Celebrating Leaders of Volunteers! Helping our community find their BestMatch.
For 20 years, November 5th has been International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMDay), an event developed to bring awareness and recognition to leaders in their role mobilizing and supporting the world’s volunteers.
Through our pillar of Nonprofit Leadership, we offer training, consultation and facilitate a community of practice called the Volunteer Manager’s Network (VMN).
The VMN was created to educate, network and support local leaders in work they do in Guelph Wellington. “Leaders of Volunteers are vital to strong volunteer involvement” says Christine Oldfield, Executive Director “through fulsome recruitment, screening, matching and recognition, robust volunteer action and impact occur.”
Supporting the mission and vision of local nonprofits and charities are thousands of volunteers. This activity and impact are supported by key leaders; leaders with the skill and knowledge to mobilize volunteer effort. PIN celebrated with these leaders with coffee and connection on Tuesday, November 5th at our new location in Old Quebec Street Shoppes.
Alongside this celebration, we unveiled BestMatch, a relaunch of our Best Practices in Volunteer Screening program. BestMatch is a program to strengthen volunteer screening practices through training and consultation with the goal of ensuring there is a best match between volunteers and people who need their help.
“We are here as a resource for both the organizations and the volunteers,” Christine shares, “many of our member agencies work with people who are vulnerable or have specific needs. Proper screening is important; we want to help both parties employ world-class due diligence, so they find the best fit and our community continues to receive the best possible volunteer
BestMatch offers free online training modules to employees of non-profit or charitable organizations that engage volunteers. “Because volunteers are often the main contact between clients and organizations, it’s essential that they are the right fit for the organization and for their role – both to ensure the safety of vulnerable individuals, and to reflect the quality of service expected” says Oldfield. Organizations need up-to-date policies and procedures for screening and training so that volunteers can be equipped to do their best. Non-profit staff who complete the three training modules become BestMatch “certified” and can promote the accomplishment in their organization’s communication materials.
In addition to the training modules and certification volunteers in eligible roles may receive free police record checks, thanks to funding by the City of Guelph and partnership with the Guelph Police Service.
Barb Carscadden, Manager of Volunteer Engagement and Transportation Services at East Wellington Community Services, participated in the online courses offered through the BestMatch program. “I would definitely recommend the program. The courses I took have very useful information both for someone who’s new to the role or has been in the role for a while,” she said. “It’s very clearly described and it’s a good way of learning, with built-in questions and helpful visuals. I would recommend this training to anybody.”
BestMatch is available at no charge to members of PIN.