Volunteer Impact: An AVM Learning & Development Day

Book HERE.

Venue:  Better Bankside | Bankside Community Centre | 18 Great Guildford Street | London | SE1 0FD

Date: Wednesday 19 April 2017

Timings: Registration will open at 10:00 with presentations beginning at 10:30. The event will close at 15:30.

Agenda:
This learning day looks at how we measure the contribution that volunteers make to an organisation.

If you struggle to capture the contribution volunteers make, or need ideas to get buy-in from senior leaders and the wider team for the importance and need to involve volunteers, this session is for you.

Speakers on the day will include:

  • Alan Murray, RSPB
    Alan will look at the variety of metrics used at The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) over the years, and highlight what has worked and why.
  • Bryan Precious, Age UK
    Bryan’s presentation will cover some of the different strategies used by the Age UK Volunteering Team to measure the contribution of volunteers across this varied network of charities and how this information’s been used to get buy in from senior management.
  • Clare Harris & Tim Walters – Agenda Consulting
    Clare and Tim will look at the impact of volunteering on both the organisation and on the volunteers themselves, drawing on insights from Agenda’s volunteer survey work and Volunteers Count study.

Please note: Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day but lunch will not be, instead delegates are encouraged to bring their own or to purchase it from food vendors close to the venue.

Book your space HERE NOW

Not a member? 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.

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.

Introduction to Volunteer Management: An AVM Learning & Development Day

Book HERE.

Venue:  Better Bankside | Bankside Community Centre | 18 Great Guildford Street | London | SE1 0FD

Date: Thursday 9 March 2017

Timings: Registration will open at 10:15 with presentations beginning at 10:30. The event will close at 13:30.

Agenda:

Volunteer management gives us the opportunity to work in an enjoyable environment, with truly inspiring and dedicated people. But how do we take the first steps into this world?

This workshop is aimed at those who are new to volunteer management and will explore what it means to be a volunteer manager in a range of different contexts, whether as a volunteer in a small organisation or a paid member of staff in a large national. You’ll have the chance to reflect on how to engage the right volunteers, if you should retain them and, if so, how and who you need to have as your allies in order to make your volunteer programme a success.

This 3 hour workshop will give an overview of current best practice, as well as expert tips, the chance to ask questions and an opportunity to meet others starting out in volunteer management.

This workshop is facilitated and delivered by Chris Reed, Head of Volunteering at Barnardo’s. Chris has led volunteer functions in major UK charities and worked in volunteering infrastructure for over a decade.

Please note: Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day but lunch will not be, instead delegates are encouraged to bring their own or to purchase it from food vendors close to the venue.

Book your space HERE NOW

Not a member? 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.

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.

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

Learning for life

The other day I went to an event for professional associations on what I thought would be a fairly dry theme: continuing professional development (CPD). A topic to get the pulse racing on a weekday morning without the need for caffeine if ever there was one!

However, behind the fairly grey acronym is something really profound and golden. At its heart, CPD is really about how we aspire to live and work.

The learning we do throughout our professional careers has a huge impact on how we’re able to approach work-life balance and ultimately, what we’re able to accomplish as professionals. As Prof Andy Friedman of PARN calls it – CPD is essentially: “Lifelong learning for professionals”.

Changing shape of careers

This shift in how CPD is viewed is set against common trends affecting all kinds of professions, such as the decline of the single career trajectory, the increase in transitions and change we can expect as we go through our career, and the longer working life we have ahead of us. Many of us in volunteer management would recognise these trends.

If the shape of careers has changed, so has understanding about how learning works.

For example, it’s no longer education, it’s learning – where the primary responsibility for this learning lies with us as individuals, not our employers or organisations. There’s also the huge growth in the amount of informal learning out there and the fact our learning happens in an increasingly complex and fast-changing environment.

Hilary Lindsay has written a book that addresses many of these questions: “Adaptability: The Secret of Lifelong Learning”. Her background is in the accountancy profession where she is now Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Vice President, as well as a researcher and lecturer at The Open University. She has a huge range of experience including volunteering with Samaritans for over 20 years.

If you just read the word ‘accountancy’ and thought “what could this book have that’s relevant to volunteer management?” – hear me out.

Hilary’s research has led to her developing a very interesting model of professional learning that can help us all as individuals organise our learning as professionals.

A new dimension

She looked at three dimensions of learning as recognised in the academic literature:

  • Cognitive learning – concerned with the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding through thinking (learning through thinking)
  • Interpersonal learning – related to interaction with others and with the environment and to areas such as participation, engagement, communication and cooperation (learning through doing)
  • Intrapersonal learning – involves the assimilation of learning and the development of the individual as becoming, our identity and how we see ourselves in our communities (learning through being)

Learning activities generally include each of these dimensions, but may be weighted to some more than others.

Learning activities

In the survey Hilary Lindsay carried out as part of her research, she asked about the following learning activities:

  • Attending courses, conferences and seminars
  • Reading technical material
  • Reading magazines, newspapers and journals
  • Studying online learning modules
  • Accessing the internet for information
  • Participating in workshops with peers
  • Interacting with experts
  • Doing your job on a regular basis
  • Reflecting on your performance
  • Being shown by others how to do certain activities and tasks
  • Watching and listening to others while they carry out their work

Respondents indicated that they were much more likely to recognise the learning activities towards the top of the list as professional development.

She also noted that those learning activities towards the bottom of the list that were less likely to be recognised as professional development, also tended to be more informal and more focused on learning as participation or interpersonal.

Conversely, the learning activities that were more often recognised as CPD, tended to be more formal and more weighted towards cognitive learning.

Why is this?

Well, one answer is that formal learning tends to be the most easily measurable superficially, e.g. hours on a course or number of attendances. In the last few years, there’s been a considerable move towards measuring this learning in terms of outputs (learning outcomes), rather than inputs (e.g. hours of studying). This has rather level the playing field between informal and formal learning.

A key finding of Hilary Lindsay’s research was that it demonstrated the existence of a learning iceberg, where more traditional learning activities were more visible, but at the same time, all kinds of important learning activities were hidden from view.

She made the point that many of these more hidden activities, such as learning with/from others, learning on the job and learning through reflection were often crucial to ensuring our competence as professionals. As a result it’s crucial that they are not left out of our own professional learning strategy.

She went further, indicating that even more hidden are certain attributes that make us more adaptable in our careers, such as learning to engage, explore, experiment, keep a positive attitude and have self-belief. These are attributes that we can use and make a profound difference to how we live our lives, not just how we approach our work.

What are the lessons for us in volunteer management?

Many of us with restricted training budgets or the relative lack of formal training opportunities might find it hard to empathise with an over-reliance on cognitive training.

But from another perspective, there is a real opportunity for us in volunteer management to take advantage of the prevailing trends in learning and career development.

It’s likely that a lot of us have relatively greater opportunities to engage, explore, experiment, etc., than other professions that are more heavily regulated, more highly structured and less flexible given their legacy approach to CPD.

Volunteer management professionals are potentially much better placed than others, to achieve a really balanced approach to professional learning that includes the cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions that sustain us in the longer term.

It’s also an opportunity to review our current learning and include many activities we do that include learning with others, learning on the job or learning through reflection. It’s possible we’re actually already doing a lot of this and with a bit of readjustment many of the activities we take part in could become hugely valuable learning for our own professional development.

Next time you review your professional learning, try reflecting on your learning from these three key perspectives:

  • Cognitive – How’s your learning equipping you with the skills your need?
  • Interpersonal – How’s your learning helping you fully engage and participate with others?
  • Intrapersonal – How’s your learning enabling you to become the professional you aspire to be

Level 5 Management of Volunteers training programme

Are you a Volunteer Manager looking for further skills development in leadership and interested in gaining a nationally recognised qualification that will challenge your thinking, expand your knowledge and support you in your role?

Starting February 2015, this programme led by Sue Jones will combine face to face workshops, action learning, coaching and on-line activities, leading to completion of a formal assessment and achievement of the ILM Level 5 Certificate in the Management of Volunteers.

For further details of the programme – see brochure.

The dates and format for the face to face learning sessions are as follows:

  • February 26th – full day workshop including programme Induction
  • March 26th – half day action learning set
  • May 21st – full day workshop
  • June 25th – full day session incorporating a half day workshop and action learning set
  • July 23rd – half day action learning set

All sessions will take place at The Gateway, Sankey Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1SR

Course fees are £1,450 per learner and include access to all learning materials, on-going tutor support, scheduled individual coaching via telephone/Skype, plus ILM registration and assessment. Lunch and refreshments are included in the cost.

For further info – see Sue Jones’ post on ivo.org.

Professional development for volunteer managers: think lateral

International Volunteer Managers (IVM) Day is the perfect opportunity for us as practitioners to reflect on our work and take stock of our professional development.

However, in some ways this is not so straightforward. The profession of volunteer management is still in the early stages of development. As a result, we lack the points of reference professionals from more established professions take for granted, such as:

  • Our area of expertise is not widely known or recognised
  • We lack a clear agreement on the scope of volunteer management as a profession
  • We’re exposed to competing practice models (e.g. are we experts, service providers or partners of volunteers and beneficiaries?)
  • Expectations in terms of continuing professional development vary widely

Where can we get our bearings as we seek to set a course through the uncharted seas of our own professional development in volunteer management?

1. Look where we’ve come from

The profession of volunteer management is in its infancy, so it’s even more important to make the most of the literature that has been written, on the professionalisation of volunteer management. Over the last 15 years or so, there have been a growing number of scholarly articles in this area.

The Right Stuff: New ways of thinking about managing volunteers” by Meta Zimmeck (2000) can help give perspective on the question of practice models from “modern management” to the “home grown” model.

Organising cultures: voluntarism and professionalism in UK charity shops” by Richard Goodall (2000) considers the meaning of “professional” in the context of volunteer management in charity shops.  Goodall argues volunteer managers could be every bit as ‘professional’ as retail managers but the nature of their expertise was not so readily recognised. An idea that still chimes with our discussion over 13 years on. Pat Gay’s “Bright Future: Developing Volunteer Management” (2001) sets out recommendations for the creation of a new professional body which are interesting to reflect on at this current stage in the development of the Association of Volunteer Managers.

Another discussion that’s useful to get in context is that of standards. “A Standards Framework for Managing Volunteers – A Report to the Voluntary Sector National Training Organisation” (2002) sets out a background to this question on what are the knowledge and skills required in volunteer management. This provided a lot of the groundwork of the National Occupational Standards for Management of Volunteers (2003).

2. Look across

Colleagues across the world have been working on strikingly similar challenges of how to develop and grow the profession of those working in volunteer management. Organisations and groups have developed different solutions – often with different emphasis – and each holds key lessons for us in the UK.

It’s inspirational to be able to read about the stories such as that of the “Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada“, an organisation with over 30 years of championing volunteer management, or the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration in the United States which has developed a popular qualification in volunteer management.

There’s also the “Australasian Association for Managers of Volunteers”, a professional network in Australasia, and “New Zealand Competencies for Managers of Volunteers”, developed by Volunteering New Zealand, a very new approach to the challenge of improving standards and training across the profession of volunteer management.

On the question of principles and values, The Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement and the Universal Declaration on the Profession (2001) made in Canada are incredibly valuable.

3. Look around

There’s a temptation to look inwards on IVM day and focus on volunteer management. However, it’s really important we don’t restrict our learning possibilities. There’s a huge amount we can learn from other professions and how they have developed. From health to the legal sector, from education and social work, from finance to project management – there are huge lessons for us. Our context is incredibly distinctive, however many of the issues we face aren’t. The professional association community is incredibly vibrant in the UK and there are huge opportunities if we can think laterally.

4. Look next to you

Your colleagues and peers are just there and in today’s world more contactable than ever. There are also sorts of ways in which you can network and learn about your profession by talking through the issues you face, with others going through similar challenges themselves.

Communities and networks such as: ivo.org, VMM, AVM and UKVPMs. There’ also NNVIA, AVSM, NAVSM. But it’s also worth similar professional networks beyond volunteer management through organisations such as PARN (Professional Associations Research Network).

5. Look forward

Finally, think about what we need as a profession that can help us all in our future professional development. If you’d be interested in helping AVM develop and curate online information and content on professional development of volunteer management, please get in touch.