International Volunteer Managers Day is marked on Friday, 5 November, and is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate those who work to manage, lead and enable volunteers throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
Volunteer trends were changing prior to the global pandemic, and have dramatically shifted since, especially seen in access to funding, changing demographics of volunteer recruits and regional differences, Volunteering New Zealand research shows.
“Volunteer managers responded with strategic leadership and created partnerships and collaborations to continue to thrive. Now volunteer-involving managers and organisations need to build their resilience and connections to ensure volunteering is recognised as delivering vital services, as well as protecting the wellbeing of our society,” says Michelle Kitney, Chief Executive Volunteering New Zealand.
An example of progressive volunteer leadership is the organisation Blind Low Vision NZ. Karmin Mudaly, National Volunteer Manager says Blind Low Vision NZ has integrated volunteers throughout the organisation and is future proofing its volunteer function, by forward-thinking and embracing innovative ideas.
“We have a proactive approach to engaging and managing our volunteers with a positive, easy, onboarding process, coupled with an opportunity-specific training plan,” Karmin says.
Blind Low Vision NZ’s approach includes:
· creating a pipeline for volunteer engagement
· multi-departmental collaboration
· co-designed volunteer opportunities
· proactive engagement with migrant and ethnic communities and other organisations
· developing key relationships within the youth sector.
“The future of volunteering lies in engaging with all aspects of our communities’ demographics and by utilising the vast array of identifiable skills that our volunteers bring with them,” Karmin says.
Read more from Karmin Mudaly here.
The theme of International Volunteer Managers Day #IVMDay21 is What is Excellence? Shape the Future of Volunteering. A webinar on leaders of volunteer engagement as part of a series, Let’s Talk about Volunteering, will be held on IVM Day, Friday 5 November. Find out more here.