Volunteering round-up: September 2016

New government investment in youth social action

The government and the Big Lottery Fund have announced two new funds to create new opportunities for young people to take part in social action, including volunteering:

NCVO’s chief executive, Sir Stuart Etherington, welcomed these proposals as a great opportunity to ‘lay the foundations for a lifetime of involvement’.

Stronger voice for volunteers

How do you inspire volunteers to be advocates for your campaign?

At the NCVO Campaigning Conference, we were joined by the Ramblers and the MND Association to discuss how organisations could involve volunteers in their campaigns – and whether organisations could afford not to.

Here are some of the top tips from the session:

  • Work in partnership with your volunteers
  • Use volunteer role descriptions, but allow for flexibility and respond to what your volunteers want and need
  • Support your volunteers, for example with briefings and logistics
  • Remember that your volunteers have valuable skills, knowledge and expertise to offer
  • Be creative in recruiting volunteers and look beyond those who are already interested and committed to your cause
  • Measure your impact

And don’t forget, you aren’t ‘letting’ your volunteers campaign – if they don’t campaign with you, they might well do it without you. Read more reflections on the Thoughtful Campaigner blog and catch up with all of the presentations from the NCVO Campaigning Conference.

Bitten by the volunteering bug

Keynote speaker at the NCVO Campaigning Conference, Johnny Mercer MP, describes how he got hooked on volunteering whilst on the election campaign trail.

Let volunteers tell your charity’s story

At FoodCycle, volunteers lead the communications of every project. This may seem like common sense, as volunteers are often better placed to tell the stories of their work, but it’s also a very different way of working. FoodCycle share with CharityComms how they’ve let go of the reins and successfully harnessed the skills, energy and experience of their volunteers.

If you need help with charity communications and social media, Skills Platform have launched a new toolkit, with a foreword from our head of digital and communications, Megan Griffith Gray. Plus, there is lots of help on NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit.

New beginnings

New school year

The start of a new academic year has us thinking about the role of volunteering in schools. Could schools be the highway to social action, as Step up to Serve’s Kerri Hall proposes?

Is this the year that you establish a peer mentoring programme in your school or college? Find out more about the specialist services NCVO Mentoring and Befriending can provide for schools and colleges.

Plus, as university students come back from holidays, read our five top tips on recruiting and retaining student volunteers.

Employer supported volunteering

Can employer supported volunteering introduce people to volunteering who may not have thought of doing it before? That’s what senior research officer, Andy Curtis, argues on the nonprofit blog, following on from his presentation at the Volunteering and Voluntary Sector Research Conference.

Our Volunteering in Care Homes project was also discussed at the Volunteering and Voluntary Sector Research Conference – find out more about the conference with the hashtag #VSVR2016 on Twitter.

Giving all volunteers a good experience

Is volunteering becoming a two tiered experience? On the Third Sector blog, Rob Jackson warns that trustees should not be more cared for and remunerated better than volunteers on the ground.

So, how can you give volunteers a great experience? NCVO Institute for Volunteering Research suggests eight factors that influence retention:

  1. The image and appeal of volunteering
  2. Methods of recruiting volunteers
  3. Recruitment and application procedures
  4. Induction into volunteering
  5. Training for volunteering
  6. Overall management of the volunteering
  7. The ethos and culture of the organisation
  8. The support and supervision given to volunteers

For more information, take a look at our NCVO Knowhow Nonprofit guidance and don’t forget about Investing in Volunteers, the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management.

Skilling-up volunteer managers

We also believe that volunteer managers play an important role in offering high-quality, rewarding volunteering opportunities, which is why we offer training especially for volunteer managers.

You can learn from your desk with our Studyzone online video course on good practice in volunteer management (free for NCVO members). Or if you prefer face-to-face training, here are our upcoming courses:

  • Volunteering and the law, 29 September
  • Assessing the impact of your volunteers, 21 November
  • Understanding micro-volunteering, 22 November

Good governance matters too

Join us at NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2016: Governance in the spotlight on Monday 7 November for essential updates on governance regulation and to get practical tools and guidance in our range of expert-led workshops. Don’t miss out – book your place today.

What I’ve been reading this month

Save the date

Celebrate International Volunteer Day and the end of London’s year as European Volunteering Capital at the first ever International Volunteer Conference on 5 December at City Hall, London. Organised by Team London, in collaboration with us at NCVO, plus GLV, Volonteurope and The FSI, this conference will be an opportunity to share good practice and look to the future of volunteering. Bookings will open soon, so for now save the date.


This entry was posted in Practical support, Research, Training and events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Like this? Read more

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.

3 Responses to Volunteering round-up: September 2016