Volunteering Victoria Delivers Manifesto
4 February 2014 at 9:27 am
Volunteering Victoria has launched its first Manifesto – identifying volunteering gaps and priorities for Victoria including the lack of state-wide systems around emergency and disaster volunteering.
The peak body said the Manifesto was a declaration of its intent, policy and aims, which provided a clear outline of where more must be done to ensure volunteering adapts and thrives in Victoria.
The Manifesto said it was essential to have robust systems and processes in place for optimal management and utilisation of spontaneous volunteers.
“A lack of coordination can significantly burden or complicate efforts for organisations responsible for emergency response, relief and recovery. In addition, by not fully utilising volunteers, we are failing to provide a rewarding experience for individuals who are willing to offer their time and energies to help out,” the Manifesto said.
“In 2012 Volunteering Victoria developed a business case for an improved solution to supporting citizens, groups and organisations who wish to volunteer following an emergency. Our proposed model has a strong emphasis on community empowerment.
“However, to date the Victorian Government has failed to provide funding support for the implementation of Volunteering Victoria’s state-wide spontaneous emergency volunteering model.”
The document outlined the priorities for volunteering in the State and points to the current gaps in social, economic and political structures required to support and grow volunteering in the community and into the future.
“Addressing the key priority areas for volunteering across the State are critical to building a resilient and productive volunteering workforce to meet our future needs. It will require everyone from government to volunteer services in the regions, philanthropic organisations and ourselves to work together,” CEO of Volunteering Victoria, Sue Noble, said.
The key priority areas include:
- Spontaneous emergency volunteering – addressing the lack of state-wide systems to register, communicate with and deploy volunteers in recovery and rebuilding efforts after disasters;
- Volunteer management – building the capability of those who manage volunteer workforces and lobbying for recognition and support for these often overlooked managers;
- Youth volunteering – developing the capability of volunteering organisations to embrace young volunteers and create roles to accommodate changing expectations of new generations;
- Multicultural volunteering – working to address the under-representation of culturally diverse groups in formal volunteering and, in particular, to advocate for support for inclusive volunteering practices to embrace refugees and asylum seeker communities to assist their social and economic integration;
- Employee (or "corporate") volunteering – supporting and harnessing the power of the growing numbers of businesses and organisations that want to encourage volunteering by their paid workforce.
Noble said other priority areas included building volunteer networks (existing and new), promoting the benefits of volunteering through assertive integrated campaigns and properly measuring the impact of volunteering beyond basic economic and financial calculations.
“There are incredible opportunities to build the capacity of volunteering in Victoria, but we need to work together and coordinate the effort – our aim is to bring together organisations to share, innovate and adapt to the changing ways we volunteer – and the changing ways we need volunteers to be,” Noble said.
“We need to reimagine volunteering and recognise its power – which is well beyond a simple calculation of a nominal hourly rate multiplied by volunteering hours. We live in a community not an economy.
“Not for Profit organisations involving volunteers are increasingly called on to do more for less. We need to be very careful to strategically support volunteering and respect the power of volunteering and never to take for granted how lucky we are to have so many who are willing to offer their skills, time, loyalty and expertise for the greater good.
“We rely on volunteering to make our communities vibrant, supportive and resilient. The Volunteering Victoria Manifesto 2014 puts a stake in the ground and identifies what needs to happen to make that possible,” she said.
Volunteering Victoria said it planned to produce a Manifesto each year, to reflect the changing data on volunteering and identify emerging gaps and change in the state of volunteering in Victoria.