Today I’d like to welcome Yasmin Rampuri from the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria who has written the following guest blog post for us about her experiences taking our recent Overview of Volunteer Management certificate course. Congratulations to all 23 of our 2009 course graduates!
Over four Saturdays in October and November I had the great pleasure of attending Volunteer Victoria’s excellent Overview of Volunteer Management Course. The course was facilitated by two engaging and very experienced leaders in the Volunteer Management field, Diane Kirby and Theresa Vogel. Each of them led two of the Saturdays, and brought their different styles to bear on the information presented.
Topics covered included: planning and designing a volunteer program; recruitment and retention of volunteers; dealing with difficult situations in volunteer management; evaluation of volunteer programs and the place of volunteers within an organization; and innovative ways of recognizing volunteers.
There was some homework, but it was all very applicable to our actual work as volunteer coordinators and many of us were able to use this effort to great benefit in our offices. The considered feedback of our facilitators gave us the ability to improve our outputs in a way we would not get if we had just done these projects at work since many of us are the only ones who do what we do where we work. We also worked on case studies garnered from real life examples of the class participants, carefully made anonymous, and this proved to be very helpful in providing solutions to some challenges we’ve faced, or may face in the future.
Meeting the other participants was also a very positive offshoot of attending the course. It presented a great networking opportunity and was also a fantastic way of getting to know about many other organizations who work with volunteers in Greater Victoria, and what a difference these organizations make in the community. We also had chances to do commercials for both personal and professional events.
At the conclusion of the course, a graduation ceremony was held, and certificates were presented to all the members of the Class of 2009. Both Diane and Theresa were in attendance as well as Beth Cougler Blom of Volunteer Victoria and Nancy Martens of VIHA in their roles as the South Island co-reps of the Administrators of Volunteer Resources BC. We all had the chance to “give ourselves a clap!”. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who works with volunteers!