When you think about a ‘volunteer champion’, who do you think of?
Is it someone who tirelessly volunteers day in, day out? Someone who volunteers once or twice a year for a community event? A Trustee? Or is a Volunteer Champion your next-door neighbour, a group of friends or local young people coming together to make a change for their future?
Do you think about organisations being ‘Volunteer Champions’? Organisations who continually support and develop their volunteers through training and new opportunities? Organisations that work with people who typically face barriers to support them to upskill, gain confidence and fundamentally better themselves? Or, organisations like us here at Impact Funding Partners? As a dedicated fund manager, we support volunteer-involving organisations through funding and capacity building with an aim of ensuring volunteering is visible and valued across Scotland.
Impact Funding Partners has managed the Volunteering Support Fund since the 1980’s and through this have supported thousands of organisations throughout Scotland to develop and deliver inclusive volunteering projects to those typically furthest away from volunteering. In the last year alone, 113 organisations funded through Scottish Government’s Volunteering Support Fund have supported 4,842 people into volunteering which saw a contribution of 127,616 voluntary hours from people as far north as the Hebrides down to the Borders. The current fund works to four key outcomes:
1) Increase diversity in the third sector’s volunteer pool, to particularly include people who experience disadvantage or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering
2) Improve governance, leadership, and financial knowledge of organisations through the recruitment of skilled volunteers to enhance the third sector’s capacity
3) Improve organisational capacity to provide opportunities for skills and personal development through volunteering
4) Enhance services delivered by organisations to better meet the needs of the communities they serve
You can find more information about the current Volunteering Support Fund here.
The Volunteering Support Fund is designed to ensure that organisations are resourced and supported appropriately to reach those who are typically furthest away from volunteering. To effectively do this, the Volunteering Support Fund supports direct volunteer management costs and associated staff training and project delivery costs. Volunteer costs such as training, ongoing support and out-of-pocket expenses are provided across all of the funds we manage and are embedded in our values. Our ‘more than just money’ approach to fund management plays a key part in the success of funded projects. We continually offer free training opportunities, networking events and skill-sharing sessions for Volunteer Managers and Volunteer Coordinators to develop, learn new skills and create a network of peer support. This two-pronged approach to fund management leads to well-governed organisations who have the skills, resources, and networks to deliver successful volunteering projects across Scotland.
In June, Impact Funding Partners signed a pledge which also coincided with National Volunteers’ Week. We pledged to uphold and promote the ten principles of the Volunteer Charter and to ensure that more volunteers have meaningful and appropriate experiences. We are proud of being a Charter Champion, and proud to be leading the way as a Fund Manager by signing up as a Charter Champion. By working together with funded organsiations, we will support funded organisations to align their work to the ten principles of the Volunteer Charter.
Will you be the next organisation to sign up to Scotland’s Volunteer Charter? Click here to find out more.
Keep an eye out on our social media channels to read Part 2 of my Volunteer Champion blog.