Every little helps

Back in November, NCVO research told us that micro-volunteering is on the increase. The Institute of Volunteer Research published a report: “The value of giving a little time: Understanding the potential of micro-volunteering“.
Their report defined micro-volunteering as “bite-size volunteering with no commitment to repeat and with minimum formality, involving short and specific actions that are quick to start and complete.”

“This research found that micro-volunteering is not new in itself, but is changing. People have less time to give and are volunteering in new ways and, often facilitated by developments in technology that enable people to participate immediately and independently of time and place…
The research found that micro-volunteering will not suit everyone nor every organisation. It highlighted that organisations need to think carefully about whether and how micro-volunteering fits in with their strategic direction, and whether the term ‘micro-volunteering’ is the best way for them to brand these small actions. When it is appropriate, and if the challenges identified in our research can be overcome, the benefits for the individual volunteer and the organisation of micro-volunteering can be significant.”

Today, NCVO published guidance for those in volunteer management interested in offering micro-volunteering opportunities. Kristen Stephenson, NCVO’s Volunteer Management and Good Practice Manager blogged:

What we say in our guidance released today is that in order to maximise the potential of micro-volunteering we need to steer clear of management becoming disproportionate. If organisations micromanage their micro-volunteering they run the risk that the role becomes something the volunteer didn’t want or expect and they leave.

Kristen identified the following as quick tips:

  • Adopt a more flexible approach
  • Ask people whether they want to stay in touch
  • Take a joined up approach
  • Consider shadowing
  • Plan ahead
  • Use online tools and technology
  • Think about risk but be sensible

More information and the full guidance on Kristen Stephenson’s blog post.

New year, new website

20131023_152809We wanted to let you know that over the break, Santa pulled through for us. He gave AVM a brand new website and we’ve just taken the wrapping paper off!
The new look website is one of a bunch of things we’re doing to take the Association of Volunteer Managers’ work forward, as Heather Baumohl, AVM Chair, mentioned in her Thoughtful Thursday post on ivo back in August.
We’ve re-organised the news section of the website. Previously, we had a lot of content but it was difficult to find. Now we’ve divided it up into new categories covering issues in policyfundingprofessional development and events. There’s also a slot for any member or guest blogger to post comment and opinion in the VM Voice Blog.

Research: professional development and learning

A key challenge in the professional development of volunteer management is in how we marshal the evidence to back our case. As a start, we’ve pulled together a non-exhaustive shortlist of literature on the professional development of volunteer management. This is a part of the website we would like to expand.
Take a look and let us know about any documents you think we should be highlighting. For example, information on training providers, accreditation opportunities, career development paths, professional standards or volunteer management labour market analysis? Let us know what you think should go here and about this new look in general.
Happy New Year!

Do you manage volunteers?

The UK Workforce Hub are currently undertaking a project to review and refresh the Management of Volunteers National Occupational Standards to ensure they meet the needs of managers in the voluntary and community sector through to 2014.

We are inviting you to take part in a consultation process which asks you to contribute your views on the draft standards which have been updated by a steering group and a consultant. It begins on the 18th October will run until 18th January 2008.

There are 2 ways in which you can have your say:

1. Attend one of the consultation events which are being held in Edinburgh, Belfast, Swansea and London during November and December. Please click here to download a booking form and to get further information on the consultation process please visit http://www.ukworkforcehub.org.uk/mvnosconsultation

2. By email please visit www.ukworkforcehub.org.uk/mvnosconsultation from the 18th October there will be a questionnaire for you to complete as well as the newly revised standards.

For more information visit: http://www.ukworkforcehub.org.uk/mvnosconsultation

Debbie Usiskin
Interim Head of Volunteering Strategy

T: 020 7619 7265


Commission on the Future of Volunteering

The Commission on the Future of Volunteering is calling for evidence. AVM has put together an initial draft response to the Commission which is attached. If members wish to feed into the AVM response with their own thoughts and views please respond by Thursday 26th July.

The deadlines for submissions is Tuesday 31st July. For further information about the Commission go to www.volcomm.org.uk

Funding for Volunteer Managers?

Here at Age Concern England, we've been discussing how to secure funding for Volunteer Managers. Whilst we've generally seen an increase in VMs, this is normally through project funding which of course isn't sustainable. We've also seen situations where the VM is core-funded but has been moved to project-funding to free up some unrestricted funds (whilst this has been on the proviso that when the project ends the VM is moved back it leaves an unsatisfactory taste in the mouth)

I'm not aware of any booklet or guidance that specifically deals with how to get VM funding, so foolishly I volunteered to put something together. I was envisaging an e-booklet similar to the volunteer magnet e-booklet.

Of course, this is something that would be ideal for AVM to lead on/support and use the knowledge/ideas/case studies of the members.

Some areas I've been thinking for it:

  • How do you gain support internally so that VM is included in core-funding bids?
  • How do you make the case to funders re the importance of VMs?
  • What different ways/models are there to support a VM (eg some small Age Concerns have got together to each put some money in to fund a joint VM)?

So my questions for you are:

  • Does this info exist already
  • How would you answer the above questions?
  • Do you have examples/case studies that illustrate what you've done?