MANAGING IT VOLUNTEERS Empowering Today’s Volunteer Manager Conference 6 November 2008
David Guthrie Sussex Community Internet Project [email_address]
IT VOLUNTEER PROJECTS
Help Charity Choose Database for Contacts and Fundraising  Taunton Website Accessibility Improvements for Small Charity  S...
THE RIGHT PROJECT <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support ...
VCS AND  IT VOLUNTEERS <ul><li>Have good policies and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of experience of working with volun...
WHAT SETS ICT VOLUNTEERS APART? <ul><li>ICT professionals are likely to be used to a different working environment and sty...
COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ICT VOLUNTEERS &  PROJECTS – VOLUNTEERS ARE RARELY ‘FREE’ <ul><li>Staff Time  </li></ul><ul><li>Mana...
PROS AND CONS <ul><li>The ideal volunteer project </li></ul><ul><li>Someone with the right experience, working with you in...
VOLUNTEERS AND WEBSITES  <ul><li>Suitable for a volunteer? </li></ul><ul><li>When they are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntee...
WEBSITE PROJECTS – KEY ISSUES <ul><li>Is your data backed up? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your data safe? </li></ul><ul><li>Does ...
OTHER IT PROJECTS IDEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS <ul><li>Independent advice and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>One to one training for s...
WHERE TO FIND THE RIGHT VOLUNTEER: <ul><li>advertise  widely  and  succinctly </li></ul><ul><li>ask for what you want in t...
<ul><li>Volunteers enthusiastic but unskilled </li></ul><ul><li>A friend of a friend </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitments of...
<ul><li>Choose the right volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Define your need clearly and keep ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Allow f...
David Guthrie Sussex Community Internet Project [email_address]
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Managing It Volunteers Workshop Vol Mgr Conf Nov 2008

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Workshop delivered to managers responsible for, or looking to use, volunteers to help with IT projects in the voluntary & community sector.

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  • Managing It Volunteers Workshop Vol Mgr Conf Nov 2008

    1. 1. MANAGING IT VOLUNTEERS Empowering Today’s Volunteer Manager Conference 6 November 2008
    2. 2. David Guthrie Sussex Community Internet Project [email_address]
    3. 3. IT VOLUNTEER PROJECTS
    4. 4. Help Charity Choose Database for Contacts and Fundraising Taunton Website Accessibility Improvements for Small Charity Swindon Basic IT Training for Beginners Enniskillen Identify E-Learning IT Courses for Beginners Canterbury Developing an IT Strategy Gateshead Advice on Facebook and Bebo Surrey Set Up Network for Small Charity Kings Lynn Community Centre Needs Hands-On Cabling Help Lewisham Advice on Accounting Packages Nottingham Advice about Setting Up Internet Café Trowbridge
    5. 5. THE RIGHT PROJECT <ul><li>Not mission critical </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Not without the support of the organisation’s board/other staff </li></ul><ul><li>Well planned – know your aims </li></ul><ul><li>Well managed </li></ul><ul><li>Well supported </li></ul>
    6. 6. VCS AND IT VOLUNTEERS <ul><li>Have good policies and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of experience of working with volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>So why are ICT volunteers different? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they different? </li></ul>
    7. 7. WHAT SETS ICT VOLUNTEERS APART? <ul><li>ICT professionals are likely to be used to a different working environment and style </li></ul><ul><li>They are often highly skilled and expect professionalism and respect </li></ul><ul><li>And all the same characteristics of other volunteers e.g. may have to leave & have to shuffle other full time commitments </li></ul>
    8. 8. COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ICT VOLUNTEERS & PROJECTS – VOLUNTEERS ARE RARELY ‘FREE’ <ul><li>Staff Time </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Associated costs (e.g. hardware & web hosting) </li></ul>
    9. 9. PROS AND CONS <ul><li>The ideal volunteer project </li></ul><ul><li>Someone with the right experience, working with you in partnership to deliver a solution with minimal or manageable staff and resource cost </li></ul><ul><li>It is your project - ‘no backseat drivers’ </li></ul><ul><li>But be careful … </li></ul><ul><li>Mismanaged, misintentioned, mismatched expectations, poor risk and no project management </li></ul>
    10. 10. VOLUNTEERS AND WEBSITES <ul><li>Suitable for a volunteer? </li></ul><ul><li>When they are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers are qualified and experienced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project is well managed by organisation and volunteer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When they are not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission critical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non strategic </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. WEBSITE PROJECTS – KEY ISSUES <ul><li>Is your data backed up? </li></ul><ul><li>Is your data safe? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your volunteer hold all the important knowledge – they need to share password and basic documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Someone in the organisation needs to own the project </li></ul><ul><li>Is the website content ready – a volunteer can only ‘help’ with content, they cannot provide it </li></ul><ul><li>How will they be maintained once the volunteer has gone? - handover </li></ul>
    12. 12. OTHER IT PROJECTS IDEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS <ul><li>Independent advice and guidance </li></ul><ul><li>One to one training for staff </li></ul><ul><li>IT strategy/IT planning </li></ul><ul><li>Trustee – with technical expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Working directly with your clients </li></ul><ul><li>Independent purchasing and supplier decisions </li></ul>
    13. 13. WHERE TO FIND THE RIGHT VOLUNTEER: <ul><li>advertise widely and succinctly </li></ul><ul><li>ask for what you want in the right places </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional brokers - iT4C, Pro Help, Media Trust, BiTC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Centres, CVS, Voluntary Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Universities & colleges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local businesses – ask their staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>but be prepared to only work with someone who you trust knows what they are doing – most IT projects are not suitable for students or the inexperienced </li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>Volunteers enthusiastic but unskilled </li></ul><ul><li>A friend of a friend </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitments of volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuitable solution </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Culture/communication complications </li></ul><ul><li>They leave - the knowledge leaves </li></ul>Minimising risk - common risks
    15. 15. <ul><li>Choose the right volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Define your need clearly and keep ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Allow for time to dedicate to the project (plan) </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Document everything! </li></ul>Minimising risk - 5 Top Tips
    16. 16. David Guthrie Sussex Community Internet Project [email_address]

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