Any of you that have heard me speak in the last year or so will be unsurprised to see me firmly rooted in the engagement camp. Over the next few slides I will talk you through how I see the NSPCC world and why I think we need to place greater emphasis on volunteer engagement.
I think a good starting point is the origins of our charity. In the UK and the USA children were suffering. So much so that a New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded in 1875, after the highly publicised case of a young girl, Mary Ellen McCormack, who was subject to vicious daily beatings by her adoptive parents.Thomas Agnew, a Liverpool banker, visited New York in 1881. He was greatly impressed by the pioneering children's charity and returned home in 1882 determined to provide similar help for the children of Liverpool. Agnew gained the support of Samuel Smith, a local Liberal MP. Together they founded the Liverpool Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1883, which remained independent of the NSPCC until 1953.News of Agnew's work reached London, where he was invited to meet a number of like-minded and influential individuals. As a result, the London Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was formed on 8 July, 1884 driven principally by the efforts of Reverend Benjamin Waugh.Lord Shaftesbury served as President and Waugh and the Reverend Edward Rudolph as joint Honorary Secretaries.In 1889 The NSPCC persuaded Parliament to pass 'The Children's Charter', the first law to protect children in abusive family situationsIn 1894 The NSPCC helped bring about the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, which allowed children to give evidence in court and recognised mental cruelty. And in 1900. NSPCC Inspectors, funded by local voluntary fundraising, started protecting children across England, Wales and Ireland.I tell you this because these were engaged, committed individuals with a collective vision to change the world and there wasn’t a volunteer manager in sight…
This is Steve Radcliffe. He describes himself as just a bloke from Wigan. Many people see him as a game changer in the world of leadership coaching. He has a very simple mantra:Future. Engage. Deliver.Identify a future you want to create and it works even better if you care passionately about that futureThen engage people in that future. This needs to be two way so they feel a real sense of ownership of that future and will knock down walls to help you to deliver itAnd that delivery part is where we work together to build that future and the very best leaders have been so successful at engage that other people will do most of the delivery for themWhen you examine what Waugh and his peers achieved you can see the threads of Future. Engage. Deliver woven into the fabric of their workMy fear is that today we skip the ENGAGE section. We design opportunities to solve problems in isolation from volunteers. We then tell them what needs to be done and expect them to deliver. I feel we are missing a trick…
In fact I feel that at times our volunteers lack the freedom they may have had in the days of Agnew and Waugh and are currently being constrained by the layers of management we have put in place.
To illustrate where I feel we could change our approach I’m using the KANO modelToexplain this model I’m going to use a car analogy. When you go to buy a car you know what you WANT. Your list might look a bit like this:Power steering, nice shade of silver, leather interior, walnut dashboard, bluetooth stereo etc…There’ll also be some things you EXPECT like a steering wheel, or a gear stick. These things will never appear on your want list but you’d be pretty annoyed if your new car arrived without a steering wheelThe final element are the DELIGHT factors. These are the things that if the manufacturer understands them and responds to them you’ll never buy a car from another manufacturer again. It might be something due to how it feels to drive, how well it is built, how it needs very little maintenance etc…In volunteering terms we spend most of our time focussed on the EXPECT side of things and a little of our time on the WANT side of things. These are the things that link most closely to volunteer management. Conversely we spend barely any of our time on the DELIGHT side of things and it is here where volunteer engagement will sit.
So what can we do? Let me tell you a story…I read a book ‘Yes! 50 Secrets of the Power of persuasion’ and whilst it won’t turn you into Luke Skywalker it does offer up some interesting food for thought.Imagine a beautiful suburban town in the US, with manicured lawns and white picket fences. One day the local Road Safety Campaigners knock on your door asking you to erect a 6ft by 3ft sign on your lawn saying please drive carefully. Pyschologists Freedman and Fraser did just that and got 17% of homeowners saying yes.They then went to an identical town and made one small change to their approach. This time they went in first asking if people would be happy to have a small sign saying “Be a Safe Driver” in their window. Because it was a small request almost all residents agreed. They then went back two weeks later and asked them if they would be happy to have the big sign on the lawn. Remember the first town where 17% of residents said yes? Well this time 76% said yes to the big request. Why?Because they now saw themselves as committed to the cause of driving carefully because they had said yes to the small request. They were engaged in the concept of road safety. My view is that we need to look at micro volunteering as a means to get people more engaged and then hopefully they will be encouraged to do more to help us.
And so I return to my opening slide and close with a very simple statement:“You can’t start to manage your wedding planning until you’ve got engaged”. We need to reprioritise and put volunteer engagement up our agendas
Volunteering: Management vs Engagement
Management v Engagement
Tiger de Souza
Head of Volunteering
Expectation not met
Source: Kano model
Customer not satisfied
Thank you for your time
Tiger de Souza
firstname.lastname@example.org / @whyofthetiger