Let's Talk - Summer 2016

22 Feb 2016 | Articles

Let's Talk - Summer 2016

A new year gives a great opportunity to look towards what we would like to achieve. I have been having some great conversations this year already about possibilities and probabilities on how we can continue to support you in your role of managing your volunteer involving programmes within the oftentimes challenging nature of NGOs. I read an interesting article this week on 'What Must (Australian) Volunteereism Lose to Win' and the sentence that stood out for me was ... In order for volunteers to SPEND their time with nonprofits, the experience must be designed to be WORTH their time.

Ensuring that those who want to volunteer have a worthwhile experience is vital to ensuring that volunteers stick around. Identifying the RIGHT opportunity for the RIGHT person is something that as Managers of Volunteers we need to spend time on. This may mean looking around our NGO to identify tasks and/or projects that we have not traditionally offered to volunteers. Flexibility is also key as people become more time-poor and are making decisions about where and how they spend their valuable 'free' time. It may require a bit of re-designing a role around a particular volunteer rather than fitting the volunteer into an existing role. To achieve our missions can mean having to take different volunteer-involving routes!

It is also the time of year where our educational institutes are looking for project placements for their students. Volunteering Auckland has had some great experiences hosting students from AUT, Unitec, and Auckland University. There are many and varied ideas I have that we currently do not have the right people resouce for so I have "parked" them until the right opportunity comes along ... this is usually in the form of a student placement! One such opportunity was the research we completed late 2015 on Enhancing Communication Processes for Better Volunteer Engagement in Non-profit Organisations: Issues and Challenges
. An interesting read ... watch this space for some further service developments to ensure our member NGOs are engaging well with today's volunteers.

We have been working on our 2016 Professional Development programme with opportunities to learn, enhance and gain better understandings on working within an NGO setting and with volunteers. Our theme this year is Leadership! Check out our current training opportunities.

Keep cool this summer ... drink lots of water!
Yours in volunteering

Cheryll Martin
General Manager


Volunteer Stories

Helping young people grow

Helping young people grow

I had a family friend who supported and mentored me when I was young. I felt that I could give back and that I wanted to give back.