November 5 is International Volunteer Managers Day, with Volunteering Tasmania joining their members and others across Australia (and the globe) in thanking the wonderful people who manage volunteers.
It is sometimes challenging for people to understand what managers’ of volunteers do, they are the ones in charge of looking after those incredible individuals who volunteer their time willingly to help our community.
Dr Lisa Schimanksi CEO of Volunteering Tasmania says
“Managers of volunteers play a vital role, you need only think about any sporting club in Tasmania, any community organisation, environmental or tourism group, arts or emergency service group to realise that every one of these organisations requires management of volunteers.
They manage recruitment and training of new volunteers, they manage the paperwork, insurances, they do inductions, they negotiate work plans, they schedule the rosters and they do the reporting. They work through difficult issues, sometimes deal with conflict and always ensure the volunteers are welcomed, appreciated, recognised and thanked” she said.
Carolyn Whamond is a qualified Volunteer Manager at Calvary Private Hospital who manages over 120 volunteers says
“It is a relatively new profession, but an increasingly necessary one.
It is obviously a role that requires people skills but it is also a role that includes understanding of regulatory frameworks, risk management and HR” she says.
Dr Schimanksi adds “ While there are more paid volunteer management roles than in previous years, it is still common for people who manage volunteers to also be volunteers themselves or if they are employees of an organisation, they do the volunteer management component from the side of their desk.
“Ideally this will change over time as volunteer involving organisations realise how impactful managing the volunteer effort is for the best organisational outcomes “ she said.
We spend much of our time recognising the contribution of volunteers in our community, and rightly so, their 7.1 million* plus hours given freely to Tasmania each year is an enormous contribution, however International Volunteer Managers Day is a day to reach out and thank those people in your club or organisations making volunteering happen from the inside.
They all deserve a very big thank you for the work that they do.