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.

Reasons to be cheerful… 1, 2, 3!

With the dust settling after a whirlwind conference – our biggest event ever – we wanted to make sure everyone had caught up on the big three changes AVM’s announced in the last couple of days.

Part 1 – new Twitter handle
We’ve had a lot of feedback over the past year about our social media presence. In response to one of the recurring issues raised we’ve adopted a new easier to remember and shorter twitter handle. You can now catch us at @AVMtweets.

Part 2 – refreshed visual identity
Yesterday’s conference saw the first outing of our refreshed visual identity.

Taking the work done since AVM’s inception, we’ve retained the essence of our identity and developed a fresh new look. As the way we communicate and work changes, we’re bringing everything we do together to prepare the ground for the way AVM will evolve over the coming years.

Part 3 – new package for organisations
The third and biggest change announced at conference is that AVM is taking its first steps into engaging organisations as well as individuals. Our popular and relevant membership offering, available to individuals for the last nine years, has been overhauled and is now complemented by new Organisational Learning and Development Package.

We’re working to ensure that volunteer engagement skills are valued and nurtured across the whole of the volunteer involving sector. The new Organisational Learning and Development Package will allow organisations to place themselves at the forefront of volunteering development, and ensure that managers are inspired, engaged and supported by an engaged and knowledgeable network of volunteer management professionals across the country.

More details about the organisational package will be shared in the coming days, but right now you can get in contact with Anne-Marie for an informal chat about what’s involved and the next steps.

2016 AVM Conference – Only 10 places left!

The 2016 AVM Conference is almost fully booked and we don’t want you to miss out on this great learning and networking opportunity with over 200 of your peers.

If you’ve not already booked your place now’s the time to do so as we only have 10 places left.  You can book your place here.

If you are still not sure if this is the event for you then below are just a few of the comments we received from delegates at last years conference.

‘AVM Conference is by far the highlight of my year, in terms of conferences/training/network events. It’s a refreshing change to go to something where everything feels 100% relevant and speaking to people in the same profession.

It’s so well organised and by far the best conference I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to a lot!). I’ve been to the past 3 conferences and it’s great to see it getting bigger and better than ever!’

‘It has something for all the different levels of volunteer managers, for those starting out to those who are strategic leads, or aspiring to be.’

‘First AVM Conference as a new member! It was an extremely useful and, most importantly, relevant meeting. There is only one of me in my organisation and getting the chance to hear sector updates plus all the opportunities to network were really valuable. It’s great to see our profession championed in this way.’

‘There is no other conference that concentrates fully on volunteer management and the issues that relate to my work.’

Surely now you can’t afford to miss this event?  200 of your peers are already going!  See you there.

AVM Conference Team  – Abi, Anne-Marie, Wendy, Alex, Karen and Alan

Bookings Now Open for AVM Conference 2016

welcome to avmThe conference team have been busy, the venue is booked, keynote speakers are in place and the Volunteer Management event of the year, and highlight of the AVM calendar, is ready to go.

Bookings for this year’s AVM annual conference are now open.  You can book your place here.

This year we are offering a small number of member tickets at last year’s conference price so book early to enjoy all of this year’s conference benefits at last year’s price – what could be better.

Key note speakers this year are:
• Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy and Volunteering at NCVO
• Julie Bentley, Chief Executive of Girlguiding
• Joe Saxton, Driver of Ideas at nfpSynergy and its founder

Workshops this year include:
• Volunteers and the Law
• Future Trends and Issues in Volunteer Management
• Measuring Volunteer Impact
• Volunteering and Digital Media

It’s an exciting conference programme and we look forward to seeing you there.

Thoughts from AVM’s new chair

As newly elected chair of AVM, Debbie Usiskin lays out her thoughts on the way forward.

Some of you may already be aware that I was elected Chair of AVM earlier this year. I was one of the founding Directors, gathering together volunteer managers from all sectors to talk about what we would want from a professional association, forming the first board and then launching the organisation..

I have been the Vice Chair since we inaugurated working closely with each of my predecessors to lead us to where we are today. I am pleased to be taking the Chair-ship at this exciting time. Membership is growing to such an extent that we have engaged professional assistance to administer to members. Our events are growing in popularity to such an extent that we have engaged a professional event co-ordinator to put on more and better events – in all parts of the country.

And, at the same time we are in discussion with an increasing range of training providers in relation to skills development for volunteer managers, and in dialogue with academic institutions who are researching many issues around volunteer engagement.

There are opportunities for you as a member to get involved with all of these things – host a networking event, present a piece of work that you have done to your peers, take part in research or represent us at meetings with training providers, for example.

This is OUR association and will grow in the direction that WE take it so please let us know what you are thinking and what you can do to help.

Looking forward to seeing you at a network day or conference soon.

 

AVM Hires First Employee To Grow Events Programme

I’m pleased to announce that AVM, in partnership with nfpSynergy, has just recruited its first full time employee.

To grow our range of events, seminars and conferences we’ve employed Abigail Cooper in the role of Events Manager. Having worked on our plans for over a year we know Abigail will be a huge asset to our work, and allow us to do more events, in more places, on more topics.

We know there is demand for the growth in volunteer management and leadership expertise from both large and small organisations and we aim to fill the gap in the market and support volunteer managers.

Abigail’s appointment will also increase our capacity, freeing up directors to focus on reviewing our membership model to include organisations, not solely individuals, to create a sustainable platform for growth.

To help us make this move nfpSynergy have offered office space, administrative support and professional services during the first year.

With a greater programme of events, we believe we can grow our income, increase our impact, and support the appetite for training and CPD from the volunteering development sector. We think it’s a win/win for AVM, and hope you’ll join us in welcoming Abigail.

 

Recruiting, Managing and Retaining Volunteers Forum – Inside Government

The Community Life Survey has indicated a significant decrease in the number of volunteers compared to 2013-2014. Without the essential work volunteers deliver, the vital work of the third sector cannot survive.

With this in mind, Inside Government are bringing together key policy makers and industry thought leaders at an interactive forum taking place in Central London on Wednesday 25th May. Participants will hear keynote speakers from AVM, NAVCA and ACEVO and award winning case studies in order to later develop their own strategies on how to effectively recruit, manage and retain volunteers.

AVM Members are entitled to a 15% discount .

You can book your place online here alternatively call Inside Governments booking team directly on 0203 770 6580

AVM Network Day 19th May

Retail Volunteering Networking Event

Are you thinking about how you can get the most out of your Retail Volunteers?

Have you thought about having volunteer run shops?

Are you looking at how best to recruit and retain retail volunteers?

This special Network Day has been designed to focus specifically on sharing experiences of about how we can make the most of our retail volunteers while providing them with Safe and brilliant experiences.

Book your place at Retail Volunteering Networking Event

This event is kindly supported and hosted by Nightingale Hammerson.

Nightingale Hammerson

105 Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8NB

NOTE: Please do not bring any food or drinks to the venue other than water as all food on site needs to be kosher. Any other food or drink brought to the event will not be allowed on site.

10:00am Arrivals, Tea and coffee and Informal networking

10:30am Welcome from AVM

10:35am Structured networking

11:00am Rising staff costs are becoming a real issue for charity retailers. Save the Children runs 120 shops with no paid shop management and only 20 with. How do they do it?

Diane Eyre – Head of Retail – Save the Children

This workshop is an introduction to Save the Children`s approach to running volunteer self-managing charity retail chain. We will share with you our history, current state and future plans alongside our overall approach.

There will be opportunity for you to think about your current situation and how you can adopt or adapt a similar approach.

12.00pm Keeping pace with retail

Karen Allsop – Head of Volunteering Development – Blue Cross & Liz Reed – Volunteering Business Partner – Blue Cross

Outlining the rapid expansion of the Blue Cross retail network and the impact on their volunteering team. The benefits of taking a business partnership approach to volunteering within the retail team.

We’ll highlight some of the changes and the lessons we’ve learnt and what we would do differently as a result of what we’ve learnt and some of our plans for the future.

13:00 Lunch – To be provided

13:45pm From empty nests to social clubs. Volunteer recruitment & retention in shops at Sense.

Alex South – Volunteer Good Practice Advisor – Sense

Looking at the recruitment and retention in shops at Sense, which involves bespoke plans for shops at different stages in their volunteer recruitment journey and how it works with the “Orange Shop” concept.

14:45pm Open Space (with tea and coffee)

An opportunity for attendees to lead or request discussions on topics relevant to them, drawing on peer support to explore challenges and celebrate successes

15:45pm Final comments and evaluation

16:00pm Close

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.

This special Network Day has been designed to focus specifically on sharing experiences of about how we can make the most of our retail volunteers while providing them with Safe and brilliant experiences

Network Day: How to get the most out of your Community Fundraising Volunteers

Association of Volunteer Managers Network Day March 3rd 2016

Are you thinking of setting up a Community Fundraising volunteer programme?
Are you thinking about how you can get the most out of your Community Fundraising Volunteers?
Do you think we fail to make the best use of what Community Fundraising Volunteers have to offer?

This special Association of Volunteer Managers Network Day has been designed to focus specifically on sharing experiences of establishing a Community Fundraising Volunteers programme and getting the most of your volunteers in new and existing programmes. You can book here.

This event is kindly supported and hosted by the Guide Dogs

Programme

13:00 Arrivals, Tea and coffee and Informal networking

13:30 Welcome from AVM

Structured networking

13:50 Committees to Communities – Juggling an existing traditional Volunteer Network alongside today’s Volunteering appetite

Emily Maskell – Head of Community Fundraising – Save the Children

• We have an ageing network of volunteers – deserving of support and recognition
• We have ambitious growth targets with limited resource
• We’re faced with changing volunteering trends which demand very different propositions from the ones offered to date
• Find out how Save the Children is working in partnership with volunteers to seek solutions, identify opportunities and lay foundations for growth.

14:30 The Do’s and the Don’ts of community fundraising

Daniel Stewart, Community Fundraising Manager – Age UK

A look into the journey Age UK has taken with its community fundraising locally and nationally. Including examples of successful communications to volunteers and supporters, and some tips on how to avoid the more covert bumps in the road.

15:00 Tea Break

15:15 How Guide Dogs are tackling the current challenges facing community fundraising

Rachel Wilkinson – Volunteering Partner – Guide Dogs

Community Fundraising is more challenging than ever before, with new legislation coming into practice, following the heightened scrutiny on the sector and with supermarket collections on the decline. This session will explore the action Guide Dogs is taking in response to these challenges and to ensure that the organisation continues to successfully grow its Community Fundraising income year on year.
We will cover how we aim to:
• Maintain and grow a volunteer-led and volunteer-focused approach to our Community Fundraising offer.
• Develop new and more diverse ways for our volunteers to fundraise for us.
• Sharing what works for us, what lessons we’ve learned along the way and what we need to do more of in the future.

16:00 Final comments and evaluation

16:30 Close

Why not join AVM and save on the cost of your ticket? You can join here