In a session on volunteering, hosted by Geoff Sharp from Volunteering Victoria, a range of topics were discussed from how to get more volunteers to engaging young people.
“It is really easy to write a cheque or make a donation but there is nothing more valuable in this modern age than time. When you volunteer you give your time, that has high value,” said Sharp.
Asked the most important thing they have learnt from managing volunteers, the two panel members said:
Nikki Brogan, FBi Sydney: “I have learnt the importance of keeping in touch with volunteers, both when they are part of the organisation and also when they move on.”
Benjamin Erin, 8CCC Gove: “Have things ready for volunteers, when they come in they want something to do immediately, so have things ready.”
Brogan: “There are young people out there who want to volunteer, but make sure that the oportunities you are offereing are appealing to them. Make sure they have an actual purpose and how they are contributing to then bigger picture.”
Erin: “Don’t feel resentful when people move on, they will go on to be ambassadors for your station even when they are no longer there, if they have had a good experience… Make them feel valued when they are at the station.”
Other tips include:
Tell stories of how people have developed skills that have led them to other opportunities, study or jobs.
Track the ebb and flow of volunteers in your organisaiton to know how many and why people are leaving and coming in.
Keep the funnel wide and keep them coming in, because there is always movement.
Volunteering is essential because we need community in community broadcasting.
State volunteering organisations run courses on how to manage volunteers out, you need some training in managing volunteers, especially managing them out of the organisation if there is a need.