CAREER DEVELOPMENT / OCT. 21, 2014
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How to Become a Volunteer Coordinator in the UK

Volunteer coordinators are the professionals who manage the relationships between an organization and its volunteers. This career is ideal for individuals with strong organizational and interpersonal skills and a post-secondary qualification.

What Do Volunteer Coordinators Do?

The general tasks of volunteer coordinators include:

  • Evaluating an organization’s need for volunteers
  • Conducting outreach activities to invite potential volunteers to apply for a position
  • Reviewing applications and selecting qualified volunteers
  • Allocating tasks to volunteers and supervising their performance
  • Ensuring volunteers adhere to the company’s volunteering policies
  • Responding to queries from volunteers
  • Maintaining partnerships with local community groups and other organizations
  • Organizing fundraising events

Work Conditions

Volunteer coordinators usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, some volunteering activities may take place during the weekend; aspiring coordinators should be prepared to work on Saturday and Sunday.

When they are not in their offices, volunteer coordinators can be found promoting an organization’s projects in community events.

Part-time opportunities are also available.

Salary

The salary for volunteer coordinators is as follows:

Job

Annual Wage

Entry-level volunteer coordinators

£16,000 - £25,000

Volunteer managers

£30,000 - £35,000

Source: National Careers Service

Qualifications Required

To get started as a volunteer coordinator, you should have a HND or foundation degree in any of the following fields:

  • Social work
  • Business management
  • Human resources management
  • Community development

Visit the Universities and Colleges Admission Service to learn more about the requirements for being accepted into these courses.

Relevant work experience is also a key employment tool. If you want to work for a hospital, for example, it helps to volunteer in a healthcare facility to gain some experience and familiarize yourself with the workings of such organizations.

For volunteering opportunities, visit Do It and Volunteering England

Skills Required

To succeed in this profession you need:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong multitasking skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • The ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Good project management skills
  • Good planning skills

Career Development

As a newly-qualified volunteer coordinator, you will likely find jobs in small organizations with fewer volunteering programs. However, with hard work and determination, you can find jobs in large organizations, complete with a volunteer department.

To achieve this, you should:

  • Pursue a master’s degree in business administration or community development
  • Join the Association of Volunteer Managers
  • Pursue professional certification programs in volunteer coordinating and management

Job Opportunities

Volunteer coordinators can find jobs in many types of public and private organizations with volunteering activities. The top employers are:

  • Charity organizations
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Local authorities
  • Community development organizations
  • Research organizations
  • Galleries and museums
  • Colleges and universities

Apart from securing a job in a large company, you can be promoted to become a volunteer manager. You can also move into other related positions, such as community development manager or corporate social responsibility manager.

According to the National Careers Service, there will be about 42,000 new jobs in this sector between 2014 and 2020. Many of these jobs will be created by nonprofit organizations. If you are passionate about volunteering and are prepared to help organization achieve their objectives, this could be the career for you.


Image: istock

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