Workshop Snapshot: ‘Doing it hard’– influencing within your organisation

The evolving landscape of volunteering and dynamic organisational change requires that managers of volunteers step up and be leaders in their organisations.

On 9 November, Volunteering Victoria facilitated the ‘Doing it Hard’ workshop for 23 managers of volunteers to strengthen a vital, leadership skill – influencing others. In the workshop, leaders identified goals to promote the value and importance of volunteering, increase funding and resource support, and build a supportive, evidence-based culture in their organisations.

The structured workshop followed Volunteering England’s 2010 framework ‘Influencing Up: A Guide to Gaining Executive Support for Volunteering’ with step-by-step activities beginning with identifying your messages and concluding with strategies to minimise common barriers.

Workshop Outcomes

Outcome 1 – Strengthening practical skills

Practical strategies explored by the group included: defining a targeted approach, improving your message, using evidence, and gaining internal ownership. Activities focused on capturing and building upon the soft skills that many managers of volunteers rely on in their workplaces to affect change.

Outcome 2 – Leveraging support

The diversity of participant’s experience enabled us to harness knowledge from across the volunteering sector including universities, local government, international development, arts, environment and community healthcare. Leaders shared their experiences of successes and failures, providing insights into recognising achievements, learning from mistakes, and building personal resilience.

Outcome 3 – Adopting a long term focus

By the end of the workshop, participants had designed a rough influencing map and identified additional resources to take back to their workplaces. Commitments were made to reconnecting in 2017 to share progress and inspiration.

Volunteering Victoria would like to thank the co-facilitators Penny Aquino (Salvation Army) and Sofie Anselmi (Boorondara Volunteer Resource Centre), and the leaders who gave their time and talent to enhance our collective knowledge and spirit.

To express interest in participating in future workshops on this topic, contact Shelley Falzon at

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