January 29, 2012
Yet another acronym: MVP
Here is another test for your up-to-datedness. In New Zealand we use MVP in our chatter about the Volunteering NZ programme for developing Managers of Volunteers. The programme is going great guns on a Learning and Development pathway for professional development, and on organisational development for best practice in engaging with volunteers.
Some of us, and a heap of others outside our sector, will be alerted to a different interpretation of MVP. Kids at Saturday sport competitions will know what MVP stands for. Individuals in amateur and professional sport teams, local and international, glow with pride when they are accorded the accolade of MVP.
MVP = Most Valued Player.
Of course, you knew that! It’s what you tell volunteers every day, every annual celebration, every award ceremony. Now I am asking you to think again, to think about the MVP when it comes to managing volunteers in your organisation.
OK – you may not be a designated ‘manager’ for volunteers; you may be the sole employee responsible for programmes and policy and the people, the whole caboodle; or you might have to take charge of volunteers as part of other responsibilities.
The question is, regardless of whether you are a bona fide full-time, or part-time manager of volunteers, or you are yourself a volunteer coordinating and managing volunteers – whatever your role or status – how do you rate as an MVP with your organisation? You are welcome to offer your own assessment. But really, I want to hear from your board or committee, and the Executive, and from other staff.
Because, if your organisation engages volunteers in service delivery, fundraising, promotion, or whatever, the staff, the executive and the board need to appreciate and acknowledge just how much goes into recruitment, training, deployment, supervising, reviewing, programme development… and, and, and…..
Which is why you need to stand up and tell them just why managers of volunteers should be the heroes, the MVPs, of your organisation.
It may just happen that the MVP in your organisation is not you, but is identified among other people who recognise, give full credit to, hold up the banner for, that added value that volunteers bring to your organisation. That is when your organisation is on track to become a whole lot greater than the sum of its parts.
This post is the last for January, and the last until mid-March. I will be away travelling in outposts of southern China and Laos, sans mobile phone or notebook computer or anything. I hope to come back with a couple of stories on NGOs in foreign parts.