You’re Not Alone, Volunteer Managers

International Volunteer Managers DayEven though sometimes it may feel that way. In fact, just over ten years ago a holiday was created especially to celebrate and appreciate your work. This Friday, November 5th is International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD).

The media, celebrities, politicians, and everyone else often recognize the important contribution of volunteers. But when was the last time there was a media blitz about the dedicated people who recruit, train, and manage them? It’s easy to forget these behind-the-scenes folks who make a huge difference to the volunteers who give their time and to the nonprofits who benefit from it.

Below are just a few reasons why we should all give our volunteer managers a big hug:

  • Volunteer managers “practice the art of the possible,” enabling people to solve the problems in their communities.
  • Volunteer managers and their well-run volunteer programs show community members and potential donors that your nonprofit is involved in the community and using its assets efficiently and effectively.
  • Engaged, dedicated volunteers, managed by volunteer managers, can bring your nonprofit public relations and advocacy benefits that you couldn’t buy even if you tried.

Unfortunately, we have to spell these things out because often they are forgotten in the day-to-day rush of nonprofit life. But if you’re a volunteer manager and you’re feeling frustrated, remember that you’re not alone! There are other volunteer managers all over the world dealing with the same challenges and rewards, and IVMD proves it.

In addition to celebrating this special day, as a volunteer manager there are resources and communities out there to help you succeed at and love your job at the same time. VolunteerMatch’s new Volunteering Resource Library on the IdeaEncore Network is a great place to share your knowledge and learn from others. Idealist.org also has a great Volunteer Management Resource Library.

In the land of email lists, CyberVPM is a networking group for volunteer managers and an excellent platform to ask advice, take polls, and connect with people who might be able to contribute to your work.

Make sure to post your volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch and keep them updated. It’s by far the easiest way to recruit great volunteers without spending a dime.

If you’re an executive director, marketer, or other nonprofit staffer, take the opportunity of International Volunteer Managers Day to show your appreciation for the person who makes sure there are plenty of supporters to fulfill your mission.

IVMD Resources: