Yes, we’re not above bandwagon jumping with Thoughtful Thursdays so this week we’re inevitably thinking about the Olympics, and in particular the opening ceremony. Plenty has already been written about how fantastic it was to see the contribution of volunteers celebrated on such a big stage. If you haven’t already you can read more about it here http://ivo.org/newshound/news/a-vision-of-volunteers-opens-london-2012
Equally there have already been discussions about what the sector can learn from the Olympic volunteering programme. We try to be original here so we’re not going to ask you to think about that either. Although if you missed it you might want to have a read of the chat session on the Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2012/jul/19/voluntary-sector-olympic-legacy
We’re all about the Volunteer Managers with #ttvolmgrs So this week, inspired by the Olympic theme, we’re asking you to think about what a celebration of Volunteer Managers might look like. It was great to hear reports that Danny Boyle personally thanked all the volunteers involved in the opening ceremony, and as Volunteer Managers we all know how important it is to show appreciation. But we should also be prepared to take time to shout about the work of VM’s too. Reading news sites from around the world a common theme picked up about the opening ceremony was how we played to our national stereotype with plenty of knowing self deprecation. Volunteer Managers might be equally uncomfortable with grand displays of self praise, after all we do it out of love and conviction don’t we? It’s a light hearted topic this week and knowing some of the regulars I’m expecting tongue in cheek tweets, but there’s a serious point too. If we want people to see the importance of the profession we’ve got to be ready to shout about it.
We often talk about the unique skills that are required to manage volunteers and how its not a role that just anyone can do well; but what do we actually mean by this and how would you show it? There seems to be a much clearer understanding around other professions of the aptitudes and traits needed to succeed, so how do we define what it takes for professionals who manage volunteers to get the job done and to exceed expectations?
I once attended training that had been adapted from a business focus to be voluntary sector friendly. All they’d done was to add pictures of kittens to all the slides (seriously). It’s probably a common view that the sector is full of well meaning kitten lovers with a fairly generic skillset. This is your (virtual) chance to blow a £27M budget on showing what it really takes to co-ordinate, lead and inspire the efforts of all the great people who choose to donate their time to your charity.
So the stage is yours, put yourself in Danny Boyle’s shoes and tell us how you’d fill the Olympic stadium with a celebration of the work of Volunteer Managers. How would you illustrate the diverse skills needed in the profession in a few short hours? Follow Danny Boyle’s lead and be bold, creative and have fun with your suggestions. Select the person you’d like to see jump out of a helicopter (with or without the union flag parachute), let us know who gets to light the flame, explore the history of the profession, or just pick some appropriate tunes from the #VMjukebox.
To join the twitter chat use the hashtag #ttvolmgrs or leave comments below to share your expanded thoughts.
We look forward to hearing them as always!