Posts By: Rob Jackson

Three ways to tell if senior managers really value volunteers

Volunteers’ Week is upon us again, starting on Monday 1 June.  The annual celebration of volunteering and the contribution of volunteers to our society seems to roll around faster and faster every year. Events are planned across the country to recognise, reward and recruit volunteers. Many of these will feature chief executives and senior managers giving… Read more »

Why are we requiring would-be students to volunteer?

The voluntary and community sector is known for its commitment to fairness and social justice. When it comes to volunteering, the sector has long been concerned about anything that might undermine the accepted core principles of volunteerism – time given, of someone’s own free will and without concern for financial gain, in order to make… Read more »

Volunteering: from the cradle to the grave

Last month saw the publication of the final report of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector & Ageing. The report is presented in an engaging way and runs to a mere thirteen pages – so there’s no excuse not to read it. In fact, it is essential reading for anyone who works in the voluntary sector… Read more »

Is our definition of volunteering out of date?

A couple of weeks ago, Volunteering Australia announced its decision to review its definition of volunteering. The chief executive of Volunteering Tasmania, Adrienne Picone, wrote a helpful blog outlining the issues involved – it is well worth a read. I wonder if the time is right for us to go through a similar exercise here… Read more »

Volunteering: are we learning from the past?

It may be me, but I get the distinct feeling that looking backwards seems to be more and more unacceptable. In our world, which moves at ever-increasing speed, and where the pace of change becomes more and more relentless, time to look back, reflect and learn seems to become increasingly rare. Instead we move from… Read more »

Why volunteer management and brain surgery are alike

For five weeks before Christmas I had to change my work routine. I normally work from home, but I’d sold my house and the new place wasn’t ready until the 19 December. So, while living with my future in-laws, I’d rented an office in the volunteer-run local museum in Grantham.

Volunteering in 2015: the times they are a-changing

These two tweets summarised my reflections at the Westminster Briefing event looking at Volunteering in 2015. It was an interesting day with a good mix of speakers (including yours truly) who challenged, encouraged and debated with attendees on topics including impact measurement, social enterprise, local and national government policy, social media and the role of… Read more »

A challenge to charities for Trustees’ Week

November sees Trustees’ Week roll around again. This is the fifth year the week has been observed, and the organisers have an enviable list of big-name supporters including NCVO, the Charity Commission (England & Wales), OSCR and infrastructure bodies across the UK. According to the Trustees’ Week website, there are around one million trustee positions… Read more »

By calling for diversity, we disregard existing volunteers

Certain groups of people are under-represented in formal volunteering. We all know that, right? Quite rightly, we are often called upon to open up our organisations to these under-represented groups. We are challenged to broaden the diversity of our volunteer teams and to tackle any practical barriers to the engagement of a wide pool of… Read more »

Want new volunteers? It’s time to get creative

Two recent articles in Third Sector have highlighted the challenge facing volunteer-involving organisations in the coming months and years. One of these  – a piece of research which says today’s volunteers will demand more challenging tasks in their retirement – shows that the new breed of baby boomer volunteers are unlikely to engage in the… Read more »