Stand Up for our Profession

Susan Ellis is one of only a handful of internationally recognized speakers in the field of volunteer management. And, thanks to AVRBC, she was in Victoria last week to help inspire administrators of volunteer resources from across the province.  

As you might expect from an expert practitioner, author, researcher, and advocate with more than 30 years experience in the voluntary sector Ellis’s presentation was crammed with nuggets of wisdom and skilled intention. Her straight to the point messages about the importance and power of volunteerism hit the proverbial nails on the head.

Ellis’s presentation was not, however, a gentle walk down memory lane. She challenges all coordinators, managers, and advocates of volunteers to revisit our personal and organizational assumptions about how we articulate and recognize the value of volunteerism and asks us to address any complacency that weakens the impact of our profession and collective work. Her point is that if volunteer management professionals don’t determine the future of our sector, who will?

Here are just a few Ellis inspired questions to contemplate:

– How do we inspire more emerging professionals to choose volunteer management as an intentional career path?
– There are very few accredited Volunteer Management Training programs in Canada and trends suggest that established programs across the world are closing. How do we sustain and share research about volunteer management related issues and advocate for volunteer management training as a priority for our sector?
– How do we ensure that volunteerism is identified as an essential service  (like IT or HR) across the entire organization and is not viewed as just an isolated program function?
– What steps will we personally take to ensure that volunteer managers have the tools and resources we need to respond to emerging trends and increasing demands for volunteer services from both the non-profit and public sector?
– How will we share best practices and learnings with each other?

The questions may be simple, but the solutions are complex and far reaching.

Volunteer Victoria, and our colleagues and peers at AVRBC, Volunteer BC, and Volunteer Canada welcome you to share your ideas and experiences in volunteer management. Visit our websites to find out how you can get connected and thanks for choosing this profession!

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