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Month: December 2016

Non attendance

Non attendance


Does anyone have a template for a letter I could send to volunteers who have been absent for a long period of time? We cannot keep their details on our database any longer so I would like to inform them that despite repeated attempts to contact them, they have not responded and thus will be removed from the volunteer database.

I’m hoping it will serve as a reminder to some of them to get them to come back!


I Said

How to fire a volunteer

How to fire a volunteer

how-toOne of the things I like about volunteer groups is the level of discussion – it’s not “What should the table centerpieces for our volunteer thank you luncheon be?” or “How do you recruit volunteers” but, rather, “How are we going to respond to this new government policy/practice” or “What are your success stories re: working with online volunteers.” I so appreciate that!

With that in mind… I saw this question on an online discussion group that shall remain nameless, and wanted to pass it on. I’m wondering not only how you would answer, but also, what this question might say about how many people view volunteers and the role of managers of volunteers.

Here is the question:

I have a really super awkward situation where I need to “fire” a volunteer – I’ve tried everything, such as finding non-people related tasks (work on this at home! You Don’t have to come in!!) and even referring to other agencies (sorry fellow nonprofits!) but the volunteer keeps coming back, wanting to work with us. I feel bad, because I realize that this person is really passionate about our work, but internally, is referred to as the Rain Cloud (RC) – we are just too small of a staff working long hard hours with very high needs clients to extend that to a volunteer.

HELP! Has anyone had to do this? Ideally I’d still like RC to champion our work and leave feeling ok – 5 years here and this is definitely a first! Tips, suggestions and/or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated!

————- end of question ———–

Again – I’m wondering not only how you would answer, but even more, I’d love to hear what you think when you read this question about how so many people view volunteers and the role of volunteer managers.

I was gobsmacked when I read that role description

I was gobsmacked when I read that role description

I was gobsmacked when I read that role description.

And that’s for an ASSISTANT Volunteer Coordinator, which suggests there is actually a Volunteer Coordinator post already in existence at the online financial organization MtpLoans which is offering an innovative product – installment loans with almost instant approval. It would be interesting to see THAT job description.

There is always the possibility that the volunteer would be supporting these activities rather than taking charge of them all, but that is certainly not what the advert suggests.

While I believe that many volunteers are capable of carrying out these sort of roles, I totally agree with Kate that it would be more appropriate to break the role down into several volunteering opportunities alone.

To be honest I think it may even be too much for someone in a paid position. Supervising a Mentoring Programme for 40 people alone sounds like a full-time job.

Just wanted to back up the ‘call to action’ to feed in to AVM and perhaps more importantly to let others in the field know about AVM, UKVPMs and i-volunteer, just as three (but by no means all) key resources and voice pieces we have to help raise the profile of the profession.

I have just returned from a local volunteer coordinators meeting in the northwest where so many in the room didn’t know about any of this support, so it’s up to us to make sure we are spreading the word as much as possible – for one thing, it encourages a much wider view for individual volunteer managers and their organizations and this is something that needs to continue to develop.

am I playing devil’s advocate today? has anyone contacted that organisation and the person advertising the role to signpost them to this site and the comments on this site so that they may be able to explain it all away to us. It may be a learning point for them and a start from us all to say we are not standing for this?

Wearing my trustee’s hat I have to say I would be fairly peeved if someone took it upon themselves to look at the volunteer opportunities on my website and told me they weren’t acceptable (assuming the opportunities were all legal, safe etc.)

I wonder whether the organisation in fact has someone lined up to fill the opportunity and they are simply trying to follow their equal opportunities policy by advertising it openly.

If this isn’t the case, it would be interesting to know if they do succeed in recruiting such a paragon of volunteers. I would be surprised if someone could come in “cold” and do it. Lots of volunteers in the animal welfare field have comparable workloads, but mostly they’ll have started on a small scale and worked up to the “entirely takes over your life” state.

Firstly As a response to RSPCA Cambridge, as a trustee I would welcome it. it would inform me that perhaps I am expecting too much from a volunteer and then would then review it, learn from it and then not be disappointed that as soon as a volunteer starts the role they then leave after a few weeks only to have to go through the process again. I would welcome someone pointing this out and so would many other organisation.

As part of a national project looking at improving the role of volunteer managers, I personally feel this does this role a dis-service, the role is important and should be highly regarded and treated professionally.

Do I know what I am talking about? YES been a trustee and successful volunteer manager plus I also oversee a county of them.

To all,Perhaps this organisation is new and has not had much guidance in the development of this role so lets help them develop a better role and serve themselves better.