What have been the overall benefits of achieving/renewing the IiV accreditation?
The developmental process undertaken to achieve this standard has been an interesting journey. The organisation now feels a lot more confident in its ability to provide quality volunteer experiences and offer volunteers the best opportunities for personal growth.
Though the systematic updating and revision of policies, the staff team and trustees have a more complete understanding of how central the volunteer team is to the smooth functioning of the organisation and can articulate the importance of good volunteer management. I think it has been advantageous to have a fresh pair of eyes, an independent and external assessor, look at what processes we had in place and be able to advise with impartiality.
As we continue to grow, I have no doubt that further benefits of achieving this accreditation will come to fruition. The experience in working toward IIV has already helped foster and encourage a culture of continuous improvement where processes are refined and we ask ourselves, how can we do this better?
In the months leading up to the award, I have seen a a more purposeful and inclusive approach to our growth as a charitable organisation. Time is now taken to ensure all stakeholders, whether they be a senior manager or a new volunteer, are consulted and opinions considered when decisions are made on behalf of the charity. This inclusive approach has led to considerable success of late, with a considerable mark up in our annual fundraising results and a successful bid to become "Charity of the Year" for a local supermarket.
Please provide a quote that sums up the IiV experience for your organisation
Achieving the Investing in Volunteers Accreditation has been a proud achievement for all members of the Disability Can Do Organisation. For over six years, DCD has helped facilitate improvements in the local disabled community via its support services and has helped a plethora of individuals gain skills and confidence through its volunteer program. I feel this accreditation gives credence to that fact and goes a long way to recognises the significant work completed by ordinary individuals who have an interest improving their community.
The IIV standard calls for excellence in involving volunteers in a community interest and supporting them to achieve their full potential. As such, a considerable team effort has been required to meet and beat the criteria. The process has not been without challenge but has been rewarding in the way it has provide an opportunity for all members of the charity to undertake a little self analysis and remind ourselves of our core values and overarching goals. I really feel that everyone - from the volunteer team to charity manager has been integral to achieving this success and has thus made this shared success a little sweeter.
We now hope to build on this award by increasing the opportunities available to volunteers who are looking to get involved and will be looking to expand our capacity to support more individuals who are looking to volunteer.
What tips would you give to other organisations working towards Investing in Volunteers?
1.Use your developmental officer, their skills and knowledge can be invaluable.
2.Involve everyone in your organisation! Collective contribution in my experience is key to solving potential barriers.
3.Be honest when undertaking the healtchcheck! A true depiction of the development work needed is more valuable than appearing to have a perfect volunteer program.