Is forced volunteering helping anyone by linxiaoqin


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                                         VNZ Update                                        June 2007
                       The newsletter of Volunteering New Zealand

Online registration being introduced to Volunteer Now
An online registration facility is being added to the Volunteer Now website
( which provides information about volunteer positions across New
Zealand. This website is operated by Volunteering New Zealand in conjunction with regional
volunteer centres and has details of more 1500 volunteer opportunities listed with nine volunteer
centres and some national organisations.

The new on-line registration system will make it easier and quicker for prospective volunteers to
record their interest in and obtain further information about particular volunteer roles. At present
they have to phone or send an email to a volunteer centre to make initial contact. The facility to
register online is planned to go live during the first week in July.

Volunteering NZ aimed for the project to be completed close to Volunteer Awareness Week. The
activities of the week sparked additional interest in volunteering with the average daily number of
visits to the Volunteer Now site during the week running at the highest level yet recorded. Visit
numbers have continued at a high rate in the last week of June.

Wide level of participation in Volunteer Awareness Week
Reports received so far record a significant increase in the numbers and range of organisations
participating in Volunteer Awareness Week. This has been evidenced by the many requests for
posters etc received by VNZ in addition to the 400 organisations sent material in the initial mailing;
reports on planned activities sent by volunteer centres and a number of organisations; and the
media publicity we have recorded so far.

Many local papers as well as major dailies took up the story with enthusiasm. A good example was
Wellington’s free weekly, the Wellingtonian, which had two stories focusing on the work of
particular volunteers and an editorial headlined ’Hard working volunteers mostly unsung’.

A number of volunteer centres had special awards ceremonies as did other organisations.
Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban presented the awards at
several of these events and reported on their success with great enthusiasm. There were also a
range of quite different activities. In Auckland, Volunteering Auckland and the MS Society joined
forces to arrange the DREAMS project (Delightful Recreational Enjoyable Activities for people with
MS). Its purpose was to encourage and enable people with MS to be involved in different social
events with friends, families, careers and volunteering.

The Christchurch men’s prison held an open day for prospective volunteers to visit and see how
they could be involved as volunteers. In Wellington, Volunteer Wellington, had a major event to
mark the end of its Corporate Challenge for 2007, while in one of many activities to take place in
Bay of Plenty, Sport BOP conducted a volunteer development workshop.

The week was also the period for St John’s national appeal and there were a number of events
featuring their volunteer services which happened as part of their activities for the week. Another
important event during the week was World Refugee Day on 20 June, which was most appropriate
given the very considerable involvement of volunteers in the Refugee and Migrant Service as well

as educational support services such as ESOL. The volunteer involvement was highlighted in
number of the World Refugee Day events.

Two significant network groups were among those sending in requests for posters and other
material. They were adult literacy groups from many parts of the country and Football NZ who
requested supplies for their nine regions.

Volunteering conference programme taking shape
Many aspects important to the future development of volunteering will be covered in the
programme for the VNZ Conference to be held in Wellington on 8 and 9 November. With the title
of ‘Optimising the Energy of Volunteering’ the topics will highlight such issues as changing
demographics and volunteer motivation, the differing cultural perspectives which are important
within New Zealand, the application and impact of technology on volunteering, education and
training needs for volunteering, the development of corporate volunteering and more. Preliminary
registration information is expected to be available in July.

Many community issues highlighted during Community/Government forum
A wide range of issues were identified and recorded by the 150 or so community representatives
who gathered for the two day Community/Government forum held in Wellington during Volunteer
Awareness Week.

They were diverse in terms of the community groups and interests they represented, their cultural
backgrounds and where they came from – the Far North to Southland. All attending had some
involvement in volunteering, many being there as volunteers. Tim Burns, VNZ’s Executive Director
participated as a member of the forum steering group. VNZ Chairperson Alison Marshall and Board
member Heather Clark attended, having been selected for their positions with national service
organisations. Three volunteer centre managers attended as well.

On the first day the community representatives meet in self determined groups to discuss what
matters they brought to the forum and the issues they wished to be addressed with Government
ministers and officials on the second day. The different discussion groups included Tangata
Whenua meeting together as did Pacific representatives and those involved in ethnic communities
and their support services.

Day 2, some 14 Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen, came for
periods of the morning and met for 30 minutes or so with individual discussion groups. Each group
had the opportunity to talk about issues raised on Day 1. One of the other Ministers was Peter
Dunne, Revenue Minister, and he spent time with the group being facilitated by Tim Burns. The
opportunity was taken to discuss with him work on tax and volunteer reimbursement payments. Mr
Dunne also spoke about work he was doing on encouraging businesses to encourage their staff to
be involved in community activities (i.e. corporate volunteering). He was told about the work
volunteer centres are doing to promote and facilitate this. At Mr Dunne’s invitation, VNZ will be
following up with him about this.

In addition to the Ministers, about 40 officials from a number of different government departments
and agencies attended Day 2. to learn about the matters of concern to the community.

The last sessions of the forum focused on what the community representatives wished to see as
the way forward. The following was agreed.
 The need for an independent-from-government, sector-led, government-funded group
    representing the sector, and this be based on the Tiriti/Treaty Relationships Framework.
 The way forward for the sector needs to operate locally, regionally and nationally.
 There is a need for a sector-led review with government of all funding relationships for the
 The way forward builds on all of the existing developments, such as the Tangata Whenua,
    Community and Voluntary Sector Research Centre of Excellence, the Clearing House,
    COmVOiceS, etc.

   To provide continuity, ANGOA be asked to facilitate discussions on interim and transitional
    arrangements with the Community Sector Taskforce towards the independent body in dialogue
    with the sector.

Minister says forum provided positive dialogue
The enthusiasm and commitment of community sector people to talk through issues of common
concern at a forum with Government was described as magnificent by Minister for the Community
and Voluntary Sector Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, speaking at the conclusion of the Community-
Government Forum. "The forum focused on a number of challenging issues, including contracting,
relationships with government departments, funding efficiencies and ways to monitor and
strengthen the relationship between Government and the sector," said Ms Laban.

"I'm thrilled that thirteen of my ministerial colleagues were able to sit down along side community
people for a positive and frank discussion about issues of common concern. I'm certain that the
Ministers went away better informed about the current issues relating to the community and
voluntary sector. I am pleased that there was a willingness of the sector to work together at the
forum to build on the successes of the past and find new ways forward.

“The community sector is hugely important to our Kiwi way of life. I value the opportunity to voice
my appreciation directly to such a wide range of sector representatives and to hear first hand about
some of the significant cross-cutting issues affecting their work,” she said.

Nominations have opened for Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year Awards 2007
Whether coached by lifetime veterans or season beginners, sports players around New Zealand
have the chance to say ‘Thanks Coach!’ with the fourth annual Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the
Year Awards.

The 2007 awards feature four new categories – student, newcomer, general and lifetime. Award
sponsors Wattie’s and SPARC want to recognise the efforts of coaches of all different backgrounds
and experience. The student and newcomer categories are open to school aged or beginning
coaches, while the general and lifetime categories are for coaches with a number of years’
experience under their belts.

Chief judge and SPARC national coaching consultant Mike McHugh says these categories reflect
the rich variety of New Zealand’s volunteer coaches. “Nearly 70,000 volunteer coaches nationwide
willingly give their time week in, week out to help young New Zealanders enjoy sport, and do it for
nothing more than the enjoyment it provides,” says Mike.

Wattie’s General Manager of Marketing, Mike Pretty, says Wattie’s is proud to highlight the
massive and often unsung contribution that volunteer coaches make in the community.

The 17 Regional Sports Trusts and National Sports Organisations promote the awards to local
sports clubs, schools and teams in the search for Regional Wattie’s Volunteer Coach of the Year
finalists. The efforts and achievements of highly regarded coaches in each region are then
considered by a panel of well-known judges who select the national finalists. Entry forms are
available to download on both Wattie’s and SPARC websites or from Regional Sports Trusts.

Safety Awareness important for volunteers
Safety Awareness Week, which is being supported by ACC, is to be held from 3-9 September. It is
anticipated the week will draw together the many stakeholders involved in injury prevention and
community safety throughout the country, including government and non-government
organisations and community groups and businesses. Safe practices for and by volunteers should
recognised during this week.

Activities will acknowledge achievements, promote new and successful initiatives, and increase
understanding about injuries and how they can be reduced. You might like to consider a health
and safety week or activity in your organisation, aimed at volunteers as well as paid staff. The
dedicated website will be showing current information soon.

Safety and Injury Prevention Awards
The NZ Community Safety and Injury Prevention awards – run in conjunction with Safety NZ Week
– are designed to highlight best practice in the field of community-based injury prevention and
safety promotion.

There are four entry categories:
Category 1 – Emerging community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme
Category 2 – Outstanding community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme
Category 3 – Outstanding example of the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy framework
guiding the development of a community safety and/or injury prevention initiative or programme
Category 4 – Outstanding business or organisation that is contributing to the greater well-being of
its own workforce and the community in general.

The category winners each receive $2,000 towards professional development in injury prevention
and safety initiatives. For an entry form or more information contact Tania Peters on 09 488 7601

Partnership pledges to promote volunteers’ role in social activism
The indispensable role of volunteers in helping countries achieve the Millennium Development
Goals is to be explored in a new co-publication by the CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen
Participation, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the International Association for Volunteer
Effort (IAVE). The three institutions recently launched this project as part of a renewed joint
agreement to “promote and generate greater awareness of the contributions of volunteers and the
value of volunteer action to society.”

“This partnership is a timely step toward bridging the gap between volunteering and social
activism,” said CIVICUS Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo. “While these two communities often
overlap and join forces, as we see time and time again during mobilisations of the Global Call for
action Against Poverty, more must be done to create synergy between these two worlds. Therefore
our partnership is geared to promote new ways of coordination and engagement.”

CIVICUS recently welcomed UNV volunteer Karena Cronin at its headquarters in Johannesburg,
South Africa to manage the research and the drafting of the joint publication. The three signatories
underscored the need to advance a shared understanding of volunteerism, specifically one that
moves away from defining volunteering and social activism as mutually exclusive. The planned
publication seeks to address this important issue and will showcase the powerful role of
volunteering and activism for meeting development challenges, especially at the national and local

“Efforts on the part of national governments to meet MDG targets, even when supported by the
international community, will have a limited impact without significant volunteer contributions.” said
Ad de Raad, Executive Director of UN Volunteers. “The beneficiaries of services need to be
involved directly in the events and processes that affect their lives. Their active involvement and
the involvement of millions like them are the key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”

In anticipation of the International Year of the Volunteer +10 in 2001 the organisations also agreed
to pursue joint activities in support of international and national policy and legislation relating to
volunteerism and to collaborate in celebrating ‘International Volunteer Day’ on December 5th

IAVE President Liz Burns commented, “We know that the MDG’s cannot be achieved without the
active engagement of the world’s citizens as volunteers and activists. We must therefore work
together to dismantle barriers like those which can still exist between ‘volunteers’ and ‘activists’.
This joint initiative will be a means of identifying common ground and moving towards mutual
recognition, leading in turn to a more effective combination of skills and approaches.”

99% of Australian volunteers believe their work makes a difference:
Findings from Volunteering Australia’s second annual National Survey of Volunteering Issues,
have identified that most volunteers are positive about the benefits their work brings to the

The survey, which explored known and emerging public policy issues in volunteering and volunteer
management practices, also focused upon how volunteers see themselves as contributing to social
change or community benefits through their volunteer work.

It found that 70% of volunteers feel empowered to influence decisions in their organisation and its
broader objectives. Some volunteers, however, would still like greater opportunities to participate
in this way.

Out-of-pocket expenses were seen as a major issue. 27percent of the volunteers said tht these
expenses had had a direct impact on their volunteering in the past 12 months. More than half of
the volunteers who rated this as the issue of most importance to them said these expenses reduce
their ability or desire to volunteer.

Volunteer background checks were another important issue for both volunteers and organisations
involving volunteers. 46% of the responding organisations indicated this issue had some impact of
their organisation in the last 12 months and 27 percent said it had the single greatest impact in the
last 12 months.

Over 3200 volunteers and not for profit organisations participated in the 2007 survey. The report
can be downloaded through the following link:

Declining volunteerism and civic engagement threaten Canada’s communities at their core.
Volunteerism and civic engagement are eroding in Canada, and two of Canada’s leading
volunteering experts predict an enormous impact on its communities if leaders across the country
don’t respond.

Linda L. Graff, noted author and voluntary sector specialist, and Paul B. Reed, Carleton University
Professor and Senior Social Scientist, Statistics Canada, have started a national conversation
about the future of Canadian communities – the Who Cares? project. Drawing from the most
comprehensive data ever assembled on this issue, Graff and Reed have produced a series of
engaging audio conversations to enlighten and inspire Canadians with a way-of-life wake-up call
based on compelling but troubling research findings. Local elected politicians, chambers of
commerce, and other leaders in business, industry and the nonprofit sector are being urged to take
action immediately.

To download a free copy or get more information, go to:

Again from Canada, this editorial article, “Is forced volunteering helping anyone?”
by Mary Teresa Bitti, CanWest News Service

The provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and
Newfoundland and Labrador are engaged in a social experiment. Each of these areas requires its
high school students to put in anywhere from 25 to 40 hours volunteering in their communities in
order to graduate. The hope is that by forcing teens to give back, they will be encouraged to be
good citizens and volunteers as adults. And, of course, non-profits will also benefit from an unpaid
labour force.

"We do have very clear research that shows the earlier we get citizens involved in volunteering, the
more likely they are to be lifelong volunteers," says Marlene Deboisbriand, president of Volunteer
Canada from her office in Ottawa.

But there is one big drawback to the plan: Volunteering is something you choose to do because
you want to, not because you have to. What message are we sending teens if we are equating
mandatory community service with volunteering? Volunteer or risk not graduating?

"We make kids do things all the time, presumably for their own good," says Linda Graff, president
of Linda Graff and Associates Inc., an international consulting firm that specializes in volunteerism
and non-profit management. "To call mandatory community service 'volunteering' is a problem
because then we begin to confuse the distinction between an activity that is freely chosen and
something that is obligatory and perhaps not always rewarding. Volunteering should be something
you choose to do because you want to do it, not because somebody made you do it.

"Over time, if we're not careful, I think we can erode that ethos of caring that really distinguishes us
as a nation," says Ms. Graff. "We are known around the world as good, caring, helpful people, and
that is important to who we are, what our identity is and what our communities are about. If we start
to confuse that with being made to do something that is sometimes unpleasant, it's not a good

According to Imagine Canada's most recent national research on volunteering, teenagers have
higher rates of volunteering than any other age group. In 2004, 45% of Canadians in general
volunteered, compared with 65% of teenagers. The volunteer numbers include mandatory
community service, defined by the survey as an organisation that requires volunteering as a
condition of membership, court-ordered community service, school requirements and employer

When the survey came out last year, Ms. Deboisbriand went on her own fact-finding mission,
visiting provinces where mandatory community service was not a requirement to graduate high
school. "I wanted to see if we were skewing the numbers by including these hours. But even in
provinces where they don't have mandatory community service in their schools, the rate of
volunteering is higher among teenagers than the rest of the population."
It is too soon to tell whether students required to volunteer will carry that sense of duty into
adulthood. Ontario was one of the first to introduce its mandatory volunteer programme, in
September, 1999. "What we do know," says Ms. Deboisbriand, "is that for these types of
programmes to work, the volunteer experience has to be a positive one for the student."

“It has to be more than a forced work programme such as Ontario's, that simply requires the
student accumulate a certain number of ‘volunteer hours’," says Linda Graff. "The research out of
the United States says the schools need to work with the community to co-operatively identify work
that is meaningful to the kids and that is connected back to curriculum in the classroom. The
experience needs to be put in some kind of context so they understand the larger meaning. The
Ontario programme completely misses both of these requirements. My guess is that where this
programme is successful it is happenstance, not by design."

What of all those hours and able bodies made available free of charge to the 160,000-plus
registered non-profits in Canada? "Unpaid labour is not necessarily free," says Ms. Deboisbriand.
"The student needs training, monitoring, support, [and] without any guarantee the young person
will engage beyond the 40 hours, what have you gained?"

For her part, Gail Nyberg, executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto, sees the
programme as mutually beneficial. "We help the kids get their hours and they help us get a lot of
work done."

And the students? Many are stuck licking envelopes or mucking out stalls, which is how Grade 9
student Christina Lynn met her volunteer hours requirement. "I volunteered at the stable where I
ride," says Ms. Lyn, who lives in Oakville, Ontario. "I chose something I enjoy and it was a good
experience." As for volunteering as an adult, the 15-yearold said she would, so long as it was
something she was interested in and had time for. Does that spell success?

More detail on IAVE regional conference
VNZ has received more detail including registration requirements on the IAVE Asia/Pacific regional
conference to be held in Nagoya-Aichi, Japan, 7-11 December. The programme will include four
special forums on the following subjects
 Senior Citizens Volunteering : Baby-boomer Generation
 Corporate Volunteering : Corporate Social Responsibility
 Large-scale Events Volunteer Management
 Volunteering and Disaster Management

There will also be general interest workshops with the topics being:
 The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG); Peace, Sustainable
 Development, Poverty, Environment, Education, Health, Human Right
 Youth and Volunteering
 Service Learning
 Volunteer Management
 IT and Volunteering
 Multi-Cultural Issues and Volunteering, etc.
Full details are available from the Conference website

New resource available from Volunteering Australia
A range of toolkits providing quick guides and tips on different aspects of volunteer management
can now be accessed and downloaded from the Volunteering Australia website . The subjects covered include:
       Developing effective volunteer policies and procedures in not-for-profit organisations
       Tips for setting up volunteer grievance policies and procedures
       Volunteering: a vehicle for personal and professional development
       Do Your Volunteers Need Training?
       Volunteer personnel templates

Technology Acceleration: Grab Hold and Hang On
By Susan J. Ellis, President, Enegize Inc

As of this month (June), we are launching a monthly podcast of our Hot Topics – which either
pleases you or further confounds you about the relentlessly changing world of technology.
Whatever your personal feelings about such things as downloadable audio, you can’t escape the
fact that new technology exists and is important to many people. Therefore, professionally, we
must all keep up.

This is not the place to teach you what a podcast is, or what’s up with blogging, or what “digital
convergence” means. If you want to learn, there’s an almost overwhelming amount of information
on the Internet ready for you to search out. Nor is this the place to ponder the cost or accessibility
of cyberspace, both of which are important but also changing radically for the better. And I
certainly cannot reconcile the contradiction of a medium criticized for impersonal, low-touch
communication while also raising panic about sexual and financial predators.

What I do know is that we are never going back to pre-Web days. E-mail is here to stay –
permanently. Cell phones are morphing into video centers and Internet access points. Instant
messaging is as ubiquitous as instant oatmeal. Think you’re having trouble keeping up? As I write
this essay, the built-in Spellchecker in Microsoft Wordâ is trying to alert me to a problem with the
word “podcast,” which it doesn’t recognize as a word (it likes “pod” and “cast” separately, but not
together). The familiar red line also wants me to correct the spelling of “blogging.” But my
software is, of course, out of date. I can empathise. What does this all mean to the volunteer world
right now? Well, it may be frenetic and strange, but the explosion of new technologies is an
enormous opportunity. Make the most of it!

Think Pictures and Sound!
Digital photography is extremely popular, yet most of the Web sites related to volunteers have very
few pictures and rarely ones that are current as of today. Yet the ease and almost no cost of
digital photographs let you keep changing the visuals on your Web site as often as you wish. A
picture really is worth a 1,000 words and may generate 1,000 virtual hits. Show volunteers in
action, at a training session, or anything else that illuminates what it means to participate in your
organisation’s work.

Web sites such as Flickr allow anyone to post photographs for public viewing free of charge. In
“Five Ways Nonprofits Can Use Flickr to Reach New Audiences” on the Wild Apricot site, they
Flickr has become a popular social media tool because it allows nonprofits to upload their photos
and supports an active community where people share and comment on each other's photos. But
what truly sets it apart is its tagging feature. Tagging (keywording) your photos makes them easily
findable on Flickr and the web.

Then, join the audio production craze. These days there are free programmes that allow you to
record digital sound directly onto your computer (though it helps to invest in a decent microphone).
So record training sessions, speeches, and other events. Then place snippets online – or even an
entire presentation for those who could not attend in person. Volunteer San Diego
( was a pioneer in adding both podcasting and blogging to its public
outreach menu. Consider doing your own podcast (assuming, of course, you have something you
want to say about the power and impact of volunteers in your organisation). When was the last
time someone offered you a soap box in which you control the entire message and have the
potential to be heard around the world, at almost no cost?

Think beyond volunteer recruitment. Why not create a volunteer “podcast development unit” that
works with each department in your organisation to produce worthwhile public messages on all the
aspects of your work?

“Blogs” are logs or journals on the Web and have become both popular and easy to create. Sure a
lot of them are private musings on arcane subjects, but there are also many that are truly
informative. In “A Nonprofit's Guide to the Blogosphere” on TechSoup, Willow Cook reports on
how blogs can promote a cause and generate public awareness. She lists free blogging tools and
ways to get your blog noticed, even by the media (who go to blogs for up-to-date information they
cannot find elsewhere).

What can you blog about? Anything that’s happening now: special events, conferences, volunteer
projects. Volunteers can create blogs to discuss their volunteer experiences or, if privacy is a
concern, you can set up an organisation blog and be the one who posts comments from a variety
of volunteers.

Blogs can be part of the organisation’s formal Web site or can be hosted on any number of
external sites. You can learn more about the ways that organisations are using blogs at the
Nonprofit Blog Exchange.

Use MySpace as YOURspace!
It’s called social networking and it’s a growing phenomenon. Most simply, social networking is
posting personal or professional information about yourself to a Web site created for this purpose
and then interacting online with like-minded people who find you through keyword searches (or you
find them). As always, this has captivated the young first, but all sorts of adult and professional
sites are taking hold, too.

Ask volunteers whether they have posted themselves to such sites as MySpace, FaceBook, or
LinkedIn (just to name a few). Then ask if they have ever mentioned the volunteer work they do
with you – and, if not, would they be willing to?

We’ve said forever that the best recruitment of new volunteers is word-of-mouth by current
volunteers. The same applies to word-of-keyboard. See what happens if volunteers share
something about why they love volunteering with your organisation and mention that there are
openings right now for people with X or Y skills. You never know who might be online (and I mean
that in a good way, not a suspicious one).

You must be kidding….
No, I’m not. I am completely aware of how steep the learning curve is and how quickly the ground
shifts with ever-new devices and sites. You don’t have to learn everything in order to start testing
the opportunities. You don’t even have to be the one who learns it at all. Put out a call for an
“Online Test Pilot” and see if a knowledgeable and creative volunteer can 1) explain the potential
of cyberspace developments, and 2) develop a strategy for trying a few new things that makes
sense for your organisation.

While it would be wonderful if your Webmaster or IT department helped you with all this, everything
mentioned here can actually be done totally independent of your organisation’s formal Web
presence. I’m not necessarily advocating an end run around bureaucratic obstacles, but
remember that it’s always easier to apologize than to ask permission! Especially if you are blazing
a trail for the good of your organisation.
     Are you hyperventilating? Intrigued? Taking an aspirin?
     What new technology are you experimenting with right now? (Please share URLs of any
     Do you download any podcasts to a portable listening device? What appeals to you?
                                    Let's Hear What You Think

Volunteer Management Education Books for Sale

Volunteering NZ has for sale copies of four books written by Linda Graff on developing policies and
risk management for volunteering programmes. The titles and prices are:

Best of All – Quick reference Guide to Best Practice                $46.00
Better Safe – Risk Management for Volunteer Programmes              $46.00
Beyond Police Checks – Screening Guidebook                          $46.00
By Definition – Policies for Volunteer Programmes                   $36.00

We also have copies of Mary Woods’ book
Volunteers, A guide for Volunteers an their Organisations           $25.00

All the prices are GST inclusive.

Copies may be ordered by fax to 04 3843637 or email to Payment
may be made by cheque or credit card.


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