First Steps

I attended the AVM Annual Conference yesterday. I initially went fully expecting to find it a waste of time and hoping to be on an early train home. In fact, the night before, I had even decided not to bother going at all. It was only due to some gentle encouragement (and a self-esteem boost) that I decided to go at all.

And you know what?  I’m really glad I did.

Over the past 6 months I had become so disillusioned with Volunteer Management as a career that I was ready to give up on it. I felt, as do a lot of Volunteer Managers, unsupported.  That I wasn’t listened to, that my skills were not appreciated and that I didn’t have a voice.

Now don’t get me wrong ; this is NOT a whinge fest going on here. I am passionate about Volunteering and about good Volunteer Management, but I had reached the end of my tether and had decided to move on for my own sanity.

But I found that at the AVM Conference, I had a voice. I found that EVERYTHING was relevant. And it drew me back in.

As a profession, we NEED the Association for Volunteer Managers. We need a collective voice and the hope that by using this collective voice, we can make a difference.

But as the theme for the day made very clear; if we want change, we have to do something about it.

I don’t have any special qualifications in Volunteer Management. I’ve never managed hundreds of Volunteers and never had a budget that I could actually do anything with. But I do have an opinion. And as a first step, I’m willing to share it.

If AVM is to work, we ALL need to get involved.  I’m offering to stand up and start blogging and risk making some mistakes.

What are you willing to do?

4 thoughts on “First Steps

  1. Thanks for these comments. I’ve already had a couple of conversations with people about we can do TOGETHER throughout the year to keep us going. Blogging and sharing views if the first step. I’ve got some ideas about pulling days together and if anyone is isnterested inhelping out then keep an eye out form my call for help!

  2. For me its not about taking first steps on the ladder….it felt more like being half way up…the top is so high…and yet, dont look down! Enough of these metaphors.
    The conference was inspirational……I realised I was not alone…my hang ups and insecurities are certainly not unique. I consider myself to be a people person with terrific influencing and negotiating skills, I ‘love’ people…apologies for the cliche! I do love working with people…thats why I do this, yet its such a solitary role at times.
    The AVM conference brought me back to reality, sat me up with a jolt….I am part of a team and we can work with each other.
    I have been inspired to reflect…to give myself permission to develop ME to benefit ME and my organisation.
    Looking forward to the next one…thanks Dawn for being so eloquent.
    Just off to read now……guilt free!

  3. Thanks for sharing – it’s really inspiring to hear your perspective. It feels like it’s really re-energized AVM as a community. Looking forward to the next steps 🙂

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