Starting on Tuesday, the Stettler Volunteer Centre will offer free training sessions for volunteer groups in Stettler.
“We provide support to non-profit organizations with development and helping them to better manage their organization, train and recruit volunteers,” said Stephanie LaRose-Hadley, co-ordinator of the volunteer centre.
The first course will be about volunteer management.
“The sessions will be touching on recruitment, and then screening, which is really the responsibility of organizations,” LaRose-Hadley said.
“Session 3 would be about retention, because obviously, if you recruit good volunteers, you want to keep them.”
The second course will be about real-time planning for non-profit organizations, while the third course will provide tools to organizations about how to prepare projects. The fourth and last course for non-profit organizations will be about acquiring skills to help the smooth running of organizations.
“The sessions are all free,” LaRose-Hadley said. “People have to register by calling our office and put their names on the list.”
She hopes that everyone that is interested in volunteering will check out those courses and, hopefully, attend them.
LaRose-Hadley believes that the courses could not come at a better time, as the volunteer world is in transition.
“Volunteer Canada did a big research project and put out a report called Bridging the Gap,” she said. “What they talked about in the report is how the typical volunteer is really changing.
“In the past, you would see what they called the über-volunteer, which would be somebody probably within the senior age bracket that has been committed to one or more organization for a very long term.”
Now, the younger generations are more interested in a one-time or short-term commitment.
“Instead of having a sense of obligation to volunteer, people are looking for volunteer opportunities where they can gain skills or use skills that they have, rather than do something they feel they should do,” LaRose-Hadley said.
She is not worried because she believes volunteer organizations will get through this transition.
One way the volunteer centre is adapting to that change is offering the courses instead of placing volunteers.
LaRose-Hadley also plans to bridge the gap in Stettler with a special activity during the 2012 Volunteer Week.
“I have an activity that I hope will force the older generations and the younger generations to work together on something, so maybe that will help to get the ball rolling,” she said.
“On both sides, there are people that are really eager to volunteer and the older generations are ready to pass the reins, but it is just a matter of how can that best be done.”
For more information about the courses or to register, contact the Stettler Volunteer Centre at 403-742-1155.