January 15, 2012

A Year in Review

Posted in Annual Review, Managers Matter, Professional Development, Recognition of Volunteering tagged , at 4:58 am by Sue Hine

A year ago I did my usual New Year reflection on the past and looked forward with new aspirations.  A year ago I was hoping a few more managers of volunteers could make a better deal for volunteers and their organisations, and specially for themselves. And I wished those who had a good deal going for them would reach out to help others learn what they need to know.

Now it is time to issue the report card.

  • Access as of employment right to Professional Development –  I have not taken a measure on this wish, whether organisations have come to recognise the value of on-going training for their managers of volunteers; nor whether there has been an increase in taking up formal training, mentoring or supervision .  But I do know the Volunteering NZ’s Management of Volunteers Programme (MVP) is working on a Learning and Development Pathway, a range of options appropriate for small and large organisations, for entry-level up to advanced standard.
  • Fewer managers floundering in their role, struggling to find help.  The ‘too busy, no time’ syndrome continues to prevail, despite the interest expressed by workshop participants for mentoring and peer support groups.  So I have to wonder if leaders need to improve their marketing skills, or to resort to leg-roping people so we can demonstrate just how much benefit there is in setting aside an hour every so often for chewing fat with colleagues, for problem-solving, learning new strategies and techniques.  As I have said before, “you cannot afford not to take time”.  On the plus side the MVP workshops held around the country have spawned a number of local ‘Leadership Groups’ and I expect to see some positive outcomes for managers of volunteers during 2012.
  • During IYV+10 there should be some public and organisational recognition of Managers of Volunteers who keep Volunteering keeping on.  This wish has a flat-as-a-pancake outcome.  No formal government acknowledgement, no special funding, and no organisation (to my knowledge) doing a public demonstration of appreciation to their manager of volunteers.  Except for Heather Moore of Volunteering Waikato winning the AAVA Award of Excellence – a grand achievement.  Except there should be much more, and more widely publicised.  (Read earlier blogs on Honouring Local Heroes and The Year that Got Lost)  However, there is a big tick going to Volunteering NZ for the daily post, November 5 – December 5 offering biopics about volunteers and managers of volunteers – well worth a look for the range of organisations and activities, and achievements.
  • Professional Status.  The Volunteering NZ Conference held in May was a big step forward, including ‘Developing the Leaders’ as a principal stream.  There was further consolidation at the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management, also held inWellington following the VNZ Conference.  The biggest achievement of the year is for MVP to be included in VNZ’s work programme.  Those of us involved are seeing very clearly the ultimate advantage for the wellbeing and efficacy of volunteer services, for enhanced organisational performance, and for recognition of the professional standing of managers of volunteers.  Watch this space!

My last great wish a year ago was for a disaster free year.  Well that fell flat in Christchurch, as early as February 22, closely followed by the tsunami in Japan.  Floods, volcano eruptions, typhoons and cyclones, and more earthquakes pummeled the rest of the globe in varying degrees.  And an oil-spill off New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty continues to threaten environmental damage.  There is not much of an up-side in times of disaster, but 2011 has surely been the year for praising and rejoicing in the work of volunteers during times of crisis. I am not surprised – looking out for others in times of need, and offering service when no-one else is around – that’s what volunteers do, right?

In looking ahead, I draw on another manager’s wishes for 2012:

I want to continue to appreciate and support the great team of volunteers, to enhance the services we offer clients, to listen twice as much as I talk, and to get some ‘me’ time.

Amen, I say – that’s what managers of volunteers do, right?


  1. Alison said,

    Thanks Sue-I loved the ‘mangers wishes for 2012’ a good goal for us all! I also would love to see more mentoring and peer support happening in Wgtn so hope that the raised awareness, thanks to people like you, will encourage us all to start talking to other MVS and get a bit of momentum happening! it really does feel like we are a more united group now and we have lots of opportunities to draw on each other for inspiration, support and new learning. I look forward to 2012 and supporting any moves to help support the valuable work of MVS. thanks for your great blog-keep it up!!


  2. Great to get to work and find your welcome blog in my in-box Sue. I have copied the Manager’s wishes for 2012 and will put it on my noticeboard.


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