The Association of Volunteer Managers (AVM) is an independent body that aims to support, represent and champion people who manage volunteers in England regardless of field, discipline or sector. It has been set up by and for people who manage volunteers.
The AVM aims to:
If you manage, co-ordinate or administer volunteers or volunteer programmes, directly or indirectly, then this is the Association for you.
The International Context
The need for improving the involvement of volunteers was recognised in the 1997 National Survey of Volunteering where 71% of volunteers said that 'Things could be much better organised'.
However the growth in resources for the volunteering sector has focussed on increasing the number of volunteers rather than improving the capacity of organisations to better involve and manage both existing volunteers and new volunteers.
Volunteering does not succeed in a vacuum and, anecdotally, the link between well managed volunteers and more effective volunteers has been well-rehearsed. In the USA, a 2004 national survey revealed significant gaps and challenges in organisational volunteer management capacity, as well as a need to increase 'the ability of nonprofits and congregations to mobilize, manage and maximise their volunteer resources on behalf of America's communities' (A unified national response to the 2004 Volunteer Management Capacity Study, National Human Services Assembly).
Internationally, the need for developing volunteer managers has been recognised with professional associations for volunteer managers in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore and USA. There is also an International Volunteers Managers' Appreciation Day held on the 1st November each year. However there was no professional association for volunteer managers in England until the Association of Volunteer Managers was set up.