Interesting letter in Third Sector today (Weds 21 Apr 09) from Stephen Moreton, Head of Education and Development at Attend on the debate about a volunteers ombudsman. He wrote….
…’The call by AVM for more resources for volunteer managers is misguided. More resources are needed to help charities as a whole manage volunteers. HR departments, for example, need to ensure paid staff are aware of how volunteers support them. Delivering effective volunteer services is not the domain of the volunteer manager – it is an organisational responsibility.’
I’m wondering how much his letter has been edited as the ‘misguided’ quote doesn’t seem to quite fit with the rest of the paragraph. I’d agree (as I’m sure we all would) that delivering effective volunteer services is an organisational responsibility. However, in many organisations, delivering effective volunteer services is the domain on the volunteer manager, who is often under-resourced and under-supported by the organisation.
Could it be that what he’s getting at is that many organisations, boards, SMTs etc don’t take ownership/responsibility of volunteers as they might fundraisers for example.
More resources for volunteer managers along with effective cross-departmental working (with HR for example) to raise awareness of the impact of volunteers would help to deliver effective volunteer services. I think we’re basically saying the same thing but from a slightly different perspective.