Volunteer Management

24 July 2014


Volunteer Management

We loved last week’s Thoughtful Thursdays from VMmovement; it was a creative way to talk about current issues, or ‘fashion trends’, in volunteer management and it generated a
lot of discussion on Twitter.

For those of you not aware of Thoughtful Thursdays, it’s an online discussion kicked off with a blog from VMmovement and uses the hashtag #ttvolmgrs for volunteer managers round the world to discuss the topic that week.

It got us thinking about the journey we’ve been on the past year or so. We spent some time thinking about what’s hot and what’s not in the world of volunteer management. One thing that is definitely not hot is the old volunteer management model of recruit, supervision, retain, etc. Why? Quite simply, volunteers don’t want to be recruited, they don’t want to be supervised and they want to be able to move on without feeling guilty.

That’s not to say that the tasks around these terms don’t still need to happen. We still need to attract volunteers to engage with our organisations, they still need supported in their roles and we want to make sure people stay as long as they feel they are able to contribute and continue to make a difference in their role.

But that’s the point; it’s about doing the work we need to do as volunteer managers but presenting it in a way that is as accessible to the volunteer as possible.

So how does this all relate to the journey we’ve been on? To make our training as relevant to the volunteer as possible and to help you make it accessible you’ve got to start with the question what does a volunteer want from a great experience. We engaged loads of volunteers and got some really interesting information from them.

We then engaged over 50 organisations to find out what an organisation, and volunteer managers, need to put in place to make sure volunteers get that great experience. You can see part of this journey in the picture above.

The organisations we talked to ranged from Aberlour, the largest Scottish children’s charity to Visibility, who support people with visual impairments. Their input was invaluable in helping us develop our thinking.

All this led us to create Volunteer Scotland’s new
Volunteer Management model which covers four key areas:

  • Thinking about volunteering.
  • Getting started.
  • Making a difference.
  • Building on success.

We’ve used this model to create a range of exciting new courses that reflect the current trends in volunteer management and allows you to get ahead of the curve. For more information about these courses check out our Training page.

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