It’s a Date – AVM 2017 is on 18 October

With five months to go until we come together for AVM’s sector leading annual conference, we’re asking you to keep Wednesday 18 October firmly held in your diaries.

At AVM 2017 – The Annual Conference we’ll celebrate our 10th birthday and, with plans hotting up, the event promises to be bigger and better than ever before. We’re thrilled to announce an exciting line-up of keynote speakers, as shown below, with further announcements on seminars to follow over the coming months.

We’re delighted that the conference will again be held at the Royal National Hotel, London, close to Euston and Kings Cross stations. Early bird tickets will be released shortly so be sure to keep an eye on your emails for further news. Last year’s event sold out in record time, so we’d strongly encourage you to book as early as you can.

Our keynote speakers this year will be:

Julie Bentley
CEO, Girlguiding
Having dedicated her career to the not for profit sector, including as a youth worker, a young people’s drug and alcohol worker, Julie has gone on to hold a number of senior leadership positions in the sector for twenty years. Julie will speak to AVM nearly 5 years into her role as CEO at Girlguiding.

Vicky Browning
CEO, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO)
Vicky heads up ACEVO, the UK’s largest and most influential network for Charity and Social Enterprise Leaders. For nearly 30 years, ACEVO have provided support, development and an inspiring, collective campaigning voice for their members across the UK, the leaders of small, community based groups, ambitious medium-sized organisations, and well known, well-loved national and international not-for-profits.

James Probert
Director of Strategy and Impact, City Year UK
James joined City Year UK in 2009 and, as Director of Impact, he oversees the design and evaluation of activities for school children and young people, and the expansion of the ‘service year’ concept to new areas. James will be speaking on the Full Time Social Action Review and any implications for the voluntary sector and specifically the leaders of volunteering in the sector as a result of the outcomes of the review, due out immediately before the conference.

Save the Date
So make sure to keep 18 October free and watch out for more news on the conference in the coming months. Remember that members will enjoy a substantial discount on conference tickets when bookings open.

AVM Welcomes Lords’ Recommendations On Charities

AVM has welcomed the key recommendation around supporting volunteer management in ‘Stronger charities for a stronger society’, the new report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities.

The report contains the recommendation:

We propose that funders should provide more resources for volunteer managers so that charities can make the best possible use of the generous contribution of their volunteers and support their efforts.

The recommendation is based on a submission from the Association of Volunteer Managers responding to the Select Committee’s call for evidence last year. This was bolstered by the committee’s own evidence gathering when they visited local charities who talked about their needs when involving volunteers in their work.

Debbie Usiskin, Chair of AVM, said: “We are over the moon at this news. Communicating the value and need for volunteer management as a recognised discipline is at the core of what AVM was set up to achieve. Having such high-profile confirmation of this is very welcome.”

AVM member Sheila Norris echoed these words: “Working in a local volunteer centre, I see first hand the impact that investing in volunteer management can have. I’m pleased that this new report recognises the resources needed to make volunteering happen.”

The committee’s own comments on the recommendation were: “Funders need to be more receptive to requests for resources for volunteer managers and co-ordinators, especially where charities are able to demonstrate a strong potential volunteer base. We recommend that Government guidance on public sector grants and contracts is amended to reflect this and set a standard for other funders.”

Volunteer Impact: An AVM Learning & Development Day

Book HERE.

Venue:  Better Bankside | Bankside Community Centre | 18 Great Guildford Street | London | SE1 0FD

Date: Wednesday 19 April 2017

Timings: Registration will open at 10:00 with presentations beginning at 10:30. The event will close at 15:30.

Agenda:
This learning day looks at how we measure the contribution that volunteers make to an organisation.

If you struggle to capture the contribution volunteers make, or need ideas to get buy-in from senior leaders and the wider team for the importance and need to involve volunteers, this session is for you.

Speakers on the day will include:

  • Alan Murray, RSPB
    Alan will look at the variety of metrics used at The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) over the years, and highlight what has worked and why.
  • Bryan Precious, Age UK
    Bryan’s presentation will cover some of the different strategies used by the Age UK Volunteering Team to measure the contribution of volunteers across this varied network of charities and how this information’s been used to get buy in from senior management.
  • Clare Harris & Tim Walters – Agenda Consulting
    Clare and Tim will look at the impact of volunteering on both the organisation and on the volunteers themselves, drawing on insights from Agenda’s volunteer survey work and Volunteers Count study.

Please note: Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day but lunch will not be, instead delegates are encouraged to bring their own or to purchase it from food vendors close to the venue.

Book your space HERE NOW

Not a member? Why not join AVM and save on the cost of your ticket?  YOU CAN JOIN 
HERE

Simply complete the paperwork and send us a cheque and then pop back here and book on as a member – what could be easier? No need to wait for confirmation of membership.

Work with AVM as our Learning & Development Officer

AVM are looking for a Learning & Development Officer to join the team.

The main objective of the role will be to plan, manage, market and deliver a schedule of high quality learning and development events/activities with the purpose of creating significant revenue, growing our membership and promoting AVM’s reputation and profile.

This role would suit someone with significant experience of designing and co-ordinating learning events, alongside event management experience and attention to detail. Existing experience within the voluntary sector or a professional membership body would be a bonus. Detailed role profile and person specification are available on our CharityJob listing.

The salary offered for this post is £26,500pa.

The deadline for applications is Noon on Friday 24 March 2017.

Interviews will be held during week commencing Monday 3 April 2017.

Application is via CV and cover letter sent to Fiona Wallace through our CharityJob listing.

Introduction to Volunteer Management: An AVM Learning & Development Day

Book HERE.

Venue:  Better Bankside | Bankside Community Centre | 18 Great Guildford Street | London | SE1 0FD

Date: Thursday 9 March 2017

Timings: Registration will open at 10:15 with presentations beginning at 10:30. The event will close at 13:30.

Agenda:

Volunteer management gives us the opportunity to work in an enjoyable environment, with truly inspiring and dedicated people. But how do we take the first steps into this world?

This workshop is aimed at those who are new to volunteer management and will explore what it means to be a volunteer manager in a range of different contexts, whether as a volunteer in a small organisation or a paid member of staff in a large national. You’ll have the chance to reflect on how to engage the right volunteers, if you should retain them and, if so, how and who you need to have as your allies in order to make your volunteer programme a success.

This 3 hour workshop will give an overview of current best practice, as well as expert tips, the chance to ask questions and an opportunity to meet others starting out in volunteer management.

This workshop is facilitated and delivered by Chris Reed, Head of Volunteering at Barnardo’s. Chris has led volunteer functions in major UK charities and worked in volunteering infrastructure for over a decade.

Please note: Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day but lunch will not be, instead delegates are encouraged to bring their own or to purchase it from food vendors close to the venue.

Book your space HERE NOW

Not a member? Why not join AVM and save on the cost of your ticket?  YOU CAN JOIN 
HERE

Simply complete the paperwork and send us a cheque and then pop back here and book on as a member – what could be easier? No need to wait for confirmation of membership.

AVM’s Thoughts On NCVO’s 2017 Letter To The Sector

NCVO has started the year by with an open letter to the voluntary sector which poses many questions around the role of volunteer management. Here AVM Chair Debbie Usiskin responds and offers our thoughts.

Sir Stuart Etherington, CEO of NCVO, has started the year by publishing an open letter highlighting the part that volunteers can play in building a shared society. More importantly, he makes it clear that we need well supported volunteer managers to help make this happen.

I urge you to read Sir Stuart’s letter and share it within your organisation. He makes the valuable point, very well, that for volunteering to be successful it needs to be adequately resourced; it could spark off a discussion within your organisation about expectations and impacts.

We are attending the NCVO Members’ Assembly in February where we will be contributing to the development of their public policy work. We want to hear from members and make sure that we represent you so let us know what you think following Sir Stuart’s letter.

Of course, we agree with Sir Stuart that this means greater investment in the support that volunteering needs, acknowledging that managing volunteers is harder than managing staff. We look forward to continuing to work closely with NCVO to ensure that volunteering is managed well, and that those who do it are valued.

Learning & Development for Organisations – New Additional Benefits

The Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) has been the foremost body for volunteer managers since we launched in 2007 and we are continuing to grow. One of the reasons for our success is our membership-driven outlook – we were set up and are still run by volunteer managers for volunteer managers and this gives us the opportunity to create a network of peers sharing ideas and experiences. Over the years our membership base has been steadily increasing and we want to develop this still further to ensure that as many people as possible can access our services and we can continue to be relevant to the sector.

At our Annual Conference in October 2016 we announced the launch of a Learning and Development Package for organisations, to run alongside our existing individual membership model. We believe this will give a choice to organisations about how to be involved with us and will extend our reach to a wider group of people to help meet the growing demand from the sector for professionalisation of volunteer management.

Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve secured special rates on one-day training from internationally renowned strategic volunteer engagement specialists Rob Jackson Consulting. This new addition is just one of a range of discounts and benefits available organisation-wide when you sign-up.

We run a range of services promoting great volunteer management and raising the profile of the work volunteering professionals do. Earlier in the year we employed our first member of staff, an Events Manager, which has helped us to grow our range of events, seminars and conferences.

We’re here to promote great volunteer management and raise the profile of the work of volunteering professionals, to inform best practice and inspiration from across the sector and beyond and we believe that our new Learning and Development package to organisations will help us to achieve this still further as well as ensure that your staff team receive the very best support, resources and development opportunities in volunteer management.

To find out more please see here.

“Joining us will place your organisation at the forefront of volunteering development, and ensure that your managers are inspired, engaged and supported by a large network of volunteer management professionals across the country.  If your organisation involves volunteers and manages volunteer programmes, directly or indirectly, then this is the association for you.”
Debbie Usiskin, Chair, Association of Volunteer Managers

AVM Learning & Development Day: Engaging Young People Through Social Action

Following on from out latest Learning and Development event; Ruth Leonard, Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan Cancer Support and AVM Director reflects on the importance of involving young people in voluntary roles.

For me, as a Director of AVM the ability for organisations to offer activities which engage young people is a sensible way of future proofing the volunteering movement – and being able to creatively respond to their needs and ideas can help improve the volunteering experience for all and lead to exciting meaningful developments for people to shape their futures and communities.

It is clear from the data that young people between 16 and 25 years old still represent the highest overall rate of volunteers compared with all other age groups. With a 4% increase on last year, rates of young people involved in formal volunteering are at their highest for over a decade[1]. 42% of young people are regularly participating in social action[2] and most of those who do feel that it is important to them; is part of their routine and is something they would always do – which is really positive.

However whilst appetite is high, awareness about volunteering and other social action opportunities does seem low. 41% who didn’t participate said they wouldn’t know where to begin or that it had just never occurred to them so it looks as though promoting just what is available and in places and ways that are identifiable to this age group is essential.

One of the biggest issues facing volunteer involving organisations is that young people just don’t identify with the term ‘volunteer’ nor ‘social action’[3]. As one participant put it “the first rule of volunteering: don’t mention volunteering”.

But once we get the messaging right young people fully understand the benefits of giving their time and energy – giving them the chance to develop life skills and valuable experience. Not that this is the only reason young people want to get involved, in fact the main reason given by 16-24 year olds who volunteer is that “they wanted to improve things, help people” with 56% of them identifying this – higher than across all other age groups[4]. Learning more skills was identified as the 2nd reason – again the highest of all age groups, but this was clearly to be alongside with enjoying themselves and socialising

All of which is a challenge – and opportunity – to think about the kind of roles we as volunteer managers’ offer; and how we offer them. Young people are looking to be challenged and to help to shape the activities they are involved with so we should be looking at our volunteer roles and tasks differently and ensure young people can contribute.  We also need to challenge our perceptions about what young people can – and want – to do. An example of this is from my professional role at Macmillan:

Abby Lennox is a remarkable 22 year old who is one of Macmillan’s Lead Volunteers for a service which provides practical and emotional support to people affected by cancer in Belfast. Abby effectively manages the service and provides support to other volunteers, something which traditionally we may have felt was not attractive to a young person. When asked what she’d say to others who were thinking about volunteering in the community she said “I’d say do it! You’ll not regret it and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner” Unsurprisingly Abby was a winner of the Young Macmillan Champion Awards for inspiring and exceptional young volunteers in 2015.

It is important to build recognition and reward into a volunteer programme and Macmillan is proud to be able to say a specific thank you to our young volunteers. One of this year’s winners is Zara Salim – a volunteer inspiring a generation. When the 13 year old’s granddad was diagnosed with cancer last year she was motivated to raise money for Macmillan by selling her own toys. She quickly reached her target but then went on to step-up her fundraising from organising a coffee morning to arranging an auction, contacting local businesses and being overwhelmed by generous donations. Zara’s passion and enthusiasm for volunteering seems boundless and she inspires others through sharing her story in the community and at school

Encouraging young volunteers to recognise their specific skills and reflect on what they’ve learnt through volunteering is also valuable – both to develop their own confidence and self-esteem but also to be able to demonstrate externally to future employers for example, and Macmillan has created a Development Journal in which volunteers can write down all the things they experience and learn while volunteering with the hope that it will be a useful tool to help set their goals, reflect on what they’ve learned and review their achievements.

The Association of Volunteer Managers is a great place to network with other volunteer managers – to hear about and share ideas from others at a range of different organisations and to be a central place to discuss issues such as ‘so how do we talk about volunteering if the word itself is a barrier?’! Our next networking day will be addressing this fascinating subject of recruiting and engaging young volunteers and will be a great opportunity to meet others and keep the debate going.

I have shared examples from my organisation because clearly it is the one I know best, but it would be great to hear from others – what kind of powerful tools do you use to engage young people and please do tell us your stories of inspirational young people who give time?

[1] NCVO’s Civil Society Almanac 2016
[2] #iwill youth social action survey 2015
[3] Livity research on Young People Volunteering in Health and Social Care
[4] Helping Out survey 2007

AVM’s Problem Solving Forum

Book HERE.

Venue:  Better Bankside | Bankside Community Centre | 18 Great Guildford Street | London | SE1 0FD

Date: Friday 3rd February 2017 (rescheduled from Thursday 1st December 2016)

Timings: Registration will open at 10:15 with presentations beginning at 10:30. The event will close at 13:30.

Agenda:

Being Volunteer Managers we have the privilege of working with truly inspiring and dedicated people on a daily basis. The sheer variety of people we come in to contact with via volunteering is what makes our work so enjoyable. But as with everything, difficult situations may occasionally arise.

Perhaps a volunteer wishes to make a complaint against another volunteer, a member of staff or the organisation. Alternatively, someone may wish to complain about a volunteer’s behaviour or contribution. Whatever the challenge it’s part of the Volunteer Manager’s role to ensure robust procedures are in place to deal with these situations clearly and fairly.

This 3 hour workshop will give an overview of current best practice and the kind of structure you should have in place as well as expert tips for solving challenging circumstances. We’ll also discuss common scenarios and how best to deal with them, wrapping up the day with a Q&A session.

This workshop is facilitated and delivered by Anne Marie Zaritsky, Head of Volunteering at the Royal Mencap Society and Lead Assessor for Investing in Volunteers.

Please note: Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day but lunch will not be, instead delegates are encouraged to bring their own or to purchase it from food vendors close to the venue.

Book your space HERE NOW

Not a member? Why not join AVM and save on the cost of your ticket?  YOU CAN JOIN 
HERE

Simply complete the paperwork and send us a cheque and then pop back here and book on as a member – what could be easier? No need to wait for confirmation of membership.

Presentations from AVM2016, The National Conference

The following is an overview of the content from AVM2016, The National Conference:


Keynote: How volunteering will continue to fit in with the future strategy of NCVO

Karl Wilding – Director of Public Policy and Volunteering at NCVO

Karl’s Presentation on SlideShare


Keynote: 10 ideas for volunteer managers from the corporate world

Joe Saxton – Driver of Ideas at nfpSynergy and its founder

Joe’s Presentation on SlideShare


Workshop A – Great Scott! – Future Trends & Issues in Volunteer Management

Rob Jackson – Rob Jackson Consulting

Rob’s Presentation on SlideShare


Workshop B – Volunteers and The Law – What Do I Need to Know?

Mark Restall – Author of Volunteers and the Law, trainer, writer and consultant

Mark’s Presentation on SlideShare


Workshop C – DeMontfort University And National Trust Research

Professor Anne-Marie Greene – De Montfort University

Annabel Smith – National Trust

Anne-Marie and Annabel’s Presentation on SlideShare


Workshop D – Measuring Volunteer Impact

Joanna Stuart – Senior Research Officer at NCVO Institute for Volunteering Research

Joanna’s Presentation on Slideshare


Workshop E – Volunteering & Digital Media

David Hunt – Digital Manager at Leonard Cheshire Disability

David’s Presentation on SlideShare


Workshop F – Volunteers And The Law – Ask Me Anything!

Mark Restall – Author of Volunteers and the Law, trainer, writer and consultant

Mark’s Presentation on SlideShare