Volunteer Management - The Essentials

Logo: Volunteer Scotland
(Volunteer Scotland)
(Volunteer Scotland)

Levels of volunteering have remained relatively stable over the last 5 years, with around three in ten adults providing unpaid help to organisations or groups. In 2015, 27 per cent of adults provided unpaid help to organisations or groups. (Scottish Household Survey).

Key to any successful volunteering programme is the need to hear the volunteer’s voice. It is crucial that volunteers are engaged and asked what they want and need to have a positive volunteer experience – volunteer involving organisations (VIOs) should cater for the volunteer not the other way around.

Volunteer Scotland is the only national centre for volunteering in Scotland and receives funded support from the Scottish Government and others to:

  • Research, demonstrate and measure the impact made by volunteers.
  • Work with organisations who can influence volunteering such as funders, Government and policy makers.
  • Support paid staff and volunteers to develop skills through accessing training and easy to use volunteer development tools.
  • Offer a one stop digital gateway to everyone in Scotland who wants to post and advertise or find volunteering opportunities.
  • Provide an expert Disclosure Service for voluntary organisations.
(Volunteer Scotland)
(Volunteer Scotland)

Defining Volunteers’ Needs
Within Volunteer Scotland, the Volunteering Services team aims to grow effective volunteer participation by improving volunteer leadership and management practice within volunteer involving organisations.

(Volunteer Scotland)
(Volunteer Scotland)

The team started by putting themselves in the shoes of a volunteer by drawing on their personal volunteering experiences.   Once these needs had been identified we wanted to define what an organisation would need to have in place to ensure volunteers got that good volunteer experience. The discussion led to the creation of the volunteer management model.

Since the development of the Volunteer Management Model it has also become a life cycle as shown below.   The detail within each stage defines what volunteers need in order to have a good volunteering experience.

The real value in the volunteer management model and life cycle is that it highlights aspects that each organisation needs to consider when managing volunteers but it is flexible enough that they can decide what is right for the individual volunteer, volunteer roles and their organisation.

(Volunteer Scotland)
(Volunteer Scotland)

The volunteer management model and life cycles have proven themselves to be useful tools for considering the needs of volunteers within volunteer management practice.   It is important to continue to listen to the volunteer voice and ensure that the model remains relevant to what volunteers need for a great experience. We hope that by continuing to promote this volunteer management model, it will have a lasting and positive

impact on volunteers’ experience; which in turn will enhance the wellbeing of individuals and the wider community and increase the overall level of volunteer participation in Scotland.  

All of the training courses offered at Volunteer Scotland sit within the Volunteer Management model and our training calendar and further resources can be found on our website.

Use the promotional code CJS FOCUS for 10% off any of our training courses. (Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis)

First published in CJS Focus on Volunteering in association with the Keep Britain Tidy on 13 February 2017