‘Our assessor was fantastic throughout the entire process. She was very approachable and supported us through every aspect of the award. 10/10’
Everton in the Community achieved Investing in Volunteers (IiV) in April 2019, becoming the only Premier League football club to hold the award. In this case study, Volunteer Manager Adam Howard tells us about their IiV journey, how his organisation developed innovative practice through achieving the award, and gives great advice to anyone interested in IiV.
What have been the overall benefits of achieving IiV?
In some respects, completing the IiV award has provided reassurance and in others it has been a real eye-opener. The IiV journey confirmed that a lot of what we already do adheres to best practice as a charity and more specifically as a Volunteer Team. Indeed, this has provided confidence to staff throughout the organisation.
However, working through the IiV standard made us aware of improvements that needed to be made to both our policies and procedures that sit behind our volunteer programme. Through making these improvements new ideas were formed and acted upon. This has had a hugely positive impact on the volunteer experience.
Have you developed any innovative practice as a result of your IiV journey?
We have recently launched a new volunteer recognition scheme called Everton Goals, which enables volunteers to log their hours and work towards different volunteer awards. The recognition scheme is linked to different club legend goal scorers throughout Everton FC’s history.
For example, at 30 hours, the volunteers achieve the ‘Howard Kendall 30 Award’, as Howard Kendall scored 30 goals for Everton FC. Our volunteers have commented on how much they enjoy working towards these awards. The scheme also helps to set our volunteer programme aside from other organisation’s programmes.
How would you describe the effects of the IiV journey on your organisation?
The biggest effect of achieving this award is the assurance that our volunteer programme is working to best practice in all aspects of volunteer management. The Club Motto of ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ (Nothing but the best is good enough) is something that we aspire to achieve throughout the Everton family. To say that our volunteer programme is now operating at this level is a real honour.
What impact has the IiV journey had on your volunteers?
Completing this award has provided our volunteers with a voice and has given them an opportunity to directly feed into the development of their volunteer programme. Through feedback given by our volunteers we have been able to make improvements to our programme, this has ultimately enhanced the volunteer experience.
By improving our policies and procedures it has made our programme safer and smoother. This has made things much easier and clearer for the volunteer when they have been recruited. Furthermore, the volunteer experience has been enhanced by offering new incentives and opportunities as volunteers progress through their journey with us.
Do you have any advice for other organisations on how to make the most out of their IiV journey?
I have provided some tips that we found useful during our IIV journey:
- Involve your volunteers: Providing your volunteers with a voice is crucial and this is the perfect time to do so.
- Don’t be too precious: Accept that nothing is perfect, and improvements can always be made.
- Be open to change: The world is moving at a fast pace and it is important that your programme reflects this. Be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
- Work collaboratively: Include various departments from within your organisation. By doing this it will ensure that everyone is working together to achieve the same goal.
- Manage and share your workload: I booked out a set day and time each week to work on our award. There is a lot of work that goes into examining your current programme, producing a development plan and ultimately making improvements. Therefore, make sure you have the time to complete these effectively. If possible, share the workload with colleagues – this may encourage them to buy into the process more.