Profession of Volunteer Management

January 2017

Pride in the Volunteer Management Profession

By Susan J. Ellis

How do you react when your executive requests something that you think doesn't make sense or may actually be negative for volunteers? Take pride in your professional knowledge and do your job: speak up for best practices.

Prof Anne-Marie Greene and Dr Jenna Ward of DeMontfort University (Leicester, UK) were commissioned to provide the National Trust with a detailed, evidenced-based understanding of: (1) what it means to manage volunteers in the National Trust (2) the nature of similarities or differences between the management of volunteers and paid staff (3) the implications of these similarities or differences for policy, resourcing and strategic planning around volunteer management within the National Trust. This report is based on empirical evidence from in-depth qualitative case studies carried out at two National Trust properties between 2013 and 2015. 

The researchers concluded that, "in practice, the management of volunteers within the National Trust is, and should be, significantly different to the management of paid staff. These differences can be classified around five broad, yet interconnected, themes: Performance Management, Communication, Task Differentiation, Trust and Fear vs Autonomy and Creativity, Emotional Labour."

 

2016
44
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Volunteering New Zealand produced this summary of their identification and development of key competencies for leaders and managers of volunteers. 

2013
12
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Report of a nationwide survey of volunteer managers in New Zealand between December 2009 and February 2010, by Karen A. Smith, PhD, Carolyn Cordery, PhD, and Nicholas Dutton at Victoria University of Wellington in partnership with Volunteering New Zealand.  The online survey was open to anyone involved in the management of volunteers; over 800 individuals participated from a diverse range of sectors and positions across New Zealand and gives insight into who they are. 

2010
52
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Tobi Johnson of VolunteerPro provides this free guide for the newcomer to volunteer management -- lots of good context and tips.

2016
57
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PDF
Twenty Hats

Elisa Kosarin says she "created Twenty Hats as a place for volunteer managers, development directors, and other nonprofit pros to find practical, skill-building information that they need and that they can use on the job right away. My blog posts, tools, webinars, and courses give you practical, useful information to help you master the skills you never learned in school."

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