Conflict Resolution Toolkit for NFPs
1 March 2016 at 11:28 am
The New South Wales Government has produced a conflict resolution toolkit for Not for Profits as part of a new trial service which focuses on helping with mediation between volunteers and organisations.
The toolkit was launched by the NSW Minister for Volunteering, John Ajaka, in Sydney.
The online toolkit cover areas around different types of conflict and ways to address them.
The Centre for Volunteering is also supporting a pilot project called Voluntas which aims to deliver free mediation services to the volunteer sector and has launched a website to manage the trial.
“Conflict is a part of everyday life. Most people and organisations resolve conflict themselves. Unresolved conflicts and badly managed disputes, however, give rise to risks and costs that damage volunteers and their organisations,” mediation expert and Voluntas volunteer Steve Lancken said.
“The Centre for Volunteering and other organisations have told us that volunteers and volunteer managers often don’t know where to get help if they are experiencing ongoing conflict in their organisation. Plus volunteers and NFPs generally have little or no budget for professional mediation services.”
Lancken said early assistance in transforming conflict through constructive conversations could prevent conflict from escalating and could resolve conflicts more quickly.
“This can help everyone get on with the task of contributing through their valuable volunteer work,” he said.
“Our aim is to create an organisation through which mediation professionals offer their expertise for free to the volunteering sector. For mediators – it provides more opportunities for them to be mentored and supported whilst practising and developing their mediation skills.”
Lancken said the Centre for Volunteering is the first contact point for the pilot service and a small outreach campaign showed enormous goodwill from mediation experts keen to get behind the cause.
“Volunteers and organisations are asked to contact The Centre if they are aware of, or are directly involved in, a dispute that could benefit from the assistance of an independent mediator,” he said.
“The Centre passes on basic details to Voluntas mediators, who assess whether the situation could be assisted a professional mediator. Voluntas will contact the individual requesting the service. Any inquiries or referrals are completely confidential.”