Like every individual who intends to volunteer, I had some inhibitions too when I agreed to volunteer for GYAN on ‘Volunteer Management’. Having served at various roles for 8.5 years and a background of volunteer management didn’t add to letting off my fear and nervousness. The ‘yes’to taking the workshop was soon followed by constant push from the facilitators on:
- Do you have a form to capture participants’ expectations?
- What do you intend to leave participants with?
- What will be the essence of the 5 hrs session?
I regretted saying ‘Yes’ and went on to creating different documents which will help me understand their existing practices and some which will help them manage their volunteers better.
To my surprise I started liking what I was doing; I was really a consultant to all these big ‘Volunteer driven’ organisation helping them design better strategy. This role was explored by me in the past but this time it was different. It gave me satisfaction and it didn’t bore me. It added value to my experience, streaks of working with different causes, different needs, limited resources and different professionals. Professionals who came with vast experience of volunteer management and from different background- all working towards one common goal of creating difference in the Society through volunteers. The thought was enough to give me Goosebumps!!
The expectations from these participants put me to next set of objective- the objective of creating content to suit everyone’s expectations which were more or less similar- Volunteer recruitment, Volunteer Retention and Volunteer recognition. I carefully designed documents which will help participants select committed volunteers, define their roles suitably and mark their deliverables well, appraise them, promote them and eventually help them stay around for long.
I also tried incorporating different activities in the workshop which will facilitate peer-learning and maximise the impact of the training. The day of training was smooth and the flow was well received by the audience. They were participative, enthusiastic and eager to grasp as much as I was eager to give away. Once the training was complete, feedback towards the content, delivery and training material rewarded me enough to volunteer to take on more such projects.
It was a truly enriching experience for it helped me learn more and helped me learn from different contexts.