Lots of people will apply and be grateful

Lots of people will apply and be grateful to have a job in the current environment, Unfortunately it is likely to be someone who may be very highly qualified, but not necessarily in the field of volunteering as, and this has already been highlighted by a few others, volunteer management is not as highly recognized nor valued by some senior managers or organizations.

This is when the problems begin, volunteering is not managed successfully from the top down coupled by then being led by someone who is supposed to champion and lead on this within the organization, but has no idea how this is done. Volunteer management is then further devalued and rated even lower as as happened in many organizations and viewed as an admin role. The salary is then decreased and the position placed at a low scale.

The person appointed can use transferrable skills along with all the theory in the world, but without the practical knowledge and experience the quality of the volunteering for the organization, staff and its volunteers is of a very low standard.

Recently I’ve supported some organizations- large and small where the volunteer managers were rolling out volunteering programs and none of them had heard of the NOS or IiVA. In some instances the person appointed had been redeployed from another role within the organization and had volunteered years ago, so it was felt they would be OK in the role. In others they had the condition that the organization campaigned about an/or been a volunteer for the organization- but no real experience to deliver a Volunteer Management program. In a few cases they had been appointed when very experienced Volunteer Managers didn’t even get through the selection process for the interview- in one case the feedback was that they couldn’t possibly understand how the organizations service users felt, in another the feedback was they were too qualified in volunteering and they really wanted a fundraiser.

This would never happen within any other profession- can you ever imagine a Head of HR or Head of Finance being appointed without the relevant skills, knowledge or experience as qualifications? I think we need to really look at ourselves, our expectations, how we campaign to raise the profile of Volunteer Managers and how we can change things for the better with all of the opportunities around.

I echo Debbies post – support AVM and challenge the positioning of Volunteer Managers.