The newsletter of Volunteering New Zealand
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VNZ Update September 2006
The newsletter of Volunteering New Zealand
IAVE President to speak at VNZ AGM
Liz Burns, who has just been re-elected unopposed as World President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort, will be the guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of Volunteering New Zealand to be held in Wellington on 20 November.
The AGM is to be held at Connolly Hall, Guilford Terrace, commencing at 3.00pm and Liz Burns will speak following the formal meeting. All will be welcome to come to hear her speak.
Liz Burns who has been President of IAVE since 2001 has had a long career in volunteering, both as a volunteer and as a professional. Her experience as a volunteer includes work abroad in international student work camps, a long involvement with parent-run pre-school education, and work as a marriage guidance counsellor.
She began her professional life as a teacher of modern languages. After a career break when her children were young, Liz started a new career in the NGO sector. In 1983 she was appointed to develop a new organisation, Volunteer Development Scotland, which is the national centre for volunteering in Scotland.
Liz has served on a wide range of boards and committees in the NGO and government sectors, including the Joint Working Groups, which produced the first National Strategies for Volunteering in the UK, and the Compact between Government and the Voluntary Sector. Liz is a past President of the European Volunteer Centre. She has also published articles on volunteering in a wide range of journals and conference reports, and has spoken at conferences around the world.
In addition to her work as President of IAVE, she is Chair of the Scottish Child Psychotherapy Trust, and is the first Chair of a new government advisory body, the Heritage Environment Advisory Council for Scotland.
Nominations sought for VNZ Board election
They are sought for election to the positions of Chairperson, Vice-chairperson and two Board members. The two year terms of Alison Marshall, Chairperson and Board members, Meredith Stokdijk and Mary Woods end at the AGM on 20 November. They are eligible for nomination and re-election to the Board.
At the same time, Sam Huggard, Vice-Chairman, has given notice that he will need to resign from the Board at the AGM due to his current work commitments.
Nomination forms are being sent directly to
all VNZ members and nominations will need to be sent to
Volunteering by Monday 16 October.
They may be either faxed to 04 3843637 or posted to PO Box 24526, Wellington.
After receipt of nominations, if an election is required for one or more of the positions, ballot papers will be sent to VNZ members on Friday 20 October and should be returned to VNZ by Friday 17 November.
Discussion Document Coming
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has announced that the discussion document on tax rebates for donations to charities and other non-profit organisations is expected to be released for public consultation in October. The likelihood of its publication was reported in the last issue of VNZ Update.
the United Future leader, said the document is the result of
the confidence and supply agreement between his party and
Labour agreed after the election.
He said United Future is keen to promote philanthropy in New Zealand by greatly increasing the tax deductions available for charitable donations. United Future’s policy proposal for a tax rebate for volunteering may also be canvassed in the discussion paper.
Once the document has been publicly
discussed, Mr Dunne says he hopes to be able to make
decisions late this year or early next about any consequent
changes to the legislation.
International Volunteer Manager Day - November 1
A special day to give recognition to those involved in managing volunteer services and volunteers will be held for the first time on 1 November.
Andy Fryar, OzVPM, who chairs the Steering Committee overseeing International Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day (IVMA Day), has invited all involved in volunteering to join in a global initiative to recognize the valuable work of volunteer managers the world over.
“Universally, people recognise the contribution of volunteers - in sport, health and welfare, education emergency services, arts and culture, faith communities and environmental activities...in fact volunteers are involved in just about every aspect of service delivery in all walks of life, “ said Mr Fryer
“However, volunteering does not succeed in a vacuum. Behind this army of volunteers lies an equally dedicated group of individuals and agencies who are responsible for the coordination, support, training, administration and recruitment of the world's volunteers - skilled professionals who are adept at taking singular passion and turning it into effective action.”
He said this was is why International Volunteer Manager Appreciation Day was celebrated.
More information about activities and ideas for promoting this day can be found on a special website http://www.ivmaday .org/.
Tell us your plans for
International Volunteer Day
We invite all organisations to let us know about their plans for celebrating International Volunteer Day on 5 December. This will assist us develop the overall programme for this day of celebrating the contribution which volunteers make in all sectors of New Zealand’s society.
The national stories for the day will highlight the breadth and value of volunteering in New Zealand
No doubt organisations will be looking to achieve publicity in their local newspapers, radio stations and other media. You should be making contact with the Editor or other senior editorial staff at an early date to let them know of your plans, providing them with information about what you are planning and giving them an indication of how this will be newsworthy for them.
You will find a guide
on how to approach the media and another on writing a media
release in the IV Day toolkit on the Volunteering NZ website
www.volunteeringnz.org.nz. Go to the Events/Links page and
click on the IV Day Promo Kit.
Society would collapse if non-profits disappeared
The chair of a committee that has overseen a major new study says New Zealand society would collapse if it wasn’t for non-profit organisations. Garth Nowland-Foreman, chairperson of the Committee for the Study of the New Zealand Non-Profit Sector, says the report has been widely anticipated and will be viewed with great interest by both non-profit organisations and government.
Defining the Nonprofit Sector: New Zealand is a major step in understanding and increasing the profile of non-profit organisations in New Zealand. It is published by the Center for Civil Society Studies, which is part of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA. This report on New Zealand is part of a bigger international research project involving more than 40 countries. The Center is working to improve the understanding of the role and contribution of non-profit organisations around the world.
“We are a nation of joiners. For too long, however, non-profit New Zealand has been overlooked and under-valued. Non-profits are a unique form of social organising. At last, this is a chance to increase their profile and give due recognition to the crucial role they play in our society,” said Mr Nowland-Foreman.
“If you wiped out non-profit organisations, there is hardly a part of our society that would not collapse. Our churches and political parties are non-profits. So are our trade unions, federated farmers, and employers associations. Even the Business Roundtable decided that the best way to organise itself was as a non-profit.
“Most of our sporting groups, many arts and cultural groups, hobby groups, fraternal societies, ethnic associations, residents groups, service clubs, environmental groups, historical societies, professional associations and many advocacy groups are all non-profits. Not to mention the thousands upon thousands of health, welfare and other charities and self-help groups that hold our community together. From Alcoholics Anonymous to Zonta Clubs, where would New Zealand be without them?”
Zealand research has tested the applicability of
international definitions and classifications to New
Zealand-grown non-profits. The work done here for this
study is likely to make a contribution to further research
around the globe in two important areas:
• Statistics New Zealand, working in close collaboration with this research, has developed ‘decision trees’ to help clarify which organisations meet, or do not meet the international definition of non-profit organisations developed by Johns Hopkins University.
• For the first time, indigenous tribal organisations have been recognised in their own right in a major international study. This research proposes a way to classify ‘tangata whenua governance’ organisations, which could very well set a precedent for similar research in other parts of the globe.
Defining the Nonprofit Sector: New Zealand is a significant milestone not only as a part of this major international study, but also because it is a part of the first major national study attempting to measure and report on the non-profit sector in this country. It will culminate in the first comprehensive statistical report by Statistics NZ in 2007 and a national overview report from the Center in 2008.
The research has been carried out by a team from Massey University. They have been advised by the Committee for the Study of the New Zealand Non-Profit Sector, made up of representatives of non-profit organisations, researchers, and the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector. The researchers worked closely with Statistics New Zealand in defining and classifying non-profit institutions in New Zealand, as a first step in developing detailed statistics on these organisations.
Hutt Valley Workshop on effective
employment relationships in community organisations
The NZ Council of Social Services, NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations and Social Services Waikato, in conjunction with the Department of Labour, will present a workshop to discuss key issues relating to employment matters in community organisations.
It will be held on Monday 9 October in the red Cross Rooms, 31 Pretoria Street, Lower Hutt, 9.30am to 2.00pm
The topics which will be covered include:
Maintaining effective and positive employment relationships
Positive communication and decision making
The workshop is aimed at staff and managers of tangata whenua, community or voluntary organisations, trustees of boards, committees and societies. It will be hosted by Hutt COSS and led by Leah Mclay and Judy Dell, Employment Mediators from the Department of Labour.
To register your interest email Kate Cowmeadow firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 04 385 0981.
More than 500 voluntary groups use
new website for voluntary sector.
TrustPower Community Connect – www.communityconnect.co.nz – was launched six months ago. The website is an extension of TrustPower's Community Awards programme, which is run around the country to recognise and reward the work of voluntary groups and organisations.
TrustPower Community Connect is an online, searchable database of voluntary groups and not-for-profit organisations working around New Zealand. The website offers voluntary groups the chance to publicise their group for free and promote their events through the site's Community Calendar. The site also offers volunteers additional training and support through the publishing of monthly articles and advice from experts in the voluntary sector and regular news items of interest to volunteers.
TrustPower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches says CommunityConnect was born out of feedback from TrustPower's Community Awards, where participants talked about the value of being able to network with other similar groups in their community. "Volunteers make our communities tick and without the thousands of voluntary groups and organisations operating around the country our communities would not be able to access many services that we take for granted today.
"Through TrustPower Community Connect we can give something back to those volunteers by providing consistent, year-round support and a much needed networking resource," said Graeme Purches.
TrustPower spent more than a year developing the site and researching voluntary groups' needs before the website went live in March this year. Since then, more than 500 voluntary groups have registered on the site and many events and activities have been promoted through the site's Community Calendar. Any voluntary group or not-for-profit organisation is able to register on TrustPower Community Connect and the site is completely free to use. Voluntary groups can register on the site by logging onto www.communityconnect.co.nz or by calling 0800 87 11 11 to have a registration form sent out.
Online survey on
migrant information needs
The Federation of Ethnic Councils has commissioned CACR to conduct a Migrant Information Needs Survey. The survey can be accessed via the Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research (CACR) website (http://www.vuw.ac.nz/cacr/)and then selecting the 'migrant survey' button:
Volunteers play important role in
hospital chaplaincy service
More that 300 volunteer chaplain’s assistants assist the 58 full time chaplains who make up the New Zealand hospital chaplaincy service. The first ever annual appeal and awareness week has just been held for this important service.
"Hospital Chaplains provide much needed support for patients, relatives and hospital staff but because their work is very much behind the scenes, we don't often hear about the great work they do”, Minister of Health Pete Hodgson said at the beginning of the week. “Health care is about much more than physical well-being. The New Zealand health system recognises that a holistic approach, which involves physical as well as spiritual and emotional care, is needed for complete recovery."
Ron Malpass, the National Executive Officer for the Interchurch Council on Hospital Chaplaincy, said the work of Hospital Chaplains was wide-ranging, from visitations in wards to sitting at the bedside of terminally ill patients to being with families as they turn off the life support of a loved one. It was a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job.
The Interchurch Council on Hospital Chaplaincy (ICHC) is made up of 9 denominations and is supported by over 1700 parishes throughout New Zealand. The service represents a wide range of cultures and religions.
"We're here to put people in touch with their own religion, not to push Christianity," says Ron Malpass. "A number of chapels are now spiritual centres and display appropriate symbols of the faiths of all the religions in their District Health Board area. Spiritual care is about being there in times of need to support and console, and not just during the bad-times. There are very joyful moments as well, such as the birth of a baby.
The Interchurch Hospital Chaplancy Service (ICHC) was established in 1972, when at the request of the Government, a group of churches entered into the establishment of an organisation which would be responsible for the running of Hospital Chaplaincy throughout New Zealand's public health service.
Volunteer' theme of Coastguard conference
The public might be blasé about the work the Coastguard does but that the fifth anniversary of 9/11 brought into sharp relief the contribution and heroism of emergency and volunteer services, the Hon Jim Anderton said when opening the Coastguard conference which had as its theme 'The Professional Volunteer'.
"Coastguards often find themselves in the frontline of a crisis. They are not often world-shaking events, and we all hope there is never such a thing here. But if we consider the six thousand people a year that are involved in incidents on the water, where coastguards are involved, there is nothing to be blasé about," Mr Anderton said. "If a proportion of those interventions are life-saving, then totalled up over many years, the difference these coastguard make is both impressive and sobering.
"Most of us go to the beach to relax and swim. The Coastguard however, knows the danger signs and they are there for us when things go wrong. The Coastguard does an amazing job. As a volunteer organisation, it requires a very high degree of professionalism from its volunteers, which is gained through extensive training courses.
"New Zealanders owe a debt of gratitude to the two thousand volunteers who keep our coastguard running and there is a moral in this for the way we continue to shape our New Zealand identity.
“For years we've been told we need to be more cut-throat and grab what we can for ourselves. And there is a cacophony of voices expecting something for nothing. But in truth we need to ask everyone to give more to each other and offer in return the opportunity for doing better,” said Mr Anderton.
list for volunteer positions in Ashburton Fire
While some volunteer fire brigades around New Zealand may struggle to find enough volunteers to fight fires, Ashburton has a waiting list of potential firefighters reports Sue Newman in the Ashburton Guardian.
The homegrown brigade currently has 30 active members, with several people waiting for a vacancy on the fire trucks that never seems to open up. For fire chief Alan Burgess the luxury of having a full team to call on puts him in something of a unique position. Other brigades are reported to be struggling, but Ashburton does not and he credits the family atmosphere and the camaraderie that exists between brigade members for keeping the ranks full.
“We seem to have a good culture here, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the next five to 10 years. You talk to many service organisations and they struggle for members now and I guess somewhere along the line, we’ll be hit with that.”
Ashburton had a top team of firefighters, but for
them to do their job, there needed to be a pool of employers
who were willing to have staff disappear whenever the fire
siren sounded, Mr Burgess said.
“Without those employers, we’d be sunk. We get extremely good employer support and good support from guys who are self-employed too.”
Many people joined the brigade in their early 20s and there tended to be real stability in terms of retention, with the team now boasting many “senior” firefighters. “The total years of input from the guys here would be phenomenal. We have six with gold stars, for 25 years. This is a bit like a family; that’s the only way it works,” he said.
It was fortunate the Ashburton brigade was so strong numerically as the district was one of the busiest in terms of callouts, Mr Burgess said. The brigade has already responded to more than 300 fires this year, indicating 2006 could break all records in terms of callouts. Last year was close to an all-time record, with 397 responses by the brigade.
News about Volunteering People
Forty years on
and still collecting
With eight children, 25 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren you would think Jessie Main (82) would have enough activities to fill her day, but after over forty years of support, she's still collecting for the RNZFB's Blind Week.
"It's such a worthy cause to collect for and something that affects so many people," says Jessie whose brother is now vision-impaired. "We're all getting older, and more and more of us are going to need support from the Foundation of the Blind. To give your time as a collector means you are directly helping blind New Zealander's. And it's really no time at all - you can even ask to collect at a time that suits you."
Jessie has missed only one appeal in the last 42 years - quite a feat that few people have accomplished, but Jessie takes it all in her stride. "I started collecting after visiting blind people at what was then the Blind Institute. I've always been inspired by the achievements of blind and vision-impaired people and really see collecting as my way of supporting their independence," says Jessie. "Each year I think this'll be my last appeal but while I'm still fit enough I'll keep on!"
During Blind Week (24-30 October) the RNZFB aims to raise $1.1 million with thousands of volunteers involved nationwide. If you are interested in joining this volunteer team, visit www.rnzfb.org.nz or call 0800 002 345 to talk to your local RNZFB Fundraising Manager about how you can help make Blind Week a success.
President for Cancer Society
Prominent Auckland surgeon Russell McIlroy has been elected President of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.
Mr McIlroy has had a distinguished medical career including a long association with Auckland Hospital, where he held the positions of clinical director urologist and clinical leader surgery. He was president of the Urological Society of Australasia in 2002, and has played a prominent role in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and numerous other New Zealand and international medical organisations.
He was an executive member of the Auckland Division of the Cancer Society from 1985, and was president from 2000 till 2006. He was instrumental in a successful fundraising campaign that led to the establishment of a joint venture between the society’s Cancer Research Laboratory and Auckland University for the ongoing development of drugs, some of which are being undertaken with the assistance of multi national companies.
Mr McIlroy was also involved in the introduction of the Relay for Life fundraising event and putting the financial affairs of the Auckland division on a sound financial position.
"Real-World Bulletin Boards Still a Communications Tool" - Tip of the Month from Susan Ellis
Despite the growing tools offered online to communicate with volunteers and to foster exchange among volunteers, don't forget the basics. This is a tip praising the old-fashioned, but still-powerful, bulletin board. Since bulletin boards are relatively inexpensive, add several to your supply budget. Here are a few places to mount them:
• By your desk, where it can be seen while someone sits and talks with you.
• Wherever volunteers, staff, and visitors might gather or wait in another part of your office.
• Outside the door of your office.
• In a staff lounge.
• In the public lobby, waiting room, or entrance hall of your agency's building.
If a bulletin board is colourful, neat, and looks cared for (i.e., outdated things removed, remaining items straightened, and new things posted often), people DO stop and read them. Help quick browsers by using large-letter headlines for sections of the board under which you’ll be posting monthly/weekly/daily items and tagging special and new things with coloured paper bursts (New! Read this! Surprise! You're invited!).
For the bulletin board directly at your desk and near office visitors, select an ever-changing array of things that you are proud of and consider it subliminal advertising! Even if only a few items catch someone’s eye, you can set the tone and raise expectations about volunteers by such things as:
• Photographs of volunteers doing something, especially something unexpected. Pick a shot that reflects the diversity of the volunteer corps, too. This not only informs everyone of what is going on, but is also great informal recognition for those involved.
• Pithy items extracted (and enlarged for easy reading at a distance) from your monthly report, such as a new service created, a rise in retention rates, or the completion of a goal.
• Letters of appreciation from clients, staff, and volunteers themselves.
• Advance notice of in-service training events, with the topic and speaker, not just the date.
All of these ideas work equally well in the other bulletin board locations, but emphasize things that matter the most to the people most likely to pass by each spot. For example, in the staff lounge, make sure the photos show both volunteers and staff. Nothing elicits more comment than frequently changing (and often funny) photographs. In the reception area, the bulletin board can include a holder for take-away literature about current volunteer opportunities - not just a standard, generic brochure, but something with a current date at the top and a list of openings today or a wish list of special talents you could put to use.
Humour is a great tool, too. Assign a few volunteers to be on the lookout with you for cartoons, jokes, and other bring-a-smile items that are relevant to your work, not just plain funny. Priority would be things about volunteering (you can start on the Energize site at http://www.energizeinc.com/reflect/joke.html), but offering humour related to your setting or type of work will also please people – and you are trying to gather the halo effect from offering this tiny respite to them. (You might even have a small credit line thanking the person who found the item, which will encourage anyone to give you something funny for another week.)
If you don't feel humour is appropriate, what about seeking "factoids" relevant to your work? Brief statistics, historical facts, or well-stated quotations will work as well as jokes to attract attention and buzz.
This may be a matter of taste, but try to avoid saccharine postings that feed into people’s outdated notions of volunteering. Don't put up birthdays, grandbaby announcements, and other personal items largely irrelevant to the rest of the staff or general public. (If you think volunteers themselves are interested, put these on the board where they hang their coats - but note that some volunteers think this sort of stuff is denigrating, too, so always be sure to have both types of postings.)
Remember why you're doing this: as a way to keep volunteering visible in your agency and position the volunteer services office as a "happening place." And I'll bet there are one or two volunteers out there who would love this assignment as Publicity Specialists.