NCVS Volunteering Development Officer, Dave Thomas, writes:
Volunteers really can do anything! Every day, in organisations and groups across Nottingham, volunteers are stepping up to tackle a myriad of different challenges. The most effective volunteers also have good leadership. That’s where Leaders of Volunteers come in.
We might call them Volunteer Managers, Volunteer Coordinators or Volunteer Supervisors – or they could have “supporting volunteers” bolted on to the end of another job title. They could be paid workers, but many are volunteers themselves. They all provide the vital support, engagement and, yes, leadership for volunteers in their organisations.
I know of Leaders of Volunteers who go way beyond recruitment, training and supervision into areas of emotional and personal support. Leaders of Volunteers put tremendous effort into recognition and reward for volunteers. The success of Volunteers' Week events proves this.
Leaders of Volunteers are as amazing and multi-skilled as the volunteers that they lead. But as a voluntary sector, we give far more attention to volunteers than to those who lead them.
Did you know there is an International Volunteer Managers Day?
The day is currently celebrated on 5 November each year and the theme for 2023 is "Helping others help". Here's the timeline behind this day of recognition:
- Back in 1999, International Volunteer Managers Day (IVM Day) was founded and observed for the first time. The push for IVM Day was led by American Nan Hawthorn who helped form a committee to explore a day recognising the work of Volunteer Managers. IVM Day was developed in order to bring recognition to individual Managers of Volunteers and their roles in the mobilisation and support of the world’s volunteers.
- Up until 2005, IVM Day shared its day of celebration with International Volunteers Day on 5 December.
- In 2006, the IVM Day International Supporters Group was formed. This group of key leaders and organisations from around the world helps to spread the word about IVM Day.
- IVM Day moved to its own day in 2006 and was celebrated initially on 1 November. A clash with key dates in Europe saw a final shift to the day’s current date of 5 November in 2008.
How will you celebrate?
At NCVS, we're proud to celebrate and support Leaders of Volunteers all year round. We are here to motivate and help you to keep on "helping others help".
If you aren't yet part of our Leaders of Volunteers Network (LoVN), think about signing up. Find out more about LoVN.