Despite it being the holiday season, the two sessions in December saw 85 participants from 74 organisations coming together to discuss the issue of current volunteering trends. As with previous sessions, it was also an opportunity for the volunteer coordinators and volunteer managers representing the various local non-profit organisations to explore partnership opportunities, learn good volunteer management processes, and be inspired by one another's innovative ideas and varied experiences.
Building on the well-received programme planned for the sessions, the addition of interactive keypad clickers - courtesy of NTU's Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in NTU, enabled real-time polling of participants' responses on their experiences, views and perspectives regarding volunteer management culture and the systems used to manage volunteer involvement within their respective organisations.
This interactive and engaging polling segment drew many positive comments from the participants, such as Mr Gangasudhan, the Operations Coordinator of the Vegetarian Society (Singapore), who remarked, "The survey segment was certainly an eye-opener! I like that it was in real-time and allowed me to assess where my organisation stood in terms of volunteer management perception and practice in relation to other non-profit organisations."
Participants also had the opportunity to discuss and share ideas on current volunteering trends through a World Cafe segment, and the various suggested topics saw participants animatedly talking about virtual volunteering, overseas volunteering, affinity group volunteering, outcome-based volunteering and episodic volunteering.
The ability for the various representatives to share the work that their organizations have been doing and tap on like-minded volunteer management coordinators on best practices and fresh perspectives certainly did not go unappreciated. “Great and honest sharing in the World Café”, said Fiona of Heartware Network. “It’s heartening to see the sector come together. Thank you for putting this together”, shared Yong Chin Ping of the National Youth Council.
To enable the continuous engagement between volunteer coordinators and volunteer managers, a VC Connect Facebook group has now been set up so that participants can continue to share their ideas and experiences, as well as seek advice, well after the physical sessions at NVPC. Those who are keen, have also been co-opted to become part of the planning committee for future VC Connect sessions, and have been added to a separate VC Connectors Facebook group.
VC Connect will continue to be held quarterly for the year 2012. If you are involved in volunteer engagement and management and would like to be informed of upcoming VC Connect sessions, please do contact the SG Cares VHO Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is edited by volunteer editor Gangasudhan