Volunteering round-up: March 2016

Bringing volunteers on board

The laws of attraction

What is it about organisations that never fail to attract volunteers? Reputation, great opportunities or the cause? Competition for people’s time is fierce, but Jarina Choudhury reckons variety across your volunteer offer can reap benefits.

Is ‘onboarding’ the answer to volunteer management?

Rob Jackson thinks not. ‘Onboarding’ is the conscious process of bringing someone ‘on board’ through induction, training and so on, but new processes can only have limited impact if the organisation as a whole is not fully committed to involving volunteers. For Third Sector, Rob Jackson argues that for the donated hour to be truly valued, volunteer managers need to be better at influencing within their organisation.

Learn how to influence more effectively with some tips from Rob Jackson on our blog or book onto our training on the 14 June.

Protecting our driving force

Do any of your volunteers drive as part of their volunteering? Do they help with community or patient transport, or as part of a befriending role? Do they drive to and from the location of their volunteering?

If your volunteers drive as part of their volunteering, make sure you know where you stand when it comes to insurance. Organisations need to arrange insurance if it is their vehicle being used, but when volunteers drive their own vehicle, they are responsible for arranging insurance and informing the insurer about their volunteer driving.

Many insurers do not charge extra premiums for volunteer driving, and have signed up to the Association of British Insurers (ABI)’s ‘Volunteer driving – the motor insurance commitment’. This should cover more informal or ad hoc arrangements, as well as formal volunteer driving activities. Even when their insurer has signed up to the ABI’s commitment, volunteers should inform their insurer that they are a volunteer driver. Generally, if someone is using their car differently from how they declared at the time they took out the policy, it is worth checking with the insurer.

Find more information on insurance and volunteering on NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit.

Value of volunteers in the criminal justice system

Involving volunteers in the criminal justice system can help both in the rehabilitation of ex-offenders and in reforming the prison and probation services.

A major project – Justice Involving Volunteers in Europe (JIVE) – has provided the opportunity for eight voluntary organisations across Europe to exchange ideas and share good practice in this field. Clinks are the partner organisation in England and Wales. On the blog, read Andy Curtis’ reflections on the final conference, held in Bucharest, Romania.

Would closing charity shops make communities better?

Short answer, we think not. The True and Fair Foundation has come out criticising charity shops and gift aid for being “inefficient”- but their new report, ‘Lifting the Lid’ is nonsense. On the blog, Karl Wilding defends charity shops as a vital part of the local landscape, which generates income for public good rather than personal gain.

Co-operating to rebuild trust with the public

Public trust in charities is vital, but it has been a difficult time with negative media coverage. The public also needs to have confidence and belief that their volunteering makes a difference.

We’re keen to ensure the positive impact of charities is publicly heard and harnessed, which is why we have launched Constructive Voices. Read more on the blog about how you can get involved and have your stories heard.

We’ll be discussing how we can cooperate to rebuild trust with the public at our Annual Conference. On 18 April, we invite you to join us to discuss the top issues affecting the future of voluntary action, including employer supported volunteering and social action.

How did you celebrate Student Volunteering Week?

To mark Student Volunteering Week, Kathryn Harrington reflects on her experiences at Student Volunteering Cardiff and the benefits of student volunteering, both for the individual volunteers and the difference that they make to communities.

Spotlight on trustees

Don’t forget the hidden volunteers who sit on your board of trustees. There’s new guidance from the Charity Commission on the EU Referendum for trustees – and you can read our concerns about the guidance on the blog.

Trustees can keep up to date with the latest news and updates with Myles Kunzli’s monthly Governance round-up.

On the right side of the law

Find out what you need to do to ensure you stay within the law with our upcoming events and training opportunities:

  • Understand your legal position as an organisation that involves volunteers with our training for volunteer managers. Book now for Volunteering and the Law on 20 April in London.
  • Get the latest developments in Data Protection legislation and find out how to effectively and legally fundraise and communicate with supporters. Book now for our Data Protection seminar in Birmingham on Tuesday 22 March.
  • Join us at the NCVO/BWB HR Conference on Monday 9 May in London for essential legal and regulatory updates on current HR issues.


New adventures in social action

Find out more about different approaches to social action and volunteering in our Annual Conference workshop where you can also see how to make initiatives work in your organisation.

Find out more about NCVO Annual Conference 2016


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Emily was NCVO’s trainee volunteering development policy officer. She is interested in policy around volunteering, particularly diversity in volunteering, employability, volunteering in public services, and employer supported volunteering.

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