Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the national quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. Depaul were one of earliest Irish achievers of the Investing in Volunteers quality mark first achieving the accolade in 2015 and renewing in 2018. Here, Volunteer Coordinator Jason Flynn tells us a little bit more about the process, why they did it and what advice they’d give others.
Why did Depaul decide to go for the Investing in Volunteers quality mark?
Volunteering is an integral part of the service that Depaul is able to provide; it greatly enriches the quality of the experience for our service users. Volunteers contribute so much to our organisation, and we consider it very important to ensure that they get something in return. Therefore, the principles of Investing in Volunteers resonated very strongly with our own organisational values.
What difference has it made to your volunteer programme and your organisation?
Maintaining the Investing in Volunteers accreditation has ensured that Depaul’s volunteer management processes are of as high a standard as possible, and we are able to stand over all of our policies and procedures. It means that all levels of the organisation, the CEO, management and staff, are all involved and well informed about the processes surrounding volunteer management. Furthermore, it has enabled us to attract a high volume of high-calibre people as volunteers.
Is it really worth all of the work it entails?
I feel that the process of attaining and maintaining Investing in Volunteers accreditation doesn’t entail a significant amount of additional work, at least for an organisation like Depaul. It doesn’t require us to do anything other than what we should be to ensure quality volunteer management. The additional administration around the application is worth the credibility and visibility that the award brings to the organisation.
If you had to do anything differently what would you do?
I joined Depaul when we were in the process of preparing for our renewal, and in my previous organisation (which also had the accreditation and achieved renewal), I had already joined when accreditation was attained. I would have liked to be involved from the start of the process, although I am well enough acquainted with the processes by now that I feel I could manage it from the beginning.
What advice would you give to an organisation that is considering starting their Investing in Volunteers journey?
Even if an organisation doesn’t have the capacity, resources or budget to undergo the process at the moment, subscribing to the principles and keeping them alive as everyday practices is a good start. Then, when the organisation is ready to apply, it won’t require any additional or onerous effort to make the values real; you will have been living them all along.
If you’re interested in Investing in Volunteers, you can learn more here.