Most volunteer managers need volunteers who can put in a regular committment every week or so. But it is increasingly obvious to us in the Volunteer Centre that more and more volunteers want something different from their volunteering.
One-off volunteering has been around for a while. Things like a team of volunteers who spend one day painting a room in a community centre, or a weekend creating a community garden. A small group of young people doing Christmas shopping for elderly people or a volunteer developing a website for an organisation. This kind of volunteering is getting more and more popular, so volunteer managers are having to come up with new ideas to engage volunteers. In fact, there’s even a trendy new name for this kind of volunteering. Look out for a lot more about Micro-volunteering in the coming months.
Then there is online and “virtual” volunteering. The website volunteer is an obvious candidate, but how much more could a volunteer contribute to your organisation online.
At the other end of the scale, how could you use a volunteer who offers themselves full-time?
These are all challenges to the way that we have traditionally thought about involving volunteers in our organisations. They are challenges that we are going to have face sooner rather than later because these are the linds of opportunities that volunteers in South Derbyshire are looking for right now.