While you probably assume that it is the woman making sandwiches – in fact both people pictured are dedicated volunteers for prominent non-profit organisations. Lauren Harvey volunteers with St Vincent de Paul working in their Casey-Cardinia food van and Michael Legge heads the Board of the Australian Red Cross.
While the word “volunteer” usually conjures up images of people, like Lauren, working at the grass-roots level, a significant proportion of volunteers in the non-profit sector are performing leadership roles. Leadership volunteers made an important contribution to the professionalism of the Sector and continue to help steer our industry into the future.
However, managing volunteer leaders is not without its pitfalls. In the lead up to National Volunteer Week from the 13th -19th of May, I urge you to review your volunteer leadership and ask yourself;
- Do we have access to all the skills and expertise we need?
- Do our volunteers give money as well as time?
- Do we have a low rate of absenteeism at board and committee meetings?
- Can our volunteer leaders deliver an accurate summary of our organisations activities and future direction.
- Do volunteer leaders know their role and consistently act within it?
- Is it time to formally thank our volunteers, individually and collectively?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you may benefit from an investment in leadership development. O’Keefe and Partners have a strong track record in this area and have helped countless non-profits over the years to get the most out of their volunteer boards, advisory committees, working groups and fundraising teams.
As Generation X and Y move into their peak professional years, there is an excellent opportunity for charitable organisations to engage them through volunteer leadership roles. A relationship with a non-profit becomes beneficial at this point in their lives as they are looking for ways to challenge their skills, widen their experiences and to engage professionally in a way that is more fulfilling.
To find out how your organisation could benefit from leadership development phone Julie Johnson on 1300 721 799.
For more information about National Volunteer Week visit www.volunteeringaustralia.org and register on their mailing list to receive regular National Volunteer Week updates.
OKP, April 2013