapore in January, and the IAVE World Youth Summit in Colombia in December.

In recent years IAVE has been responding to changes in the world of volunteering by positioning itself as a key leadership body for the development of volunteering, building a more strategic role, whilst at the same time remaining a membership organisation, connected through its membership to volunteering interests at grassroots, national and global levels.
The theme of the 2014 IAVE World Volunteer Conference is “Volunteering, Today’s Imperative”, which emphasizes the critical role that volunteering plays in responding to urgent human, social and environmental needs. Volunteering helps build strong societies and communities, and helps those who volunteer to lead healthier, more fulfilling and productive lives.

As well as focusing on the "feel good" aspects of volunteering, the theme of "Volunteering, Today's Imperative" will spotlight the more important issue of the future of volunteering. In an age where communication technology promotes global community interaction, volunteer effort is at the forefront of bringing about positive change.

All of the above is taken from their website

Why Volunteer Management (VM) needs a voice here

The website features a call for papers on the sub-themes of "Volunteering in capacity building", "Volunteering – a business and community partnership", "Reciprocity, volunteering – ancient and new" and "Volunteering in philanthropy".

There is no call for papers on Volunteer Management. However VM can be interwoven into all of the conference themes. But Volunteer Management does not appear to be a stand alone topic for this conference as of yet. This should not surprise us. Volunteer Management has never been a key topic of any national conference on Volunteering in any country that I have seen. Unless I have missed it. I will then stand corrected.


The Coordinator of this conference Margaret Bell says that this conference is an opportunity for Volunteering leaders around the world.

So who is going to represent the VM sector? Who is going to talk about our profession? Who indeed will talk about the fact that we are a profession? And maybe argue or debate that fact alone?

Who will state the case that effective Volunteer Management can lead to effective volunteering? Who will talk about the fact that strong VM can be the best advocate for volunteering?

Who will fly the flag for Volunteering Management? The answer is you, the Volunteer Manager

Because don’t expect to see a keynote speaker whose claim to fame is an experienced Volunteer Manager who is at the coal face of volunteering every day. And don’t expect to see a VM consultant who has worked for VMs and volunteers for decades.

How can Volunteer Managers engage young people for the youth conference? Again don’t expect Volunteer Managers who are on the ground doing great work with youth each day every day of the year.

Again - Who will fly the flag for Volunteering Management? The answer is you, the Volunteer Manager!

VMs reading this in Australia and New Zealand and indeed around the globe will hopefully submit papers on Volunteer Management. I certainly hope to do so.

And I hope that AAMOV touches base with IAVE and is involved with the planning of this conference. It makes sense. I wonder though if IAVE has even heard of AAMOV?

What has inspired me to write this blog? IAVE2014 just started following me on Twitter. I have followed back. I have also just liked their Facebook page. IAVE seems to me to be a wonderful organisation. I am looking forward to attending their conference here in Australia. As a sector we have wonderful opportunities to engage with IAVE through Social Media. We need to show IAVE that we can do so if we are to be taken seriously as a sector. To be recognised as a sector takes work! So:

• Follow IAVE2014 on Twitter

• Like IAVE2014 on Facebook

• Submit a paper on Volunteer Management

• Blog about your thoughts on IAVE and Volunteer Management

• Ask AAMOV how they are engaging with IAVE

• Share this BLOG

Here’s to a wonderful IAVE conference on the Gold Coast Australia in 2014. And here’s to Volunteer Management getting its rightful place on its agenda!


  1. Thanks DJ for sharing that very important background information on IAVE. I am very keen to follow IAVE updates on Facebook and Twitter.

    1. Thanks Wendy. Hopefully the blog will help encourage more in the Volunteer Management sector to participate in the conference.

  2. FROM the team at IAVE 2014.

    Thank you for an interesting blog about the Conference. We thought you'd be interested to know that volunteer management has been on IAVE's agenda for many years now and it was highlighted in several workshops and discussions at the World and Youth Conference in Singapore in 2011, workshops on volunteer management at the Youth Conference were run by young volunteer managers. Also volunteer management has been integral in the national volunteer conference programs held in Australia over the past two decades with particular focus on the rights and responsibilities of both volunteers and organisations dependent on volunteer effort. We welcome and are very happy to receive yours and others papers on volunteer management under any of the threads of the conference. We look forward to engaging with you and other volunteer managers at the conference in 2014.

    1. Thanks IAVE 2014 for such a quick response! I will be watching the conference keenly and I wish you every success with it. It's my opinion that volunteer managment has not had the higher profile it dereves at recent national conferences. I have heard other VMs bemoan the fact that the profession is rarely mentioned at plenaries if at all and that very few keynote speakers talk on the subject of Volunteer Management.

      Just a little foornote: I think a name of a spokeperson would be a good idea for any organisation engaging in discussion on Social Media.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to reply and good luck with the conference organising!!


Featured Post

The simple act of kindness.

How we learn from our children! This post was inspired by an act of my daughter. When her mum arrived at work today she found this...