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Showing posts from March, 2013

Do we inspire people to change their lives, willingly and for good?

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I’ve been thinking a bit lately about the way organisations advertise for Volunteer Managers. To me Volunteer Management can be an inspiring and dynamic profession and I don’t think this comes across when organisations look for their next Volunteer Manager. It should. When they list the desired qualities for the prospective VM I’ve rarely seen Inspiration or Leadership mentioned. Very often I've read “experience managing volunteers desirable but not necessary”


I recently came across a one page ad in the newspaper for the Shannon Company seeking people. What drew me to the ad was their large headline that read “We inspire people to change their lives, willingly and for good” It made me think about Volunteer Management.

The ad from the specialist behaviour-change consultancy went on to list the qualities they were seeking and I list them all here. Because again, it got me thinking about Volunteer Management. Imagine an ad that listed these qualities in their search for a great VM.

Volunteer Management will be defunct in 5 to 7 years!

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I agree with the train of thought that exists that states there should be no careerists in the volunteering sector. Put quite simply organisations would save money if they didn’t have to pay volunteer managers. We need to come to the realizations that volunteers, in all cases and settings can manage themselves. The management of volunteers in organisations should be farmed out to HR to take care of the Recruitment and to Staff Development to look after training needs. Technology over the next few years will render Volunteer Management defunct as savvy volunteers manage themselves through technology, Volunteer Managers be gone!


Now please pick your jaw off the floor. The above are statements I used in a debate at the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management held in Sydney over the last weekend. This was part of the “Great Debate “segment. Volunteer Managers were broken into different teams and asked to take on debate argument in the cons and pros! No choice! It was a gre…