November 24, 2013

A Letter to Volunteering New Zealand

Posted in Good news stories, Leadership, Managers Matter tagged , , , at 3:56 am by Sue Hine

collab korero

Dear Volunteering New Zealand –

Now that the conference is over and a welcome summer break is on the horizon I hope you are reflecting with pride on what a remarkable year 2013 has been for the community and voluntary sector, and particularly for VNZ.  Indeed, over the past three years progress in promoting understanding and practice in volunteering and management of volunteers has been amazing.

The Management of Volunteers Programme may have been an initial spur through engaging with individuals and organisations across the sector.  It was like we had been waiting for someone to take the lead and provide the forum to plan and implement what we were looking for.  Thank you for rising to the challenge, and for the resulting publications.

VNZ’s enhanced promotion and publicity throughout this year has boosted the core business of promoting and valuing volunteering.  Communication technology has been exploited to showcase issues and achievements, and to publish local and global news.  Attracting volunteers and interns for projects and research demonstrates to the wider community your confidence in volunteer skills and attributes to support your work programmes.

You are illustrating the practice of collaboration and partnership most visibly in sharing office space and in the partnership agreement with ANGOA, Social Development Partners and Community Research.  The Collaborative Kōrero* conference this week was another step in show-casing how working together can produce outstanding outcomes.

It was a bold move to call for questions, inviting participants to shape the content, rather than people like me submitting abstracts on their pet topics.  The Conference Committee did well to distil a programme that covered standard concerns (recruitment, technology, HR vs MV, and measuring impact) yet giving space and a novel approach to listen and discuss these topics in different ways.  I look forward to revisiting plenary sessions on YouTube.  The Kōrero continued outside the workshops, swapping stories and learning from each other.  I wonder if anyone has noticed the conversations were not so much about volunteering, or civil society or fundraising and marketing – the focus was squarely on responsibilities of managing volunteers and leading volunteer programmes.  As the by-line says, “great volunteer programmes do not fall out of the sky”.

I think you would be the first to admit that none of these successes have happened in isolation.  They drew impetus from improved use and scope of technology, on the surge of corporate social responsibility and business volunteering, on developing working relations with government ministries, on (sadly) events like Christchurch earthquakes and the Rena oil spill, and on international connections through attending conferences and on-line networks.

At your AGM earlier this week I was surprised there were no supporting comments from the floor for the work you have done and the achievements that were noted in reports.  So I have taken time and a few more words to express my appreciation.  Of course there is still much to do, and I wish you well for the good ideas that will turn into projects and further successes.

Sincerely –

Your Independent Advocate

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2 Comments »

  1. Vanisa Dhiru said,

    Sue, a belated ‘public’ thank you for your words. Your blog is always a source of new thinking – and reminders for us all of the thinking we need to remember and take with us daily when we volunteer, or work with or alongside volunteers.

    We really appreciate your support and I value your contribution towards at Collaborative Korero. Thank you for attending and for being a continued supporter of VNZ’s work within the wider Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary sector in Aotearoa.

    Like

    • Sue Hine said,

      Thank you Vanisa. As a volunteer I always like being appreciated, and as a volunteer I like to support VNZ and organisations that know and understand and promote volunteering, and the management of volunteers.

      Like


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