Including: emotional resilience, compassion fatigue and having difficult conversations with volunteers.
Join us for this L&D event on 10th July, 2018 at Hanbury Hall, London. Click here to book.
Managing volunteers can be an emotionally challenging experience, for a variety of reasons. We could be called upon to support volunteers in stressful situations, or to deal with uncomfortable situations caused by volunteers. These could be foreseeable or completely unexpected, but either way, are we given the support and guidance needed to cope effectively?
Having difficult conversations with volunteers can encompass everything from saying ‘No’, to offering support and sympathy in dealing with personal crises. Being properly prepared can significantly reduce the stress involved.
This event brings together some very experienced presenters and practitioners to both discuss these challenging issues and consider some practical guidance. It is relevant to all volunteer leaders and managers and will address a broad range of potential situations, with both seminars and interactive workshops. Attendees will have plenty of opportunity to share their own experiences and discuss solutions.
Where should volunteer management sit within an organisation? Should it be front and centre of an operations department, firmly placed in a people directorate or simply be overseen by HR?
What are the similarities and differences between managing volunteers and paid staff and what can HR learn from volunteer managers and vice versa?
We have teamed up with the CIPD to offer you an interactive session to explore these questions. Join Elizabeth Wigelsworth, Branch Development and Volunteer Manager of CIPD and Ruth Leonard, AVM Chair and Head of Volunteering Development, Macmillan Cancer Support on the evening of Wednesday 20 June in London.
The panel of speakers from a variety of backgrounds will address these thorny issues and answer your burning questions on the relationship between volunteer management and HR – no question is barred so hopefully we’ll be in for a lively debate!
If you have questions you would like to submit for the panel, please contact the organisers before the night. You’ll also have the opportunity to put your question forward on the evening where we have time.
We are pleased to invite you to a workshop on volunteering research and practice, co-hosted by the Voluntary Sector Studies Network, Association of Volunteer Managers and the Network of National Volunteer Involving Agencies and supported by NCVO, on the 7th June 2018, 10:30-15:30, London.
The aim of the workshop is to bring together volunteer managers and researchers to strengthen collaborative working. We will share thoughts on: the state of the existing evidence base for volunteering; how research is used in volunteering management; and priorities for future research. The workshop will include brief presentations from some of the leaders in volunteering research and practice, but the emphasis will be on collaborative working through group discussions.
This is a free event but places are limited to one per organisation, and you must register to attend.
You can see the programme further details and register at Eventbrite.
Just seven months to go until we come together for the sector-leading AVM annual conference, we’re asking you to keep the date – 18th October – firmly held in your diaries.
This year’s conference promises to be bigger and better than ever before. We’re working hard pulling together an exciting programme for the day including inspirational and challenging keynote speakers, networking opportunities and topical seminars/workshops. These will address topical issues and areas for development for all of us who help people donate their time and talents.
We’re delighted that the conference will again be held at the Royal National Hotel, London, close to Euston and Kings Cross stations. Early bird tickets will be released shortly so be sure to keep an eye on your emails for further news. Last year’s event sold out in record time, so we’d strongly encourage you to book as early as you can – and enjoy an early bird discount!
Don’t take our word for it, here are a few things people said about last year’s conference:
“Great networking, really friendly participants and organisers. Very professionally run in a great venue”
“There’s a really great energy and camaraderie amongst volunteering folk which made for a great atmosphere. I also enjoyed the good variety of sessions and keynotes”
“It was really well organised. With a great choice of workshops and a busy, buzzy atmosphere. Lunch arrangements made great opportunities to talk to new people”
“Really great keynote speakers, individually and good variety across them. Great to have peers in the sector sharing learning in workshops. Always good to hear what others are up to and have a chance to discuss challenges candidly and support each other”
“The networking was great, the standard of speakers was high, I felt stretched by the discussions”
What people liked about the event:
“What did I like about the event? – All of it! -this was my first AVM conference and I thought it was efficiently run and well delivered. The speakers and workshop leaders were professional, knowledgeable and topical. It is important to have professionals representing who are not a formal part of the third or voluntary sector but who demonstrate leadership and have a keen interest/buy in to our profession and work”
“The varied programme and the wide range of workshops available. The knowledge of speakers and the opportunity to share expertise”
“Networking, exchanging ideas, free range to think outside the box – not always possible in a work context!”
Save the Date
So make sure to keep 18th October free and watch out for more news on the conference in the coming months on the Association of Volunteer Managers website and by email.
Remember, members enjoy a 50% discount on conference places when bookings open, so now is the time to renew your membership or invite colleagues to join. Click here
By Keeley Mooney Tweet to @keeley_mooney1 AVM member; Volunteer Development Officer, Royal British Legion Discover the five fantastic videos from this event after reading this blog
Like a secret rabbit warren, Hanbury Hall appeared through the little coffee shop that sold divine smelling coffee and delicious looking cakes.
With such a large scope, “Diversity in Volunteering and how to attract different demographics”, I wasn’t too sure how this day would go. However it met all my expectations and more.
First off Bryan Precious from Age UK quickly put in to perspective the long term benefit for supporting older volunteers. Explaining that by 2030 there could be more than 1 million people over 65 volunteering in the UK.
But Bryan made clear that it is essential to continuously consider the needs of older volunteers when recruiting, managing and creating a clear leaving pathway. Age UK can help you understand how to do this better via their Later Life facts and stats report – found here.
We then had a truly inspirational speaker from Age UK Camden on how to attract LGBT volunteers. Geraldine McCarthy shared both her personal experience and learning from a project called Opening Doors London. The way this presentation was received in the room showed it didn’t just impact me but many others as well.
Geraldine’s talk has led me to consider forming a representative group of volunteers that advocates for the needs of people from different backgrounds. That’s just one of the ideas I took away that could help influence how diverse needs are integrated into the development of volunteering projects.
Jenny Betteridge from Sport England followed Geraldine. Sport England work with many other sport organisations and saw over 6.7 million people volunteer in sport at least twice a year in 2017. Volunteering in sport can include coaching, a committee position, being a referee and much more. Jenny was honest about the challenges they face, with one third of sports volunteers considering quitting or reducing the amount they volunteer in the next 12 months.
Since this event I’ve been working my way through the Sport England resources page. The research can help many different sectors and I’d recommend having a look through!
Next up was Matilda Wallis, from SS. Great Britain, a visitor attraction in Bristol. The work that Matilda and her team has been doing with local schools, colleges and universities has a lot of potential. They are collaborating by designing mutually beneficial volunteer roles. The roles need to be flexible as young volunteers often wish to make a shorter commitment.
We ended with Charlotte Handel and Rupal Karia who job share the Head of Volunteering role at Hackney Volunteer Centre. This was a chance to look at the practical ways a charity can support different people to volunteer. The presentation made me realise that by creating a one-size-fits-all volunteer application process we limit who will apply for a role, even if it is something that is of interest to them.
For me, the key message from the day was the need to step out of our comfort zone if we want to recruit people from different demographics. So are you willing to be uncomfortable? Will you ask a completely different demographic their honest opinion about your current processes and roles? What have you got to lose?
Volunteers need to feel valued and appreciated, and an effective programme for reward and recognition can achieve so much more. Join us on 15 May 2018, at Hanbury Hall, LondonE1 6QR, to learn what others are doing and get some inspiration for your own programme.
This L&D event will look at examples of effective reward and recognition programmes from organisations such as: Battersea Dogs and Cats Home; Age UK Camden and British Red Cross. There will also be presentations from: Team Kinetic, looking at using data to assess rewards and incentives; Value You, explaining their free discount card and gift voucher programme for volunteers, and a Committee member from the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, giving some insight into this most prestigious form of recognition.
Recognising volunteer’s efforts and dedication clearly shows that they are supported by their organisation and helps to encourage and motivate. Volunteers who are satisfied and well-motivated are more likely to improve and progress, which in turn leads to a more productive volunteer team. Modern volunteers are often keen to improve CVs or UCAS applications by displaying skills and experience gained from volunteering. Such volunteers may be more responsive to certificates or other visible awards.
There are many different ways to recognise and reward volunteers, and each organisation needs to develop a programme that suits its resources and it’s volunteers’ needs. This event brings together a range of presenters and delegates from organisations of all sizes, to compare and contrast different approaches to this vital issue. There will also be group discussions and networking opportunities.
Click here for full information or to book a place.
Reward and Recognition: Encourage; Support; Improve!
AVM is proud to announce that we are delivering a ‘focus session’ at the most
prestigious event in the charity retailers’ calendar. The session, on Monday 25 June 3.15-4.15pm, will be delivered by AVM members and their charity retail counterparts.
The session explores how a shift in approach by organisations, leaders and managers can pay off at the till.
People remain keen to use their time to make a difference, but the demands on
this resource are increasing. Demos’s Shopping for Good report found that in
three years the number of retail volunteers rose only 4 per cent, whilst the number of shops continues to increase. If we all continue to shout louder about the benefits of retail volunteering, but people have more demands on their time, can we expect different results?
The aim is to speak to charity retail professionals about the challenges outlined above, and potential solutions we find at our own Retail Volunteering event on Tuesday 24 April.
AVM steams in to Bristol on 12th June, aboard the SS. Great Britain , may God bless her and all who volunteer aboard her! Click here to book.
This will be a specially reduced -price event, thanks to the support of English Heritage, SS. Great Britain and South West Museums Development Programme, and as an introduction to AVM.
Continuing our commitment to bringing AVM Learning and Development Days to some of the key centres of volunteer activity outside of London and following on from the exciting opening event in Manchester last week, AVM will now be in Bristol in June. This event will look at some new and innovative approaches to both traditional and new challenges in volunteering. This will include looking at attracting and working with younger volunteers: research clearly shows that actively engaged young volunteers are likely to continue volunteering throughout their lives, for a variety of organisations.
We will look at how research can be an excellent starting point for initiating change. It can provide the data and numbers necessary to convince stakeholders outside of volunteering departments of what those inside volunteering instinctively know already: volunteering is still a largely untapped resource. We will also consider how best to present this information to CEOs and other senior directors, and how volunteer managers can take the lead on convincing and converting boards to the true value of their volunteer departments.
There will be lively group discussions and networking opportunities to allow everyone to share their own opinions and experiences. Lunch is included, as will be a tour of the museum and ship at the end of the main L&D event.
Many charities run retail operations with varying degrees of volunteer involvement, but the Charity Retail Association (CRA) has identified a shortage of suitable volunteers and the importance of good volunteer management as key issues facing their members at this time. With a huge and diverse array of volunteers, charity retailers face both unique and universal challenges.
This event will bring together a wealth of experience from both volunteering and retail. Hosted by Angela Wilson, Senior Advisor, Volunteering & Community Development at Barnardo’s, with Rob Jackson of Rob Jackson Consulting, Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of CRA, Liz Reed, Volunteering Business Partner at Blue Cross and Roy Clark, Director for Retail and Trading at Barnardo’s.
The event will look at how modern retail volunteers may be very different from the traditional image, and how retail volunteer managers need to understand the complex motives and aspirations of their volunteers in order to build the most productive relationships. From volunteers looking to improve their employability, to those combating social isolation, the range of expectations must be matched by an equally in-depth and engaging volunteer offer.
We will hear some examples of organisations responding to these challenges in innovative ways and how a successful approach can result in efficient and productive retail operations.
By Lisa McDermott Tweet to @lisamcdee AVM member; Volunteering Management and Training Officer (UK), Stroke Association
On a dreary January afternoon, I was sat in a room. Well a hall technically. In Shoreditch. With a ‘gathering’ – is that the right word? – of volunteer managers and leaders of volunteers.
Over the next few hours we experienced a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from being gobsmacked, determined, panicked and relieved. Who knew that an AVM event about the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] could generate such a response. Not me…
First up to the podium was the RNLI. They started their GDPR journey in 2016 so compared to a lot of other people in the room they are well ahead of the curve. The pioneers, if you will, in the GDPR wilderness.
A clever campaign – Communication Saves Lives – has seen nearly 500,000 supporters opt in by the end of 2017 to continue receiving fundraising communications, and as a result the response rate to a Summer appeal increase from 10.4% to 32.8%. Impressive I nod sagely….
Their multifaceted, one-size doesn’t fit all, engagement which included staff ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions and tailored volunteer messaging was also a bit special. I too find food is a great persuader….
There was an audible gasp, however, when we learnt that the RNLI had only applied GDPR to their direct marketing. What?? After all that you’ve still got shed loads to do? At this point I think some panic started to set in.
Next up was the Alzheimer’s Society who gave an honest and frank account of living under an E10 enforcement notice after being sanctioned by the Information Commissioner. This forced them to have a long hard look at how the organisation, their staff and volunteers process data but in doing so they are now in a happy place and feeling prepared for GDPR. I’m not sure when I am next going to have a discussion about hamster bedding and composting in the same breath as why GDPR is important.
Our last presenter for the day was Paul Jennings from Bates, Wells and Braithwaite who took us through some of the ‘legalese’ and dealt with some insightful and challenging questions from the crowd on topics like retention policies, roles and responsibilities and privacy notices.
There was also an interesting discussion on whether asking volunteers for consent is the right thing to do and whether gathering data under the legitimate interest banner would be more appropriate. Organisations need to decide for themselves what works best for them. Food – and a biccy – for thought…
So, by the end of the day our heads were spinning with advice, guidance, predictions and questions about what GDPR means for us and our organisations. Will it be “an evolution or a revolution?” For us probably the former as we already have a lot of data safeguards in place due to the nature of our work but for others it might mean coming out on the streets, waving the GDPR flag and shouting ‘viva la revolucion!”