Those of you who are responsible for the management of volunteers have a lot on your plate. From planning volunteer roles, writing and editing role descriptions, to recruitment, screening, matching, and supervising....it's a lot! At times, it may feel like there's just too much to handle and you start to wonder where the help you need is going to come from. Look close to home, at the resources already available to you - your volunteers!
What if you engaged one or two volunteers as 'assistant volunteer managers' to assist you in certain parts of your role. Create a new set of responsibilities and tasks for your volunteer assistants, you're also giving more volunteers an opportunity to gain worthwhile skills and experience as well as a deeper understanding of the world of volunteer management. So what kind of tasks can these volunteer assistants do to support you?
...and so many more!
Have a think about the various parts of your role where you could use some extra help and consider whether any of those can be supported by a volunteer assistant. Make sure to consult your organisation's policies, like confidentiality and privacy, before you enlist any volunteers to support certain parts of your role.
What if I need to convince my board I need the support?
So you know you need the support and you've identified where volunteers can help, but how do you convince your board that this is a great idea?
A volunteer assistant is a valued and important role that will help you sustain and even improve the volunteer programme while simultaneously increasing your organisation's capacity to provide its programmes. The volunteer programmes will achieve more, you will achieve more, and you'll be giving your volunteers opportunities and pathways for leadership. It also helps volunteers feel connected to the organisation in a different way.
Volunteer engagement is at the heart of your role, so a volunteer assistant can help you develop your volunteer programme and improve your organisation!