Emotionally challenging situations for volunteer managers: what to do

Including: emotional resilience, compassion fatigue and having difficult conversations with volunteers.

Join us for this L&D event on 10th July, 2018 at Hanbury Hall, London. Click here to book.

Managing volunteers can be an emotionally challenging experience, for a variety of reasons. We could be called upon to support volunteers in stressful situations, or to deal with uncomfortable situations caused by volunteers. These could be foreseeable or completely unexpected, but either way, are we given the support and guidance needed to cope effectively?

Having difficult conversations with volunteers can encompass everything from saying ‘No’,  to offering support and sympathy in dealing with personal crises. Being properly prepared can significantly reduce the stress involved.

This event brings together some very experienced presenters and practitioners to both discuss these challenging issues and consider some practical guidance. It is relevant to all volunteer leaders and managers and will address a broad range of potential situations, with both seminars and interactive workshops. Attendees will have plenty of opportunity to share their own experiences and discuss solutions.

Click here to book.


Other AVM events:

There are still some places left for “New approaches to involving and engaging volunteers, 12 June 2018, BRISTOL.

Click here to book or for further details.


Save the date: 18th October, 2018, AVM Conference.

This year’s conference will be the biggest and best yet! Look out for announcements about speakers and early-bird tickets.

It’s a Date! – 18 October 2018, AVM Annual Conference

Just seven months to go until we come together for the sector-leading AVM annual conference, we’re asking you to keep the date – 18th October – firmly held in your diaries.

This year’s conference promises to be bigger and better than ever before. We’re working hard pulling together an exciting programme for the day including inspirational and challenging keynote speakers, networking opportunities and topical seminars/workshops. These will address topical issues and areas for development for all of us who help people donate their time and talents.

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 – and enjoy an early bird discount!

Don’t take our word for it, here are a few things people said about last year’s conference:

  • “Great networking, really friendly participants and organisers. Very professionally run in a great venue”
  • “There’s a really great energy and camaraderie amongst volunteering folk which made for a great atmosphere. I also enjoyed the good variety of sessions and keynotes”
  • “It was really well organised. With a great choice of workshops and a busy, buzzy atmosphere. Lunch arrangements made great opportunities to talk to new people”
  • “Really great keynote speakers, individually and good variety across them. Great to have peers in the sector sharing learning in workshops. Always good to hear what others are up to and have a chance to discuss challenges candidly and support each other”
  • “The networking was great, the standard of speakers was high, I felt stretched by the discussions”

What people liked about the event:

  • “What did I like about the event? – All of it! -this was my first AVM conference and I thought it was efficiently run and well delivered. The speakers and workshop leaders were professional, knowledgeable and topical. It is important to have professionals representing who are not a formal part of the third or voluntary sector but who demonstrate leadership and have a keen interest/buy in to our profession and work”
  • “The varied programme and the wide range of workshops available. The knowledge of speakers and the opportunity to share expertise”
  • “Networking, exchanging ideas, free range to think outside the box – not always possible in a work context!”

Save the Date

So make sure to keep 18th October free and watch out for more news on the conference in the coming months on the Association of Volunteer Managers website and by email.

Remember, members enjoy a 50% discount on conference places when bookings open, so now is the time to renew your membership or invite colleagues to join. Click here

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First AVM event in Bristol just announced

AVM steams in to Bristol on 12th June, aboard the SS. Great Britain , may God bless her and all who volunteer aboard her!  Click here to book.

This will be a specially reduced -price event, thanks to the support of English Heritage, SS. Great Britain and South West Museums Development Programme, and as an introduction to AVM.

Continuing our commitment to bringing AVM Learning and Development Days to some of the key centres of volunteer activity outside of London and following on from the exciting opening event in Manchester last week, AVM will now be in Bristol in June. This event will look at some new and innovative approaches to both traditional and new challenges in volunteering. This will include looking at attracting and working with younger volunteers: research clearly shows that actively engaged young volunteers are likely to continue volunteering throughout their lives, for a variety of organisations.

We will look at how research can be an excellent starting point for initiating change. It can provide the data and numbers necessary to convince stakeholders outside of volunteering departments of what those inside volunteering instinctively know already: volunteering is still a largely untapped resource. We will also consider how best to present this information to CEOs and other senior directors, and how volunteer managers can take the lead on convincing and converting boards to the true value of their volunteer departments.

There will be lively group discussions and networking opportunities to allow everyone to share their own opinions and experiences. Lunch is included, as will be a tour of the museum and ship at the end of the main L&D event.

 

 

Aside from his full time role at Barnardo’s and speaking for AVM, Roy Clark is also running in the London Landmarks Half Marathon on 25 March. If you wish to support Roy, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/roy-clark4

Engaging, Empowering and Energetic – my experience at the AVM conference

In a special guest blog AVM member Kathryn Harrington shares her experience of attending her first conference, as well as how it influenced her personal and professional development going forward.
Back in the summer of 2014, I joined the dedicated Volunteering Team at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Making the big move down to London from Wales, I was very aware of the limited contacts and connections I had in my new profession in London.
NCVO provided the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of voluntary organisations, from small local charities to large national organisations, and it was here that a colleague recommended attending the AVM conference, to help develop new connections and broaden my learning in the volunteer management field.
I attended my first conference in 2015 with a colleague from NCVO with the hope of connecting with other volunteer managers from different organisations and sectors, as well as promoting the Investing in Volunteers Accreditation to attendees, a great programme that I worked on whilst at NCVO focussing on good practice in volunteer management. It was the perfect space to talk to other professionals about an accreditation related to their area of work, but it was also a great personal development event; an opportunity to share experiences and learning with over 200 volunteer management professionals, and have the opportunity to listen to up-to-date research on volunteering trends and discuss the latest approaches towards volunteering with a wide mixture of people from different organisations.
Since attending my first conference in 2015, each year has provided something different, and continued to remain very relevant to the roles I have moved into. Whilst working at the Royal British Legion, the conference provided the opportunity to network with other professionals in the Armed Forces Charities, and discuss setting up an Armed Forces Volunteer Leadership Network to facilitate collaborative working, as well as share resources and good practice materials.
The variety of keynote speakers and workshops provided the opportunity to develop new exciting ideas for the year ahead. I attended the Volunteers and the Law workshop, delivered by Mark Restall, and Measuring Volunteer Impact, delivered by NCVO’s Joanna Stuart. Both sessions were extremely useful for the projects I worked on at the Legion, but it was always tricky to decide which two workshops to attend as they were all so relevant to my area of work. Luckily all of the presentations were shared with delegates online after the event so you can review the content from all of the sessions in your own time.
I’m really looking forward to attending the conference this year, in my new role as Volunteer Services Coordinator at Mencap. If you are looking to make connections with other volunteer managers, share learning and experience with a wide mixture of people from different organisations, and find out some of the latest research and approaches towards volunteering, I would highly recommend booking a place at this year’s conference!
If you want to experience the networking, learning and development opportunities for yourself book your tickets for AVM 2017 now.

Winning in Volunteer Management: Working together, what can we achieve?

21 September, at The Crypt, Christ Church, Spitalfields
This event is looking at how we can work more closely together. Click here for more information or to book a place.
Prior to the 2012 London Olympics, the government asked sporting organisations what they knew about volunteering, and they asked volunteering organisations what they knew about sport. Both answers were the same: “Virtually nothing!”
Yet sports volunteering accounts for 22% of the UK total – more than any other sector. (This information came out at our last event on 27 July)
Many charities organise sports-style fundraising events, such as walks or runs or cycle rides, but is there cooperation with sports organisations in the preparation or administration of these events?
Surely the time is ripe for sports and non-sports volunteer managers to get together and start to work together: to share experiences and challenges and successes.
This event will hear from presenters with experience of both sports and other non-profit and charity organisations, from research professors working in collaboration with sports organisations across the world and from the London 2012 Legacy charity: Join In. There will also be the usual networking opportunities and the chance to voice your own opinions.

Speakers will include: Jenny Betteridge, Sport England; Chantel Scherer, Join In; Dr. Fiona Reid, SRVN / Glasgow University; Dr. Lindsay Findlay-King, SRVN / Northumbria University; Alex Beaumont, LTA -British Tennis; Kerry Marland, England Athletics.

Click here for more information or to book a place.                                                            

Last few places available for AVM 2017: The Annual Conference. Bookings will close this week.

We’re pleased to announce that bookings for AVM 2017: The Annual Conference are at an all time high.
Book your place now.
As an AVM member you already receive a 50% discount on your conference booking but why not enjoy more with the early bird discount. We only have a limited number of these tickets available.
As a non-member you can still enjoy early bird discount, but we only have a limited number of these tickets available.
Don’t leave it too long to book your place and why would you want to when you see what a fantastic line-up we have planned:
Keynote speakers this year are:
Julie Bentley, CEO of Girlguiding
Vicky Browning, CEO of Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
James Probert, Director of Strategy and Impact, City Year UK
Seminars this year include:
• Change is not a journey
• Measuring Impact
• Using data and benchmarks to drive volunteering up the agenda
• Embracing the age of opportunity – involving younger and older volunteers
• Corporate volunteering from the third sector perspective
• Creativity and meaning in volunteer reward and recognition
• Influential Leadership: Gaining Commitment, Getting Results
• GIVERS – Nudging People to Volunteer
You shouldn’t just hear it from us how great the conference is. Carly Benton, Volunteer Development Officer at Crohn’s and Colitis UK, shares her experience of being a first-timer at the AVM Conference in 2016 and why you shouldn’t miss out:
“For me there is nothing more valuable than meeting like-minded peers to challenge my thinking.  There will always be areas for improvement and barriers to overcome in the world of volunteering. This is why the AVM Conference is the perfect place for volunteer managers to come together with a shared understanding, to not only to develop your skillset and keep up to date with current trends, but also to reassure you you’re not in it alone!”
We look forward to seeing you at the Volunteer Management event of the year!
AVM Conference Team

Meaningful Engagement Begins with Recruitment.

27 July 2017 10 am till 4 pm, lunch included
At The Crypt, Christ Church Spitalfields Commercial Street | Spitalfields | London
The challenge of both recruiting and retaining useful, effective volunteers is an ever-present aspect of volunteer management. Most of us agree that time ensuring existing volunteers are satisfied and fulfilled in their roles is time well spent. However, is it possible to promote long-term volunteer engagement by focussing on this aim as part of the recruitment stage?
This full day event will look at the recruitment strategies and some of the campaigns planned and utilised by a variety of organisations.
Hazel Finney of Community Impact Bucks will consider the fundamental issues all organisations need to consider when approaching volunteer recruitment. With experience of training, preparing and supporting more than 3,500 small organisations in developing their recruitment policies, Hazel has almost unrivalled knowledge of her subject.
Will Watt of Join In and Jump Projects has developed GIVERS as an extension of his award-winning work on the 2012 Olympic legacy charity, Join In. GIVERS transforms data on over 300,000 volunteers into a simple, practical tool to help anyone recruit, retain and reward more volunteers.
Flora Nicholson of Cancer Research UK will co-present with Will Watt, looking at CRUK’s use of GIVERS in their recent volunteer recruitment.
Stephen Hill of Parkinson’s UK will present on their early pre-recruitment preparations. Parkinson’s UK are attempting a radical, far more in-depth approach to the challenge of encouraging long term, fully engaged volunteering.
Daniel Ingram of Wood Green, The Animals Charity, will be considering how to effectively divide his time and resources between recruitment and active retention / engagement strategies.
The event will be hosted by AVM Director Bryan Precious, and will include a light lunch. Held in the Crypt of Christ Church Spitalfields, this promises to be an ideal opportunity to discover the latest thinking on recruitment, retention and engagement of volunteers. As always, attendees can network and share experiences with counterparts from a broad cross section of volunteer organisations.
To secure your place, click here.
For a full agenda, click here.
 
 

Embracing Digital Communication for Volunteer Management

June L&D Event
AVM’s new Learning & Development Officer, Greville Southgate, has joined AVM from the Heritage Arts sector and has a background in creating and developing successful training events. His first event in the new role will be Embracing Digital Communication for Volunteer Management, on 29 June 2017 at VAI in Islington, 1:30 – 5 pm.
This event will be a great opportunity to learn about some of the digital options that are currently being used to communicate with volunteers. Suitable for both large and small organisations, we will be assessing a range of tools that can help engage and support volunteers. Attendees will meet colleagues from across the UK who may be facing similar challenges, and the chance to discuss and compare experiences is a vital component of all AVM activities. AVM Directors and the L&D Officer will be on hand to answer any general enquiries that you may have, as well as digital experts for more specific questions.
We will start by examining how non-profit organisations can benefit from embracing some of the digital tools on offer, as well as recognising some potential risks and some of the less obvious costs.
We will hear presentations from Rebecca Harper, Guide Dogs UK and Jo Keller, RNIB. These charities have been utilising both small-scale and large-scale digital systems to communicate and engage with volunteers and volunteer managers. They will tell us about their reasoning, their aims and finally the results of opting for the systems they use.
There will be an open-space discussion where delegates consider questions arising from the presentations, and can share their own expectations and experiences with similar tools or situations.
Finally, we will hear from A.S. Maini, Volunteer Centre Camden, who will provide an overview of some of the most interesting and cost-effective tools currently available for non-profits. This will include both free and paid-for systems, and assess the salient features of each.
For a full agenda, click here:
AGENDA for Embracing Digital Communication for Volunteer Management 29 June 2017
To book a ticket, go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/embracing-digital-communication-for-volunteer-management-an-avm-ld-event-tickets-34969358292
The event is being sponsored by Better Impact:
Better Impact is a small but global company that believes in helping non-profits, charities, NGOs and government agencies achieve more by providing use easy to use, purpose-built technology, over the top support and innovative educational platforms.

Better Impact specialises in providing Volunteer Impact, volunteer management software based in the cloud. From online volunteer applications direct into the system, to rota management, quick reporting and easy communications, the software is designed to help you manage your volunteers more efficiently, giving you more time to focus on engagement and strategic planning, as well as enabling volunteers to become more engaged through their own personal online portal.  Read more and watch some short videos here.
www.BetterImpact.co.uk
0203 0140 226 ext 152