To volunteer is to wilfully carry out an activity that does not earn one any money and that is beneficial to others. Volunteer management is the process of choosing and incorporating volunteers into an organization and ensuring that they perform.
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It is a rigorous process that involves proper planning, recruitment, training, overseeing, motivating, appraising and even firing of volunteers. Volunteer management helps to control the resources of an organization. It safeguards the interests of the volunteers and fortifies the integrity of the organization (McCurley and Lynch, 1996).
Volunteer Victoria is a non-profit volunteer organization whose objectives include enlightening people on the importance of volunteering and therefore encouraging them to volunteer. It also provides training, consultation and support to organizations that work with volunteers, on matters like recruitment, management, motivation and working with volunteers.
The organization also works with organizations, schools, government and community leaders to identify community needs and inform volunteers about them. It also provides volunteer opportunities to people interested in serving their community.
Volunteers need to be trained before starting their duties in order to execute them effectively. They need to know about the procedures and polices of that organization, how to use various equipment and what action to take when faced with different situations. Once recruited, they should be evaluated regularly to pin point any further training needs of the volunteers.
Volunteer Victoria holds training workshops for its member agencies on volunteer management. Training is done by both the members of staff and contracted trainers. Training is offered on a variety of topics including how to manage funds, communication skills, networking, and succession planning, among others.
The organization also offers training courses and seminars for the volunteers. Volunteer Victoria staff members offer training to just recruit volunteers to equip them with the necessary skills that are required to perform the assigned tasks. They also work hand in hand with the volunteers and offer continuous training to them as they go about their daily duties.
They also conduct ongoing training and development in areas that need complex skills to ensure that those tasks are executed perfectly. The organization also invites professional speakers on contract who offer specialized training in various fields. Therefore at Volunteer Victoria, training is both done internally and is also out sourced (Blom, 2011).
According to Hager and Brudney (2004), Volunteers can be motivated through giving them encouraging feedback for instance by thanking them for their work. Rewarding them for exceptionally done tasks or for going the extra mile also helps. Training the volunteers also makes them feel that what they are doing is important.
In addition, taking time to interact and comment on the progress of their work boosts the morale of the volunteers. Offering free refreshments and snacks to them can also go a long way in encouraging the volunteers.
The organization should also provide activities that enable the volunteers to enjoy themselves and relieve the pressures of their tasks, for example games. The members of staff of that organization also should be cooperative and have good working relations with them for optimum performance (McKee, 2011).
According to Zappala (2000, Australians are some of the best sportsmen in the world, and it is no wonder that most people feel inclined to volunteer towards that field. Australians are highly skilled in many sports like surfing, rugby, cricket, golf, soccer, rowing, sailing, cycling, martial arts, bowling, volley ball, basketball, swimming, spear fishing and skiing, among others. Sports in Australia are heavily reliant on volunteers.
Many Australians volunteer in sports and other recreational activities like refereeing, coaching, administration, fundraising, sales, information management and recruitment. They volunteer for various reasons, among them the urge to assist others, and for personal fulfilment. Australian institutions have also perfected strategies of attracting many sports volunteers.
Volunteers need to be motivated and attracted by a certain aspect in order to work for a particular organization. Some of the ways they to attract them include giving them tasks that don’t take long and that can be done at flexible times due to people’s busy schedules. Another strategy is to be innovative in recruiting the volunteers in order to entice them.
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An organization can also recruit retired professionals and allow them to choose tasks that interest them, for instance retired coaches, referees and players. The organizations also understand the importance of retaining the volunteers, and therefore they apply strategies like offering rewards, encouraging them and providing a conducive and stress free environment in order for them to be productive.
They can also increase the dwindling number of young volunteers by enlightening them on the importance of volunteering and offering them exciting tasks to do.
Volunteering is an activity done out of free will and once people commit themselves to it, they should perform the tasks with enthusiasm as though they were being paid for it. Volunteers should also be held in high regard as they have dedicated their precious time and energy to serve the community.
Blom, B.C. (2011). Our Training Initiatives. Web.
Hager, M.A. and Brudney, J.L. (2004). Volunteer Management Practices and Retention of Volunteers. Web.
McCurley, S. and Lynch, R. (1996). Volunteer Management: Mobilizing All The Resources In The Community. New York: Heritage Arts Pub.
McKee, T.W. (2011). How to Motivate Volunteers: The Top Motivation and Retention Winners. Web.
Zappala, G. (2000). How many people volunteer in Australia and why do they do it? Web.