20th September 2016
Everyone knows the term “volunteering.” It is considered something highly valuable if it's on your CV. Simply as a reference to promote yourself as a professional who has - besides your regular job - been volunteering for society, but perhaps more important to have it in your ”human CV“.
Selflessly helping others, using your good will, strengths, skills and passion for the greater wellbeing of society should be at the heart of all of us.
The Latin word voluntas, voluntatis, translated means “will”, free will; a choice, disposition towards something or someone, and by that reward for every volunteer there should be happiness and satisfaction. These results - happiness and satisfaction - should be a driving force for the motivation of people and a basis for persistence.
We have many possibilities in life to volunteer, and while we are talking about different types of volunteering within life, in this blog we will focus on volunteering in an organisation.
Our Director, Nigel Hurst, volunteering at a school as part of a corporate volunteering day
The term “Volunteer Management” suggests nothing exceptional to other types of management; at its’ core is a selection and the management of people, in this case volunteers.
However, there is a large difference; Volunteer Management is a focused in leveraging an organization's resources, on par with fundraising, development and human resources. Depending on what type of a project volunteers are required for, private or public sector organisations are raising questions about what sort of volunteers are needed, who are the right people and how will the selection process go.
Let's say we are dealing with a community project where every hand is needed and valued. The recruitment of people is based on a good organisation where each person will have the opportunity to use his or her skills in the best way for all.
People come to volunteer by expressing their will to help and presenting their abilities and showing good will. There must be an established management who would distribute tasks and set up a clear picture for the volunteer platform as a micro organisation within the greater organisation.
Treating volunteers as employees is a basic requirement, which includes - besides their tasks - training and building teams, building volunteer policies and agreements that would all be supervised by a volunteer coordinator.
The organisation means directing, structuring the work, estimating expenses and time. Exactly the same with any regular employee, if the vision is not set up right, if the tasks are not clear, the structure will crash. Care must also be made taken to ensure the good nature of the volunteer is not exploited.
What are the benefits for organisation to have volunteers? Many. From increasing employee's engagement, improvement of the abilities to recruit younger employees, to helping the brand of the company through increased visibility in the community.
Research suggests that a majority of Fortune 500 companies allow employees to undertake voluntary work during office hours as part of the sustainability efforts and their social responsibility activities. Roughly 40% of the same types of organisation also provide financial donations to voluntarily causes.
There is even International Volunteer Day every 5th December which was created by the United Nations in 1985, as a day to raise awareness and celebrate the power of the volunteer to contribute to society.
The importance of the volunteer should never be underestimated.