We know from our member’s feedback that volunteer managers often feel like they are the only one who gets what they are going through, and that coming together with other volunteer managers is always an opportunity to share ideas, concerns and mutual support.
A request for peer support is often one of the first things we hear when volunteer managers are asked what they want to get from membership of groups like AVM, the Voluntary Voice platform, and talking to members at the AVM Conference.
To set the ball rolling we shall launch our first peer support session on will be on Zoom Monday 12th of July at 4.30pm. This session will be hosted by AVM Director Neil Monk.
This meeting is open to all AVM members. Future events will be planned by location (to hopefully enable future meet-ups in person), and also by sector (so watch this space).
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.”
AVM members often tell us that networking with other volunteer managers is one of the reasons they join and re-join AVM each year. But we also hear many of you say you find it a challenge to find the time to expand your networks.
AVM has been looking at how we can help members expand their networks and increase connections. This month (January 2020) we are launching Randomised Coffee Trials (RCTs), which we hope will help members expand their networks. If successful, we hope to run these again.
What’s a Randomised Coffee Trial?
Developed by Nesta, we first heard about RCTs through NHS Horizons School for Change (read more about them), but they are happening in organisations around the world.
So what are they? They are a simple but powerful way of randomly connecting you with another AVM member to have a conversation. Conversations are a great way to connect and learn from other people. And the great thing about a Randomise Coffee Trial is that you can do these virtually, and the conversation topic isn’t prescribed: you can talk about whatever you want.
“Networking that matters is helping people achieve their goals.”
How can you get involved?
If you are interested in pairing up for a RCT, you need to be an AVM member (find out more). All you need to do is complete this simple form by 31 January 2020. In early February we will randomly match you with a partner, and introduce you to each other by email. (If you want to meet someone who is near you, please select your location and we will try to make that match.)
It’s then over to you to arrange a phone call, a Skype/ Zoom call, a face-to-face meeting: whatever works best for you both. There’s no obligation on you beyond the conversation: it can be a one-off conversation, or the start of something more (we hope it will be the latter).
What should you talk about?
These conversations aren’t prescriptive, you can talk about whatever you want. You can them to find out about one another, your respective job roles, what you are working on now, your challenges or successes: whatever you want!
The most important thing is to be curious, and approach these conversations as a chance to learn more.
Will they happen again?
In March we’ll ask participants for feedback, to find out what benefits people gained from their conversations. If successful, we’ll aim to run them for AVM members again.