Managing a team of volunteers is no easy feat. It’s a job that requires a lot of patience, communication, compassion, adaptability and perseverance to overcome management challenges.
Whether you’ve been managing volunteer teams for years, or you’re starting a new career, there’s always something new to learn in this ever-changing industry. Taking the opportunity to grow professionally through training will ensure you are delivering the best possible volunteer program for your organisation. And every little thing you learn will make your job that bit easier!
So if you’re looking for ways to break into the industry or keen to upskill, this article will cover everything you need to know about volunteer coordinator training programs, the available opportunities for volunteers and the best courses to enrol in.
Volunteer Coordinator Training FAQs
1. What are Volunteer Management programs?
Volunteer management programs are industry-led courses that cover all the practical skills involved with managing a team of volunteers. This includes recruiting, training, planning shifts and roles, retention, recognition and rewards. Most courses are applicable for volunteer managers working in non profit, charity, sports and events and the private sector. The courses are taught by industry experts who will share their expertise and wisdom on best practices, useful resources and tools.
2. What degree do you need to be a volunteer coordinator?
There isn’t a specific degree required to be a volunteer coordinator. A business or people management degree will be useful, but most employers look for strong interpersonal skills and relevant volunteering experience over a degree.
Dealing with diverse teams of volunteers requires great people skills, plenty of patience and great organisational skills. It also helps if you have some experience in the sector, whether as a former volunteer or in a paid position.
3. What skills do you need to be a volunteer coordinator?
If you are interested in pursuing a career in volunteer management, the number one skill you’ll need is great communication. Most days you will need to speak to lots of people from various walks of life, give instructions, lead training sessions, organise events and conduct community outreach, sales and marketing tasks. So, as well as good communicators, volunteer coordinators should also be:
- Friendly and open
- Team players
4.How do I become a good volunteer coordinator?
Good volunteer coordinators all have one thing in common: people skills. Volunteering is all about positive human connections and making a positive impact on the world, so if your volunteers have a positive emotional reaction, your job as a leader will be much easier.
Volunteer managers also need to wear lots of hats: marketing, recruitment, HR, training, leadership, project management as well as mastering the database and volunteer management software. The best way to gain these skills is through ongoing volunteer coordinator training and professional development.
It’s also important to connect with other volunteer coordinators and look for mentors in the industry, so you can compare stories, share resources and lend support.
5. What is included in volunteer management training?
Volunteer management training programs typically cover the following areas:
- Communication and relationship building
- Conflict resolution
- Managing and promoting diversity BSBMGT502
- People management
- Recruiting and onboarding volunteers
- Using social media
- Workforce training
- Health and safety
- Software and IT skills
6.What does a typical volunteer manager’s day look like?
On any given day, volunteer managers may be recruiting new volunteers, conducting background checks, hosting onboarding and training sessions, managing volunteer schedules and rosters in Rosterfy, organising events or ordering uniforms. One thing is for sure, no two days are the same.
Listen to our interviews with volunteer managers from various organisations around the globe who share insights about what it’s like to manage teams of volunteers:
- Anne-Catherine, Senior Volunteer Manager worldwide at FIFA.
- Matt Doherty, City Volunteer Manager for Greater London Authority.
- Elena Laguna - Head of Volunteering at Oxfam Great Britain.
Benefits of volunteer coordinator training
The benefits of undertaking volunteer management training are two-fold. On the one hand, you will develop personal and professional skills that will help you succeed in your role and stay up to date with the latest trends and tools. At the same time, the organisation you work for will benefit from having a robust and informed volunteer management plan, ultimately leading to a more efficient and successful volunteer program.
Every organisation and non profit that engages volunteers can benefit from implementing a volunteer management strategy. Effective volunteer management contributes to more engaged, committed and passionate volunteers, in turn helping your organisation deliver a greater impact on the community.
Top programs and courses
Volunteer management training can range from short topic-based webinars to year-long tertiary commitments. This means you are sure to find something that covers the skills you are looking to develop, regardless of your time commitment.
Let’s take a look at a few types of volunteer management training programs on offer, including certificates, free courses and online courses.
- Certificate IV in Coordination of Volunteer Programs (Australia)
- Certificate in Volunteer Administration (US)
- Certificate in Volunteer Management (US)
- Level 4 Certificate in Volunteer Management (UK)
- Developing leadership practice in voluntary organisations - The Open University
- Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations - The Open University
- Restarting Your Volunteer Program in the COVID-19 World - Volunteering Victoria
- A-Z of Volunteer Management - Volunteering Victoria
- Various courses for non-profit volunteer managers - Nonprofit courses
Volunteer management courses online
- Volunteer Management Fundamentals Certificate Course - Tobi Johnson
- Good practice in Volunteer Management - NCVO
- Managing Volunteers - The Centre London, UK
- Various online courses and webinars - Volunteering Victoria
- Training for Managers of Volunteers - Salvation Army
What is volunteer management software?
The job of recruiting, training and maintaining a team of engaged volunteers can be complicated, arduous and overwhelming. Volunteer management software automates and simplifies many of the day-to-day administrative tasks, so you can focus on the bigger picture.
If you want to see Rosterfy’s powerful volunteer management software in action, speak to us to book a demo.
The Engaged Volunteer Podcast
Learn more about how some of the biggest and most successful events, non-profits and organizations utilize volunteers to engage with their communities in The Engaged Volunteer podcast hosted by Rosterfy's Shannan Gove and Phillip Gbormittah.
Each fortnight, the team brings together dedicated volunteers and volunteer managers from around the world to share their journey and learnings along the way.
- Understand the true value of volunteers with this Value of Volunteering White Paper
- The Ultimate Non Profit Volunteer Management Guide
- Non profit event management: The ultimate guide for success
- Volunteer Appreciation Ideas: 30 ways to show your appreciation and better engage & retain your volunteers