Saturday, June 9, 2012

Volunteer Manager = Project Manager

So in case I haven’t said it yet, planning is paramount in your job as a volunteer manager.  If you don’t take the time to plan, you will fall into one of three categories:
1.      You spend all your time recruiting because you are losing them as fast as you find them
2.      You spend all your time with the volunteers because you aren’t setting them up for success
3.      You are clueless and think all those names you haven’t touched in ages are attached to people who will actually show up when you need them most

You have several jobs as a Disaster Volunteer manager; you might even say you are a project manager:
1.      You have to recruit volunteers
  • Putting up posters
  • Presentations
  • Facebook
  • Interviews with the media
  • Always talking up your unit

2.      You have to process the paperwork for those volunteers (and answer questions, and orient them to the unit)
  • Signatures
  •  Background checks
  • Testing
  • Files

3.      You have Manage their files and them
  • You have some type of filing system
  • Some type of checklist to make sure everything is done
  • Reporting to someone

4.      You have to find and often conduct training for them, disaster volunteers need training and exercising to be ready
  • Training whether it’s on-line of in person takes time, to set up and conduct (and then you have to document they were there)

5.      And if you want to keep them you have to find appropriate and fulfilling assignments for them; I think this is the most difficult and time consuming
  •  Find the event
  • Set it up
  • Ask for volunteers from your volunteers
  • Set up the schedule, where to go, when to be there
  • Check up on them, thank them in person 
  •  And of course when it’s over the reports, document their files, etc.

However, if you are doing things correctly you will be the volunteer manager who can:

  • Spend their time meeting your volunteers for coffee on Saturday mornings
  • Accompanying them on projects and watching with pride as they do their thing
  • Work on other projects (you probably have other things to do)

Treat your work like a project, breaking it into smaller pieces and see how fast you will accomplish things and how effective you will become.


No comments: