At its most basic level, volunteer management is the selection, supervision and engagement of volunteers. But it’s much more than that. Volunteer management opens an organization to the community and allows citizens to get involved.
Managers of volunteers ensure the well-being and happiness of an organization’s volunteers. They keep volunteer programs effective and engaging.
Depending on an organization’s structure, size and resources, volunteer resource management can be undertaken by a full-time paid professional, as one aspect of another staff position or by a volunteer. Some organizations integrate their human resources management systems to include everyone who completes work on behalf of the organization—whether they are paid employees, volunteers, community service participants, interns or students on job placements. No matter how the position fits within the organization, volunteer resource management plays an essential role in driving any volunteer-involving organization’s mission.
Successful organizations offer a range of volunteer roles that allow people to get involved in ways that suit their schedules and meet their needs. The role of managers of volunteers is to work with volunteers to ensure that their needs are being met along with the needs of the organization.
Volunteer resource management practices have evolved to create a two-way relationship with today’s volunteers. Now, managers of volunteers try to work with volunteers in ways that consider the volunteers’ goals and interests, as well as the needs of the organization.
Volunteer engagement is an important function in any organization, as it ensures the health and sustainability of the organization’s volunteer program. Associations and post-secondary schools offer courses in volunteer resource management and volunteer administration. Below is a sample of programs offered in Canada: