Volunteer organisers, co-ordinators and managers, recruit, train and manage volunteers. Organisers are usually paid and work with unpaid volunteers to provide additional support services in hospitals, social service departments and voluntary organisations.
Organisers interview prospective volunteers, matching individuals to vacancies, arranging training where necessary, and providing ongoing support. They may also be responsible for providing advice, information and resources to volunteers.
Their duties usually include administration, maintaining records and accounts, writing letters and reports, dealing with grant applications, managing budgets and organising fundraising. It may include attending committees, supervising paid staff, giving talks, and arranging advertising and publicity.
In smaller organisations staff need to be multi-skilled, as their role may be wider ranging. Additional tasks could include project management, policy development and outreach work with external organisations.
Full-time volunteer organisers work 35 to 37 hours a week Monday to Friday; evening and weekend work may be required. Some posts are part-time and flexitime is common.
The work is office-based but is likely to involve travelling to meetings with people from other organisations and to visit volunteers.
To be a volunteer organiser you should:
The main employers are local and national voluntary organisations and hospitals, hospices, community health and social services departments. Local volunteer bureaux function like employment agencies, matching prospective volunteers to organisations needing their services.
Entry is competitive, even though opportunities are increasing. Promotion prospects are limited. Short-term contracts are common and moves are often sideways, to a similar position in another organisation. However, this type of work can be a good background for related careers, such as social work, and for other posts within the voluntary sector.
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