Management of volunteering events - Basic
Course Code: 0EM1_EN
Management of volunteering events - Basic
Tags: EVENT MANAGEMENT, KNOW YOUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES, CREATE YOUR MASTER PLAN, EXECUTION AND CONSTRUCTION
Starting: 07/09/2015 Ending: 07/09/2017
Concept & examples
Concept & examples
A Volunteering Event is an event that has present or potential volunteers as direct beneficiaries.
We talk about training, motivation or a recognition event for the volunteers you already have or an event promoting the concept of volunteerism, such as debates, campaigns, volunteering fairs, conferences that ensure the future volunteers for your cause, or the development of volunteerism.
There are 4 general developmental components to any kind of projects, including volunteering events. These are:
- Initiation – identifying a need or problem and deciding to do something about it.
- Planning and Design – figuring out the solution and exactly how you are going to solve the issue.
- Execution and Construction – Acting on your plan.
- Evaluation – Finalizing all the details and celebrating the result.
Initiation - Know your goals and objectives
Know your goals and objectives
The first step and one of the most important is setting clear goals and objectives.
Whether you want to recruit volunteers, celebrate the ones you already have or simply share the benefits of volunteering with the general public, you need to be very precise in your intentions.
Setting SMART objectives can prove to be invaluable throughout the project.
S – Specific – If your objective is to recruit new volunteers, be specific about their background, desired age range, skill set, etc. This will help you in tailoring your event to the target audience, and will help develop your communication strategy.
M – Measurable – Make sure you know how much you want to achieve. If you need to train some volunteers in fundraising, be specific about their number and skill set you want them to develop. A measurable objective will prove an invaluable tool in evaluating the success of your event.
A – Achievable – We all want to be superheroes, but setting an unrealistic objective can shed doubt on your organizations credibility, demotivate your team, disappoint your public, and generally setting you up for a fall. Organizing a high class volunteers Gala without budget and in a very short time is probably better left to those with superhuman abilities.
R – Relevant – You have to make sure your objectives are relevant to the goal of your event. If your goal is to increase the number of young volunteers in your organization, setting the objective of reaching all segments of public through your campaign would not help much, but it could use up valuable resources.
T – Time-Based – Every activity takes time. Be precise from the beginning in setting timeframes and deadlines for your objectives. It will help you set up a pace and monitor the progress of your execution stage.
When you appreciate these qualities of your objectives, you need to consider each in various perspectives that apply to you, such as but not limited to:
- Social and economic benefit
- Event quality, and if it is a periodic event, the event growth
- Audience or public satisfaction
- Sector development
- Event sustainability
- Community development
Planning and designing – Create yout master plan
Create yout master plan
The beginning of the planning stage is the perfect time for a SWOT Analysis. Consider your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, in the light of the following:
- Event Management – what it would take for your staff in this certain period of the year, in your budgetary conditions, to undertake such a project?
- Partners – what is the support you can count on?
- Climate – social, economic, cultural, political.
- Benefits – what is your event’s selling point?
- Development and growth potential – what factors will influence it?
- Other factors – competition, technology, legal, environmental.
The depth of your analysis should, of course, be in accordance with the size of your event, and your experience in throwing one.
After you have set a goal and you know exactly what objectives you are trying to reach, it is time to think about the type and size of the event you are going to host.
If you are planning a campaign to gain new recruits for your cause, will it take the form of a huge colorful parade, a volunteer fair, or will it be a presentation at the University?
If you are trying to reward your volunteers after a very successful endeavor, will you organize a private gathering just for them and the staff, a city break, a volunteer gala or will you organize the training they have dreamed of for some time?
If your organizational mission is to promote volunteerism and you are planning an event, will it be a campaign, a seminar or a conference?
The examples are countless and very diverse, and the event you choose to organize should fit your goals, help you achieve your objectives, and be appropriate to you resources.
D.U. 4.2: Resources
The resources needed for a volunteering event are of different natures:
o Material / Financial Resources
you have the idea of the event and have set the type, you have to start
thinking about what you need to put your plan in motion. There might be
material resources that you already have, such as the location or
transportation means, and others that you will need to rent or buy.
Either way, you should make your list by analyzing each of these
Do you already have the proper
location for the event you are planning to throw, in terms of size and
atmos-phere, or should you start looking for something more fitting? Is
it accessible enough for your guests? If you plan to rent, is the price
appropriate considering the benefits?
you plan to serve food or beverages during your event, besides choosing
them to accommodate your idea, there are also health safety issues and
life style choices to consider. Be careful with food storage and
manipu-lation and don’t forget the vegetarians, vegans, etc.
you organize a training session or a camp outside of the city, you also
need to make sure to arrange trans-portation for your volunteers or
guests, or at least make sure there are common transportation means they
can use, and make this information available to your public.
on your event you might need different equipment. If you throw a party a
sound system is vital, just as a projector and a screen are for a movie
screening. If you organize an outdoor teambuilding you will need
Other than the
specific equipment for the event, when organizing one you might need to
consider a lot more. This is the time to really get down to details. Do
you want to organize a welcome desk for your guests? Will you need
microphones for the MC? Do you have enough seating places for the movie
screening? If you go out of the city, you might need to thing about
organizing a small office space with a printer, internet connection,
etc. Also, as an organizer you are responsible for the first aid kit.
you need banners, roll-ups, posters, flyers? What about invitations?
T-shirts, badges, bags? Make sure you take make time for the design and
finding the best providers for your event.
- Cleaning and packing up
job of event organizers does not end when the event ends. Leaving the
place as you found it might take more effort than you realize, and
cleaning is one aspect easily looked over in the planning phase. Whether
you clean and pack up all your materials and equipment with your team
or choose to hire specialized person-nel to do it for you, you have to
take it into account.
- Organizing Committee
the event is big or small, many initiators fall in the trap of wanting
to do it all themselves. While in some instances this is possible, it is
not recommended. If nothing else, because you need to have a plan B,
which includes someone else who knows all the details of the event that
might be able to carry it out in case you become unavailable.
After you have designed the event, split the execution into tasks, and form your organizing team.
large scale events you might even consider naming an Event Manager, and
Heads of departments such as: venue management, guests, entertainment,
publicity, sponsors, volunteer management, etc.
- Speakers / Presenters / Trainers / Facilitators / MCs
you decided on a training, workshop, marsh or a karaoke night? Don’t
forget the people that can make this happen. Whether they are part of
your staff or volunteers, you need to agree with them on the terms and
conditions of their participation.
a volunteering event does not mean you should only consider them guests
or beneficiaries. Including them in your Organizing Comittee, giving
them the roles you usually reserve for your staff, could stimulate their
motivation and could help you throw the event that really suits them,
guaranteeing your success.
After rounding up your team, make sure you
set a common work process, known to everybody. How will the team
communicate? What is the frequency of your meetings? Does everybody know
what everyone elses responsibilities are? Which departments work
together and when? Who sets deadlines and who enforces them? What are
your milesones? Etc.
Whether you are planning a 2
hour or 2 weeks event, the time you are going to spend planning and
preparing everything could be a lot longer. Time is not a resource you
want to neglect. Make sure you start the Execution stage early enough.
date might already be pre-set for a reoccurring event, but if this is a
new event, be sure to consider the following before firming up your
- Give yourself enough time! Ideally, you should have 4-6 months to plan (depending on the nature of your event).
- Be aware of statutory and religious holidays
- Avoid or take advantage of school holiday time periods (e.g., winter, spring and summer holidays)
- Check dates with key participants – e.g., speakers, presenters, VIP guests, etc.
D.U. 4.3: Communitaction/Publicity
According to your goal and objectives, you might need a communication
strategy. Whether it’s posting an invitation for a movie night on the
social media tool you share with your volunteers, an article in your
newsletter, or a huge banner in the middle of the city, you should not
ignore this aspect.
For large scale events, you might need a web page, online promotion, event calendar, printed programs, media relations, etc.
After getting the list of all the resources you will need, it’s time to make your budget and figure out your funding options.
Execution and construction
Execution and construction
Execution of the event can be more or less difficult, depending on the plan. By now, your plan should have set the time frames, dead-lines, tasks, in as much detail as needed, and you and your team should only have to follow it.
After all the planning and preparation is over, and your event is finally starting, there are still some things that need to be on your mind:
- Follow the plan you have, but be flexible. There are some things you might have missed or that might have changed independently of your will or actions. For the success of your event it is vital that you keep the eye on the prize. This means that any modifications you have to make need to help you reach the same objectives.
- Communication. Make sure the lines are open between the members of the organizing committee at all times throughout the event.
- Monitor. This is the time to verify that all your hard work amounted to something. You should gather now the data you need for your final evaluation. This will make the evaluation process realistic and a lot easier to surf through.
- Enjoy! Things might get hectic at times, but you and your team can’t forget to enjoy yourselves. It will be a well-deserved reward after all the work, and it will also motivate and bring the team together.
Complition and finish point
Complition and finish point
The event might be over, but your job still isn’t. You will have to dot the i’s and cross your last t’s, and evaluate the whole process.
After your event, you should be in touch with the people who were a part of the event. Reaffirm the relationships that you created. If they just enjoyed your event (and hopefully they did), this is the time to strenghthen the bond. If you have photos from the event (and you should), this is the time to make them all public, even if you posted some of them live.
You might also need to take care of some post-event documents or materials, like diplomas, hand-outs, meeting minutes, and any other materials you might have promissed during the event. Keep your promisses!
You already have the general feeling of how everything worked, but in order to learn and improve your (and your teams) skills, you need to scratch beyond the surface, considering more points of view:
- The participants – number, response rate, satisfaction
- The other guests
- The team and work process
- The accuracy of your plan execution
- The media coverage
Listening to the impressions and opinions of different people – organisers, participants and observers you’ll gain a much deeper understanding of what the real impact of the event was.
Go back to the objectives you have initially set and determine the success rate of the event.
Learn from your mistakes, and improve the quality of your future events.