AVM Board Elections 2017

Following the recent call for nominations, we are delighted to announce that we have seven candidates vying for the four elected positions on the board this year.

The seven candidates, in a randomly selected* order, are:

  • Gibney, Jo
  • Wilson, Angela
  • Ingram, Daniel
  • Ball, Rachel
  • Ramnauth, Karen
  • Bogod, Lia
  • Precious, Bryan

All candidates have prepared their manifestos, which appear below in the same order. Manifestos are reproduced exactly as supplied, with no spelling, grammar, or formatting changes. Furthermore, any manifesto over the 250 word limit has been cut to meet the limit.

Electronic voting codes will be issued to all members eligible to vote in batches over the coming days.

Update 2 October 2017:
All Electronic voting credentials have now been issued. If you believe you are eligible to vote and have not received yours please get in touch.


Gibney, Jo

Volunteer management does not happen in a vacuum and I am grateful for the opportunities that AVM has provided me to learn from, and share with , other volunteer managers. I want to see AVM continue to grow in terms of both impact and reach, and continue to champion real change that will benefit volunteer managers and volunteers.

If elected to the board I would support the continued growth of AVM membership across all sectors , my particular passion being small charities.

I would support AVM continue to build and strengthen relationships with organisations such as the Small Charities Coalition, NCVO and the Institute of Fundraising.

I would encourage AVM to explore utilising the vast and varied experience of its members to support the professional development of volunteer managers, and look at coaching and mentoring options.

I would like to see AVM expand its learning to more members through webinars or other online networking opportunities, regional networking groups or action learning sets.

And finally, I would like to see AVM influence more charities to set up employer supported volunteering for all their staff, and encourage volunteer managers to use that time to grow or share their skills as part of their own professional development.

My day job is in the national volunteering support team at The Royal British Legion, supporting front-facing volunteer managers. I have a breadth of experience as a volunteer and currently I am trustee for a small befriending charity, and a small charity that supports survivors of

 


Wilson, Angela

My experience in volunteer management started long ago as Sixer in my local Brownies Unit, and since then I’ve enjoyed various voluntary roles, most recently as Events Team Leader in my local branch of the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). I have experience in supporting the development of Volunteer Managers from very small community groups (as Organisational Development Manager at Voluntary Action Westminster) through to those from much larger charities, with recent positions including Volunteering Policy & Strategy Manager at St John Ambulance and my current role – Senior Advisor for Volunteering & Community Engagement at Barnardo’s. The voluntary sector plays a vital role in furthering equality within society, and it’s success is dependent upon those who volunteer, and those who manage and motivate those volunteers. I hope through the position of Director at AVM I can make a strategic difference to the support and recognition available for volunteer managers everywhere.

 


Ingram, Daniel

I am asking for your vote as I know first-hand the huge difference that connecting and sharing with volunteer management colleagues can make – from not feeling alone, to advancing the profession we love. If you give me your vote, I would work tirelessly to increase the number of people, organisations and causes that benefit, the same way you and I have.

I believe AVM must take the lead, by adpating to our fast changing world of volunteer management if it wants to retain and grow its influence. The answers to: who owns doing good; who volunteer managers are; and where volunteer management takes place, have become more complex.

Through my involvement in AVM’s events committee I have helped plan, promote and deliver this year’s programme of learning and development days, helping to increase attendance by ensuring they are relevant to as many potential attendees as possible.

I believe AVM can expand its geographical reach and increase its connections with people who don’t automatically identify themselves as volunteer managers. I have taken the opportunity to promote AVM to the members of the regional, specialist and sector networks I help to organise to do just that.

I have shown through my work and volunteering with national and local charities, community organisations, and with AVM that I have the experience which will enable AVM to succeed in this complex world and inspire those I work with to do the same.

 


Ball, Rachel

AVM provides a vital service to all its members who seek to learn and support each other in the Volunteer Management profession and believe we are stronger together. I have gained significantly from this type of approach to personal development and now want to be involved in the continuation and growth of the AVM’s work.
As a practising Volunteering Manager, I have experience across a variety of organisations (Museums (national and small independent), arts in mental health and carers charities) and I have seen the breadth of issues faced by such organisations. I understand the impact funding challenges have on the desire to create a volunteering experience that benefits not just the funding requirements but the volunteers, staff, clients and organisation itself. In my roles, I have identified training needs in staff and volunteers, written and delivered necessary training, developed initiatives to improve staff and volunteer relations, written strategies and implemented new policies, structures, systems and procedures to meet organisations’ needs.
I have achieved the Investing in Volunteers standard, the Queens Awards for Voluntary Service and recently completed the level 5 qualification in Management of Volunteers accredited by the ILM.
I would like to join the Board of Directors as I am passionate about Volunteer Managers being recognised for the skills, knowledge and expertise they bring and the opportunity to have a voice and be part of a community.
I enjoy collaborating, connecting and sharing with others and will bring this approach to the Board with enthusiasm and proactiveness.

 


Ramnauth, Karen

I’ve been the Voluntary Services Manager at South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for just over 5 years. Our core business is responding to patients in an emergency, in an ever changing, financially pressured and political environment. The challenge is very much about gaining senior support in the face of competing priorities, by demonstrating the value of our volunteers.
I’ve focussed my efforts on developing our governance structures to meet the requirements of this regulated activity, creating new methods of measuring impact and evaluation, introducing reward and recognition initiatives (on an NHS budget!) and strengthening opportunities for our volunteers to feedback into the Trust. It’s fair to say I enjoy my role immensely.
Reliance on the contribution of volunteers in healthcare is growing and it’s critical for us to be ready for the changes, and opportunities ahead. Earlier this year I successfully bid for Q-Volunteering funding for the Trust to create a new volunteer role, and to apply for the Investing In Volunteers (IIV) standard. Q-Volunteering has designated us the national lead for quality volunteer management in the ambulance sector. In this capacity we have sponsored 4 other Ambulance Trusts to apply for IIV alongside us, in a truly collaborative effort.
I’m a non-practising solicitor, with a strong work ethic, and a passion for volunteers. I’d be both honoured and delighted if you would select me to represent your interests and promote the aims of the Association as a Board member.

 


Bogod, Lia

Since 2008 I have been following the development and great successes of the AVM. I feel it would now be appropriate for me to contribute to its further growth as the professional body for Volunteer Managers.

I started out in the charity arena as a volunteer coordinator in a voluntary capacity, followed by a period at the NHS West Hertfordshire Hospital Trust, setting up the volunteering programme over three hospitals.

I joined JVN in 2012. My role as Head of Volunteering, managing the Volunteer Department, has grown the number of volunteers using JVN’s services from 2,000 to nearly 8,000, with over 300 charities using JVN to promote their opportunities, recruit volunteers and enhance their level of good practice in volunteer management.

A key aspect of my role is to coordinate and deliver training seminars for volunteer managers. Through digital vehicles, including the cutting-edge JVN website, and one-to-one surgery sessions. I also set up and run the Trustee Connection service with a 85% success rate. Sharing and providing bespoke information to volunteer managers from across the charity sector has allowed me to develop and publish the JVN ‘Companion to Volunteering: Good Practice Guidelines for Volunteer and Volunteer Managers’. Our ‘Kitemark’ for good practice in volunteer management is available to charities demonstrating that they follow these guidelines.

Interfaith relations is important to JVN and a significant amount of my time is spent working in conjunction with Caritas and Strengthening Faith Institutions (part of the DCLG), developing volunteering as multifaith endeavour. JVN is

 


Precious, Bryan

Dear fellow members,

Over the last 3 years I have had the privilege of being a Director of the Association of Volunteer Managers. During this time I have used my experience and knowledge from working in a large professional body, to support the development of AVM.

I joined AVM because I was impressed with their learning and development days and wanted to support AVM to deliver more events, so more Volunteer Managers could benefit from them. This is because I’m passionate about the benefits of education and sharing good practice. During my time on the board I have led on the organisation of AVMs event calendar and increased the number of events for members. Also, I am often hosting AVM learning and development days, which gives me regular contact with members and provides members opportunities to share the thought with me in my role as a Director. I feel this is important as if we want to support and develop our members we need to understand their needs.

I believe strongly that the recent developments at AVM are the start of something much bigger for the organisation and its members. It would be a privilege to continue to support AVM for another 3 years as we take this journey, ensuring that we continue to provide more support and value to members.

Yours faithfully,

Bryan Precious


 

[ * The candidates names have been placed in an order randomly generated by computer algorithm. On the electronic voting slips candidate names will be randomised for each voter at the point of accessing the election portal ]

 

Volunteer Management In The Next Decade

Karl Wilding continues our tenth anniversary blog series with thoughts on how Volunteer Management’s journey to date will shape the next ten years.

In the ten years since AVM was established, much has changed in the world around us that has impacted upon volunteering and therefore volunteer management. Some of this surprised us: a financial crisis, a decade of economic stagnation and social tensions, albeit punctuated by the highlight of volunteering during London 2012, and more recently the decision to leave the European Union. Some changes we saw coming: the demographic pressures and changing social attitudes of an ageing, more diverse and more atomised society. What we probably didn’t see was how quickly these changes would come about and the pressure they would place on our communities and the services we use. We probably also didn’t see how the opportunities that digital technology would deliver, or some of the social fractures it would deepen. Building bridges between communities of place and interest is more vital than ever, a tension that saw volunteer management hit (for the first time?) the front pages of our national newspapers recently.

We live in interesting times. It seems to me that these wider social, demographic and economic changes will continue to shape and reshape volunteering over the next decade, though only the most foolhardy venture to make predictions these days. What therefore might AVM members want to mull over as shaping the next 10 years?

For me, the slow burn of demographic change will reshape volunteering and how we think about how we work with those who want to engage in the communities (note the plural) around them. Public services are already being refashioned so as to involve service users more in their delivery. Boundaries between paid and unpaid staff will blur as we try and cope with pressures from a growing, but ageing, population. Note also the less flexible labour markets that many argue will result from the decision to leave the European Union.

Informal volunteering, such as acts of neighbourliness, especially seem important as reducing demand is seen as a way of helping public services better cope. The Royal Voluntary Service’s increased focus on social action might be indicative of the way forward here. Do we need to (re)think volunteer managers as convenors, catalysts, shapers of people who want to get involved in their communities? If so, is it a radical rethink or an evolution of change already afoot? Either way, it will be more important than ever that we build and strengthen the bonds of community. More people helping people.

But it’s about more than just individuals doing good things: bringing people together so that they are more than the sum of their parts, working out how best to involve businesses who feel a responsibility to the community, and working out how to work alongside our public services are all part of the emerging landscape. We’ve learnt over the last decade that volunteers don’t always just appear spontaneously; or even when they do, good organisation and infrastructure enables volunteers to make a bigger impact.

Effective, impactful volunteering needs good infrastructure and networks. As government and business become more interested in social action, the case for investment in volunteer management might become more apparent, based on experience. In turn this will inevitably lead to more thinking about value for money, greater calls for management information, and more data collection. That has to be a good thing, but for some it might be the less attractive side of continued professionalization. If that leads to less of the ‘let’s sprinkle some volunteers on the problem’ type thinking, then a more data-driven approach is OK by me.

The topic of data leads to a discussion of digital (aka #techforgood) and how that might shape the future of volunteering. This is the most difficult to call: AVM’s ten year anniversary coincides with the device that pretty much kicked off the smartphone revolution, the iPhone. Could anyone seriously have predicted the impact that would have on pretty much every aspect of life? Current trends might suggest an ever-more efficient brokering of people who want to get involved with opportunities that fit (based on the data that your phone now collects about you); more emphasis on place and opportunities based on where someone happens to be; and more mopping up of small bits of spare time as the smartphone facilitates activities such as mentoring, remotely. Finally, tech blogs are currently awash with discussions of AI and machine learning. I can’t even begin to understand how these will shape volunteer management – they will – but in terms of volunteering itself, volunteers are already helping machines to learn how to recognise patterns that have a social outcome, such as this project around slavery. A brave new world indeed.

Volunteer management will not stay static in the next decade. Nor should it. I look forward to AVM leading the discussion around what the brave new world of volunteer management could, and might, look like.

 

Karl Wilding speaks and writes widely on issues facing the voluntary sector. Karl is Director of Public Policy and Volunteering at NCVO, a trustee of both Creating the Future and St Albans CVS, and an advisor to Charity Bank.

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.                                                            

House of Lords Seeks Views on Active Citizenship

Volunteer managers are encouraged to take a look at the House of Lords’ latest call for evidence on Citizenship and Civic Engagement.

The Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement has published the call hoping that a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations will submit evidence that helps them understand the nature of the citizenship challenge for different parts of society.

The part that will be of particular interest to the volunteer management community is section six, which asks:

Do voluntary citizenship programmes such as the National Citizen Service do a good job of creating active citizens? Are they the right length? Should they be compulsory, and if so, when? Should they include a greater political element? Should they lead to a more public citizenship ceremony? Are they good value for money? What other routes exist for creating active citizens?

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Chairman of the Committee said: “This Committee has been established to investigate citizenship in the UK, what it means and whether it should change. We also want to find out if there are barriers preventing people from being more involved, both locally and nationally. We hope to hear from people all over the country who have an interest in this topic, who work with communities who are disengaged as well as from people who are disengaged themselves.”

Interested parties have until 8 September 2017 to respond, and can find full details on the House of Lords website.

Every Journey Had A Beginning

Continuing our series of blogs celebrating AVM’s tenth anniversary, Rob Jackson reflects on his memories of the time leading up to the creation of AVM.

Joe Saxton recently shared his thoughts about what the next ten years might hold in store for AVM so I thought it might be nice to travel back in time to the birth of the Association.

AVM had its genesis in regular networking meetings John Ramsey and I used to organise (as volunteers) for volunteer managers. After the demise of the National Volunteer Managers Forum the only networking opportunity that remained was a closed group, which neither John nor I were a part of. We didn’t begrudge the group existing but did think that something should be available to any Volunteer Manager that wanted to take part.

The group met at various locations across London and, on one occasion, close to Old Street roundabout, the group hosted a visit from Australian colleague Andy Fryar. Andy had agreed to come and share his wisdom with us whilst visiting the UK on business. During the resulting discussion Andy challenged us to follow the lead of our Australian colleagues who were busy founding AAMoV, AVM’s cousin ‘down under’.

That meeting and that discussion gave birth to the idea that became AVM. To this day Andy rightly considers himself the midwife that helped deliver AVM.

Not long after that I started a new job at Volunteering England. My employer deemed it a conflict of interest for me to take up my new role and be involved in AVM and so I stepped back, leaving John to carry the baby to term, so to speak.

I take absolutely no credit at all for creating AVM. I was just one voice in a room that helped initiate the idea. John Ramsey deserves all the plaudits for making the idea a reality, along with all those early board members. It is thanks to their hard work, their risk taking (something Volunteer Managers aren’t always naturals at) and their commitment to our field that, ten years later, we have the Association of Volunteer Managers.

AVM isn’t perfect but, do you know what? Neither are volunteers and volunteering. We are much better off now with AVM in existence than we were twenty-three-years-ago when I started in this profession.

AVM is the sum of all of us. It succeeds when we all get involved, when we all commit to our field, when we all take action, when, as the theme for this year’s International Volunteer Manager Day states, we all take steps to ‘Be The Voice’ for volunteer leadership and management.

I can’t leave this article there, though. The last word should go my my friend John Ramsey. John’s death in 2014 left AVM and the profession of Volunteer Management weaker. Thankfully we have some of his wisdom preserved in his writing, so I end on one of my friend’s quotes, something we should all remember every day:

I will never tire of saying this: Volunteer management is about respecting our volunteers sufficiently that we properly invest in them to maximise their engagement and participation, and ensure the very best outcomes for our beneficiaries.

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

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting: 13 July 2017

Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) at the following time and location:

6pm, Thursday 13 July 2017
The Royal British Legion (Head Office), 199 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1AA

The business to be discussed is a change in the articles of incorporation of AVM.

A series of changes is proposed, and can be downloaded using the links below.

  • Proposed changes marked-up on current articles

Please note that as these documents are stored on Google Drive you may encounter restrictions if accessing them from a corporate network.

(Please note that these documents are no longer available for download)

Update 14 July 2017

As the EGM was inquorate, the meeting was adjourned to The Crypt, Christ Church Spitalfields on 27 July 2017

Update 28 July 2017

The adjourned EGM was successfully held and the new articles passed, you can learn more in the full report.

Ten Years of Championing Volunteer Management

Ten years ago today, a group of volunteer managers launched a body that aimed to champion the role of the volunteer manager in building a thriving volunteer involving organisation. Inspired by the desire to bring people together to network and share best practice, as well as demonstrate the impact of volunteer management, AVM was born.

I was one of those people.

My personal starting point in this journey was being at a meeting of the National Volunteer Managers Forum and thinking ‘what’s so special about managing volunteers – they’re just people?’

I’ve now come full circle and have realised how complex managing volunteers is. I’ve realised that people bring themselves to volunteering in a way that’s very different from their job. When ‘just doing a job’ a person will offer one side of themselves, but when volunteering they bring their full self.

What this means is that people managing volunteers need to learn how to read people and go through that process. When bringing their full selves to the party, people will bring an emotional history which makes a real difference in the way they can behave. Volunteer managers can sometimes find that a challenge. We need to be able to demonstrate respect for a volunteer’s experience, whilst also ensuring volunteers recognise the boundaries in their role – it’s a real juggling act.

For organisations providing services it may be difficult to remember that colleagues and volunteers may also be – or have been – service users. In fact this is very likely for volunteers.

Volunteers can help bridge the gap between service users and the wider organisation, helping overcome the feeling of ‘us and them’. Volunteers bring in the experience and emotional history, which may be too painful for staff to deal with.

Having been there at the beginning, I wanted to bring these perspectives and learnings to a wider audience, to find peers to share them with and talk about them.

I am proud that we have developed and grown this voice, and this space to share it, and have a mature, dedicated organisation a decade later.

These ten years have represented a great deal of effort, but I hope you’ll agree that, today, AVM provides the information, support and sharing that ensures volunteer managers can effectively enable volunteers to share their skills in a way that gives the most impact.

To all of you that have come with us on this journey, for however long, thank you for bringing out the magic of volunteering.

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.”

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.